BUYING AND COLLECTING
Many wrote to me in the past few weeks inquiring on acquisition of kerises and perceived “standard” pricing of kerises. So here are my thoughts and opinion on these questions.
Keris itself is intangible. It is only of value, if there are people who appreciates it. Without appreciation, the keris loses its perceived value and will just become another trinket of history.
Value is decided by those who appreciates it. Artistry, rarity and prominence of known makers, adds to the demand for steep prices or low prices due to ignorance, or the need for a quick buck so to speak. There is no right or wrong perception when it comes to collecting.
You collect what you like and you pay what you can afford. The keris after all is akin to owning a Rolex watch. You select what speaks to you and feel good when worn and you pay in accordance to the budget available to you on hand. Pricing, fluctuates on demand most of the time.
For newly commissioned pieces, prominence of the maker (Empu, Pandai Keris, Panre, etc.) plays a part too. Choice of materials as well. Traditional makers takes pride, joy and effort in fashioning a quality piece. It can be an effort that takes up many Man-Days. Hence, it is illogical to demand extremely low prices for a quality commissioned piece.
For me, below is my principle in buying kerises or any other objects of beauty for that matter.
JUST S.L.A.B. IT
When it comes to acquiring kerises, this is my buying guide. (S.L.A.B.)
I do not negotiate or bargain down prices set by the seller. That is basic courtesy in buying. Bargaining price down is akin to insulting the seller.
Also it is improper to be asking around on what a price should be like for kerises. It is entirely the decision of the seller.
Common Pitfalls To Avoid:
1. DO NOT BUY STORY.
Eg. This piece comes from royal family, from other realm, made by prominent empu, etc.
2. DO NOT BUY ON IMPULSE
Unless you have the experience and knows a quality piece at one glance.
3. DO NOT NEGOTIATE
Unless you know the seller personally, this is just impolite. If you can afford it, pay it, if you feel it’s too steep, let it rest and give the matter more time to consider. Else you risk being excluded from being exposed to fantastic pieces held in reserve by the seller.
4. DO NOT GO AROUND QUESTIONING YOUR PURCHASES.
Once you have bought something, live with it. The more you ask around if your purchases are worthwhile, most times you will not be hearing what you want to hear. So might as well be happy with what you bought. Even if paid at a price or cost, the learning pointers will make you a wiser Collector in the Long run.
IF IT IS MEANT TO BE, IT WILL BE
From my experience, a keris Collection, is in essence a reflection of the collector’s self. Your vibe attracts your tribe so to speak. That itself will make your collection unique and personal in the long run. Hence, be true to yourself and enjoy what you collect. Never succumb to external pressures. Look inwards, only then will good things meant for you will surface.
These are my thoughts on this cold Long ride to the office. If additional notes pops in my head, I will update this article.
Want to know more about pricing methodology and pedagogy? Sign up for my classes. 😎
– The Keris Collector
– 16 Jan 2018