Online Antiques and Collectible Sales in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The rising use of the internet for retail sales transactions has led to substantial growth for the Online Antiques and Collectible Sales industry. Despite a brief downturn during the recession due to declines in consumer sentiment and disposable income, overall revenue has increased over the five years to 2012. Wealthy households continued spending on industry products during the recession, which insulated the industry from the economic woes typical of other retail industries. Over the next five years, economic recovery and increasing consumer access to broadband internet is expected to continue bolstering industry revenue and profit.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Increasing consumer income and access to broadband internet is boosting industry sales

The Online Antiques and Collectible Sales industry has surged forward during the last five years, largely due to the growing ubiquity of the internet and online shopping. Despite the brief recession-induced slump in 2009, industry revenue is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 8.1% in the five years to 2012 to bring revenue to $5.0 billion.

Antiques and collectibles are discretionary goods that are used for collection, aesthetic and investment purposes. However, despite poor economic conditions and an economy-wide decline in demand for antiques and collectibles, the online industry was minimally impacted by recession. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Nima Samadi, “Consumers that opted to still invest in antiques and collectibles continued flocking to online establishments instead of brick-and-mortar establishments that are more expensive and have a smaller and less comprehensive selection. This allowed the industry to experience only minor revenue declines in 2009 and a strong rebound in 2010.” The Online Antiques and Collectible Sales industry carries a low level of market share concentration. The top two firms are eBay and Heritage Auctions Inc. This industry, and the prevailing e-commerce industry, is highly fragmented; the low barriers to entry encourage potential new operators to come in the market. EBay acts as host to a large number of antiques retailers, adding to the low concentration of the market overall.

Other important factors that drive industry performance include consumer sentiment and expenditure by households with incomes greater than $100,000. Consumers are less likely to invest in collectibles and antiques, which often require long-term investments before they appreciate in value, when they are insecure about their financial future. However, consumers who did continue to invest in antiques and collectibles increasingly turned to the internet, which lessened the blow for the industry. Wealthy consumers are the industry's key target market. As household expenditure for wealthy consumers rises, they will buy more higher-priced collectibles and antiques. The percentage of households earning over $100,000 fell 7.0% in 2008, though it has consistently increased in the years thereafter. This has helped the industry to sustain demand despite recessionary conditions, says Samadi. In the coming years, continued economic recovery is expected to contribute to the industry's strong growth. Increases in per capita income and employment will improve consumer sentiment, increasing consumers' likelihood to buy collectibles and antiques. Also, broadband internet adoption will grow in the next five years, boosting online retailers' accessibility. IBISWorld forecasts that these factors will cause industry revenue to grow over the five years to 2017. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Antiques and Collectible Sales report in the US industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry retails or auctions antiques and collectibles, such as coins, jewelry, books, figurines and memorabilia. Online sales and auctions of original art pieces are not included in this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.


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Gavin Smith
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