Antique dealers buy items one-at-a-time; even when dealers buy entire estates they are buying a quantity of individual items rather than dozens of the same item. Antiques and collectibles dealers pay what they want to pay for products, or they don’t buy them. For an antique picker, there’s always another deal around the corner.
The condition of each item will vary, so their prices will vary. Objects must be considered on their own merit: Is it in original condition, in-the-box, does it need to be cleaned, is there damage?
How much a dealer paid for an item is the cost of the merchandise, not the cost of the sale. The cost of the sale includes rent, salaries, advertising, transportation, cleaning, re-framing, repairing and all the time and gas the dealer spent while out picking inventory. Most of all, understand that their products are different. They are not selling commodities but unique items that can’t be purchased just anywhere. They are selling history, nostalgia and fantasy. Antiques engage the imaginations of the customers.