THOMASTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Almost every town in Maine, especially along the coast, has an antique shop. Some have multiple shops.
Antiques have been luring people to Maine for generations.
Some buy and carry their prizes back to where they came from. Others, over time, are lured to live here, in part by the rich history of which the antiques are a part. But people in the business say they worry the "next generation" of antiques buyers won't be there when their to take the place of current buyers.
Young people, they say, appear to have far less interest in antiques than their parents and grandparents. Dealers and buyers alike tell stories such as "my kids have no interest in antiques", and "they'd rather go to Pottery Barn or Ikea -- stores that sell more modern-looking furniture."
Furniture, in particular, has been hit hard by the changing tastes and trends, according to Maine auctioneer Kaja Veilleux. He and fellow auctioneer John Botero say that furniture items that a few years ago would consistently fetch prices in the $5,000 range, now bring less than half that, and sometimes only bring hundreds. They say the trend raises many questions about the future of the business in general.
Some antiques owners say they wonder what will become of their own collections in years to come, if children are not interested in many of the items.
The experts say particularly valuable items, including furniture, will always find buyers. But they acknowledge that the indutry faces a significant challenge to educate younger potential buyers of the long term values of antiques.
The publication Maine Antiques Digest is trying to counter the trend. The Digest has a regular column for young collectors.
Other antiques media producers are also trying to highlight younger collectors and dealers on Facebook: