HAMPTON FALLS — After decades of storing eclectic antiques at his Route 1 site in Hampton Falls, Jeremiah Pasternak is downsizing, selling his storage units and his unique cache of goodies at an online auction closing 8 p.m. Friday.
“There are 180 items listed, some I or my (late) father paid thousands for, that are going for as little as $1,” said Jeremiah Pasternak, owner of Pasternak Antiques. “I’ll always be in the business, but the market has changed so much in the last few years that I’ll be doing a lot less.”
Pasternak’s late father, Jerry, began the family business buying and selling antiques, vintage and collectible items in the 1970s in various Seacoast locations. His son, Jeremiah, grew up in the business, joining him in the search and sale of some amazing things. For years, a drive along Route 1 in Hampton Falls included passing Pasternak Antiques’ 97 Lafayette Road location.
Usually so packed with items they overflowed outside the storefront, the multiple units in the building were mainly used for storage, said Pasternak. However, people could drop in by appointment, or to pick up items Pasternak sold online.
Specializing in mid-century modern items that are now very much in fashion again, a person could be amused for hours just looking at some of the sports, toys, furniture, household and ketch merchandise the father-son team bought and sold.
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Pasternak Antiques: A Route 1 fixture since 2005
In Hampton Falls since about 2005, at one time Pasternak said he and his father owned five units in the building. But even before his dad’s death five years ago, Pasternak said they began noticing a change in the market. As of two years ago, Pasternak reduced the number of units he owned to three in Hampton Falls. Today he owns one and he’s selling that, too.
To a large degree, he attributes the reason for the change in the market to the high cost of commercial real estate and resulting high rents, as well as the lack of affordable merchandise for him to buy. Pasternak said especially since the pandemic struck, it’s been “very, very hard” for him to buy items for his business at a reasonable price for the resale market.
“During the pandemic, people started looking on the Internet and seeing these high prices for things,” he said. “So people started setting high prices for items. When I’d go on Facebook Market Place looking for merchandise to buy, I’d find a chair I might sell for $1,000, but people wanted $3,500 for it. That isn’t going to work for me.”
Pasternak said while he once needed 25,000 square feet of storage, over the years it dropped down to 1,500 square feet and now about 200 or so.
Two years ago, when a metal fabricator offered to buy one of his three Hampton Falls units, Pasternak said yes. And last year when a woodworker asked to buy the second unit, Pasternak sold it, too. And now that someone’s offered to buy his remaining Hampton Falls unit, Pasternak agreed again.
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Vintage, collectibles and more up for auction
At 39, Pasternak still loves the antique and collectible business, but he’s pulling the business into his home and garage. That means he won’t have much space for storage, and a lot has to go, and go now.
Pasternak’s goods are listed at AuctionNinja, an online auction site that closes Friday at 8 p.m. Pasternak said there will be another auction next week with toys and other merchandise, but this week’s one holds some special finds. Skimming through the 180 items listed will bring more than a smile.
Many a childhood dream is encased in some of the things for sale to the highest bidder. There’s an antique train station stand-up desk, vintage leather saddles, a Budweiser promotional baseball chair and even that baseball glove-shaped sofa. Looking for something smaller? No problem. How about a mid-century mushroom lamp, a scale model of a 1966 Batmobile, a jukebox cookie jar, or a 1960 Red Sox lunch box?
To browse, or buy, items for sale, visit https://bit.ly/3Ec2zt1.