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In conversaton with Will Thomas of Love Antiques

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

In conversation with Will Thomas, Love Antiques.

We return to talk to Will Thomas of Love Antiques as the portal gathers strength in the trade. Born in 2014, the website, which is part of the IACF Ltd family, has been growing steadily for the past three years and has significantly accelerated its growth in the last 12 months, putting it in a position as one of the biggest online antiques marketplaces on the web. One of the great success stories in the antiques trade, over recent years, in what is a crowded marketplace.  We talk to Will about how Love Antiques {LA} has taken on the competition to become the antiques trade's fastest growing online portal.

AntiquesNews & Fairs - Love Antiques

Will Thomas

 

ANF:  Since we spoke in 2015 Love Antiques (LA) seems to have developed a devoted vast band of new subscribers and has become a high profile fixture on the antiques portal scene. We know what your customers say, (see below) but what do you think is the reason for this exponential growth in 2 years?

WT:  We've seen a massive 180% increase in visitor traffic in the last year alone.  We've doubled our dealer numbers, and more than trebled the number of enquiries coming through to dealers. These are just the enquiries we are able to track coming directly through our site, and do not include potential phone and email contact that buyers may be having with the dealers as a result of seeing the items online.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques 

Fontaine Decorative - A French Empire daybed

ANF:  What are the main categories that attract the most views and sales?

WT:  The 'big-movers' on LA currently seem to be: antique furniture, antique silver and antique mirrors, with some dealers having several items being sold daily.

 Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

From a selection from Piers Rankin Antiques

ANF:  When you joined the online portal sector of the antiques trade, did you think there would be enough market share given the amount of other successful competing sites?

WT: With online shopping becoming the main way consumers buy products, it's inevitable that the antiques trade will be doing more and more business this way, leading to increased expansion of the online marketplace and the continued growth of the website.I have a firm belief that if you do something well, there is always a place for you in the market.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Hogarths Antiques - William IV Fold over card table

 

ANF: What do you think are the key ingredients to the success of LA?

WT: Our back office team work tirelessly to provide an exemplary service to our subscribers and we are open to suggestions on how we can improve both our service and the front end of the site.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Fontaine Decorative - a pair of ebonised console tables

 

ANF:  Website manager, Lynsey Chilcott told us: "We pride ourselves on the quality of service we provide to both the online customers and our dealers."  We have spoken to a number of your subscribers and this message certainly comes over with our research showing a repeated comment about how friendly and helpful your team are.  How many people do you have working in the back office? What are their roles?

WT: We have six people working on LoveAntiques.com, including me. Lynsey and Christian are usually the first points of contact when people contact us, and have been instrumental in the success of the site over the last couple of years. We also have people involved in advertising and marketing, along with finance and admin.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques


From a selection on Love Antiques

 

ANF:  What is your geographical audience? Are there many sales to the US and Europe? Do you have plans to market the site in the US?

WT: We already get a lot of sales across the big pond, about 25% to the US, and a similar amount to Europe. We advertise widely in the US and Europe, and this is a growing marketplace for us.

ANF: We are all aware of how vital social media is to any business, but can you tell us how you manage to strategise and schedule the social media feed when you have such a vast amount of inventory on the site.

WT: Social media is really about attracting new visitors to the site. We make sure when we are posting on social media that we include a good variety of stock. We want to give people a good idea of the kind of items available on the site, as well as the price range. With the number of items we have, there is something to suit everybody's taste and budget.

ANF: Most subscribers to portal sites strive to get their items on the home page above the “fold” if they can, what is the trick on LA – is is a matter of fresh items frequently loaded or are best sellers like furniture more likely to beat the algorithms?

WT: For the sake of fairness, it is always the latest items which go up onto the top of the homepage, and with an average of 150 items going on every day, it always keeps the page fresh. Obviously, the more frequently the dealers upload, the more likely their stock will be on the homepage. This is beneficial to both them and us, by keeping the website constantly updated.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Graver Antiques & Interiors

 

ANF:  We have heard that subscriptions to LA are among the lowest in the marketplace, how do you manage to keep this so affordable?

WT: We make a deliberate attempt to keep the prices as low as we can, and this is something we also do with the IACF Ltd Fairs. Our thinking is more towards the long term stability of the industry, and the more stable the industry the better the long-term outlook for our companies, so the relationship between us and the dealers is symbiotic. By keeping prices low, we are also trying to attract younger dealers and give them an opportunity to be successful without large overheads and prohibitive costs.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

 From a selection on Love Antiques

 

ANF: How do you see the Antiques Industry progressing in the future?

As far as online antiques sales are concerned, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin will help make peer to peer transactions much faster, with very very low, or non-existant charges. This will enable international payments to be conducted instantaneously, improving cashflow for dealers, and can save dealers a lot of time and money on fees.

ANF:  With LA, IACF Ltd fairs and property development, how do you find time to relax with your young family and what do you enjoy doing in any spare time?

As if all that wasn't enough, I'm also a Councillor on both the Town and Community Councils, so trying to improve the local area takes up a lot of my spare time. When I do get a minute or two, I enjoy running, supporting Swansea City FC and just spending as much quality time with my wife, son and daughter as I can. 

 

Feedback from a selection of the dealers who sell via Love Antiques:

Fontaine Decorative:  “It seems like a good platform and it generates good enquiries, they are really good to us with their social media by tweeting our stock etc., altogether they seem like a very proactive and friendly bunch.”


Donna Fernyhough of Fernyhough Antiques - "We are really happy with the consistently increasing sales from LoveAntiques.com. It really helps fill the sales gap between big fairs, and keeps the stock ticking over”


Christian Davies Antiques: "We now have over 21,000 items live on the site, with an average of 100 items being added daily. " said Christian Davies of LoveAntiques.com. "We check - as much as is possible - that the item is correctly labelled, the images are good quality and the information given is accurate."


Bridport Antiques: “We joined LA in August and have been so pleased with the response selling at least 2 big ticket items per week. We just sold a 12ft farmhouse table to a Grimsby buyer who found us via LA and another in East Anglia who bought a walnut credenza for a 4 figure sum via the site.  The office team are so helpful and friendly and that really makes a difference when you are busy running your own business.


For enquiries about joining LA click here 

 

 

 



Antiques News Blog

In conversaton with Will Thomas of Love Antiques

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

In conversation with Will Thomas, Love Antiques.

We return to talk to Will Thomas of Love Antiques as the portal gathers strength in the trade. Born in 2014, the website, which is part of the IACF Ltd family, has been growing steadily for the past three years and has significantly accelerated its growth in the last 12 months, putting it in a position as one of the biggest online antiques marketplaces on the web. One of the great success stories in the antiques trade, over recent years, in what is a crowded marketplace.  We talk to Will about how Love Antiques {LA} has taken on the competition to become the antiques trade's fastest growing online portal.

AntiquesNews & Fairs - Love Antiques

Will Thomas

 

ANF:  Since we spoke in 2015 Love Antiques (LA) seems to have developed a devoted vast band of new subscribers and has become a high profile fixture on the antiques portal scene. We know what your customers say, (see below) but what do you think is the reason for this exponential growth in 2 years?

WT:  We've seen a massive 180% increase in visitor traffic in the last year alone.  We've doubled our dealer numbers, and more than trebled the number of enquiries coming through to dealers. These are just the enquiries we are able to track coming directly through our site, and do not include potential phone and email contact that buyers may be having with the dealers as a result of seeing the items online.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques 

Fontaine Decorative - A French Empire daybed

ANF:  What are the main categories that attract the most views and sales?

WT:  The 'big-movers' on LA currently seem to be: antique furniture, antique silver and antique mirrors, with some dealers having several items being sold daily.

 Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

From a selection from Piers Rankin Antiques

ANF:  When you joined the online portal sector of the antiques trade, did you think there would be enough market share given the amount of other successful competing sites?

WT: With online shopping becoming the main way consumers buy products, it's inevitable that the antiques trade will be doing more and more business this way, leading to increased expansion of the online marketplace and the continued growth of the website.I have a firm belief that if you do something well, there is always a place for you in the market.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Hogarths Antiques - William IV Fold over card table

 

ANF: What do you think are the key ingredients to the success of LA?

WT: Our back office team work tirelessly to provide an exemplary service to our subscribers and we are open to suggestions on how we can improve both our service and the front end of the site.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Fontaine Decorative - a pair of ebonised console tables

 

ANF:  Website manager, Lynsey Chilcott told us: "We pride ourselves on the quality of service we provide to both the online customers and our dealers."  We have spoken to a number of your subscribers and this message certainly comes over with our research showing a repeated comment about how friendly and helpful your team are.  How many people do you have working in the back office? What are their roles?

WT: We have six people working on LoveAntiques.com, including me. Lynsey and Christian are usually the first points of contact when people contact us, and have been instrumental in the success of the site over the last couple of years. We also have people involved in advertising and marketing, along with finance and admin.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques


From a selection on Love Antiques

 

ANF:  What is your geographical audience? Are there many sales to the US and Europe? Do you have plans to market the site in the US?

WT: We already get a lot of sales across the big pond, about 25% to the US, and a similar amount to Europe. We advertise widely in the US and Europe, and this is a growing marketplace for us.

ANF: We are all aware of how vital social media is to any business, but can you tell us how you manage to strategise and schedule the social media feed when you have such a vast amount of inventory on the site.

WT: Social media is really about attracting new visitors to the site. We make sure when we are posting on social media that we include a good variety of stock. We want to give people a good idea of the kind of items available on the site, as well as the price range. With the number of items we have, there is something to suit everybody's taste and budget.

ANF: Most subscribers to portal sites strive to get their items on the home page above the “fold” if they can, what is the trick on LA – is is a matter of fresh items frequently loaded or are best sellers like furniture more likely to beat the algorithms?

WT: For the sake of fairness, it is always the latest items which go up onto the top of the homepage, and with an average of 150 items going on every day, it always keeps the page fresh. Obviously, the more frequently the dealers upload, the more likely their stock will be on the homepage. This is beneficial to both them and us, by keeping the website constantly updated.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

Graver Antiques & Interiors

 

ANF:  We have heard that subscriptions to LA are among the lowest in the marketplace, how do you manage to keep this so affordable?

WT: We make a deliberate attempt to keep the prices as low as we can, and this is something we also do with the IACF Ltd Fairs. Our thinking is more towards the long term stability of the industry, and the more stable the industry the better the long-term outlook for our companies, so the relationship between us and the dealers is symbiotic. By keeping prices low, we are also trying to attract younger dealers and give them an opportunity to be successful without large overheads and prohibitive costs.

Antiques News & Fairs - Love Antiques

 From a selection on Love Antiques

 

ANF: How do you see the Antiques Industry progressing in the future?

As far as online antiques sales are concerned, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin will help make peer to peer transactions much faster, with very very low, or non-existant charges. This will enable international payments to be conducted instantaneously, improving cashflow for dealers, and can save dealers a lot of time and money on fees.

ANF:  With LA, IACF Ltd fairs and property development, how do you find time to relax with your young family and what do you enjoy doing in any spare time?

As if all that wasn't enough, I'm also a Councillor on both the Town and Community Councils, so trying to improve the local area takes up a lot of my spare time. When I do get a minute or two, I enjoy running, supporting Swansea City FC and just spending as much quality time with my wife, son and daughter as I can. 

 

Feedback from a selection of the dealers who sell via Love Antiques:

Fontaine Decorative:  “It seems like a good platform and it generates good enquiries, they are really good to us with their social media by tweeting our stock etc., altogether they seem like a very proactive and friendly bunch.”


Donna Fernyhough of Fernyhough Antiques - "We are really happy with the consistently increasing sales from LoveAntiques.com. It really helps fill the sales gap between big fairs, and keeps the stock ticking over”


Christian Davies Antiques: "We now have over 21,000 items live on the site, with an average of 100 items being added daily. " said Christian Davies of LoveAntiques.com. "We check - as much as is possible - that the item is correctly labelled, the images are good quality and the information given is accurate."


Bridport Antiques: “We joined LA in August and have been so pleased with the response selling at least 2 big ticket items per week. We just sold a 12ft farmhouse table to a Grimsby buyer who found us via LA and another in East Anglia who bought a walnut credenza for a 4 figure sum via the site.  The office team are so helpful and friendly and that really makes a difference when you are busy running your own business.


For enquiries about joining LA click here