"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" may in deed be fact. However, would a rose by any other name still sell for the same amount. Perhaps not.
A general rule of thumb is that antiques are items that are 100 years old or older and vintage usually comes into play once an item is at least 20 or 25 years old. Although, there are no concrete rules in place, it's mostly a matter of what feels right to you.
We all know that when we are selling online, so often, it really is just a numbers game. Meaning, more exposure almost always directly translates into higher sales. Hands down, "vintage" gets searched significantly more as a keyword on Google (and I can only assume on most other sites too) over "antique".
Tracked from 2004 until 2015, the average search trend for "vintage" items over "antique" items is 8 to 1. That's huge! So, on average one person is searching for an antique table, and 8 others are searching for their next vintage table.
An anecdotal testament to this was reaffirmed by a story I heard a few years ago (unfortunately, I can not remember the source, it was either on a radio show or a podcast).
I college aged young lady was working as an intern for a larger auction company. She saw a table that she liked was coming up for auction in a few weeks and she wanted to solicit her friends' opinion on it. Instead of just sending out one query, she effectively did an A/B test, where half the friends received a link with the title "What are your thoughts on this vintage table?" The other, "What are your thoughts on this antique table?" Same table, same picture....
The overwhelming results were that the vintage table was a winner, but she should pass on the antique table.
Something tells me that the next time you list an item from the 1920's, you may (and probably, should) overrule your instinct to call it an antique, and instead, call it VINTAGE!
written by John Brown, owner of Bid On Estates Auction Company.