McCulloughs love wheelin’ and dealin’

There’s another new business in Kipling - Bob’s Antiques, Collectibles and Used, owned by Bob and Carol McCullough. Walking through the front door at 504 Main Street in Kipling, it’s apparent immediately that it’s an antique store – old signs on the walls, a wall full of licence plates, oil lamps, records and lots of treasures hidden in every corner of the building. He even has a couple of the big oval Esso signs but it has to go to the right buyer who has the space for it.

This is McCullough’s 22nd year in the business of selling antiques. He purchased an old church in Sintaluta, where he currently resides, and filled the 1,800-square-foot space wall to wall with antiques. The location is great for bringing in highway traffic. For 20 years business was good but two years ago there was hardly anyone stopping in looking for antiques. This location is an online business where they take consignments.

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“The older people got it all and like to stop in and reminisce and a lot of the younger people don’t seem to care about antiques,” says McCullough, who hopes that will all change.

“The collectors out there are looking for specific items,” explains McCullough.

“Someone came in looking for a licence plate, 1989, maybe it was for a birthday,” says McCullough. “Well I got ‘em.”

He goes on to explain “Whereas collectors want 1912 plates. Records use to sell…now they don’t as much. That’ll come back…they’re called vinyl now!”

“I got into antiquing because I had a friend in the antique business and I started dabbling in it a bit,” explains McCullough. “I bought a church in Sintaluta and started out with the little bit of stuff I had and people started coming in off the highway.

“People would come off the highway with truckloads of antiques and drop them off with me. As years went by, garage sales to auction sales to what people wanted I’d go find. I have a lot of friends who I call pickers who buy for me. They’ll call me up and ask ‘do you want me to buy this or that’.”

McCullough will consider taking some items on consignment. The price of certain antiques isn’t quite like it was 20 years ago.

Certain items still seem to hold their value such as signs and oil products. Glassware is way down.

“I went to auctions and paid $35 for it (glassware) and back then it may have been worth $65 to $70. Now I can’t get $15 to $20. In fact it’s still sitting on my shelves. People say there is a cycle but we’ll have wait it out to see.” McCullough has a connection to this area from years ago. His family moved off the farm in Bemersyde when he was 10 years old. His dad was a grain buyer there. He And then attended school in Peebles in Grade 7. From there the family moved to Heward when his father was transferred to the elevator there and Bob spent his high school years in Stoughton.

In early adulthood McCullough helped out at the Glenavon elevator for three years.

 McCullough spent many of his earlier years as a truck driver, hauling all across Canada and the United States.

“I had a bad accident in 1996 so I then bought another truck and grain trailer and made short hauls from Indian Head to Regina for five years. Every time I was in a farmyard with a load of lentils or peas or whatever, I would tell the farmer that I’m also in the antique business,” says McCullough. “So that’s another reason how I grew my antique business. The next time I’d come back and there would be a pile in the middle of the yard. Every farmyard I would go into would have something. There would be old tobacco cans full of nails. A drip can that sat there that might have been worth $125. That was fun because I would ask if I could look around while loading up.”

You could say McCullough was just like a kid in a candy store!

Other than attending many, many antiques shows, he also operated a food truck for five years at the Red Barn, rodeos and auctions. Somewhere during his lifetime he also spent 10 years in the Yukon. So he can honestly say “I’ve been everywhere man.”

“Selling antiques is tougher than it used to be so we have to diversify. We try to find what you’re looking for. You might want a typewriter, a fridge or a candy floss machine…I’ve got it. It’s not just antiques that we have.”

McCullough says the most sought-after antique items are the signs, license plates and oil stuff although the latter has taken a bit of a drop. Tobacco cans at one time were good but not so much now. At one time salt and pepper shakers were quite the collectibles but can’t seem to sell a set anymore and he has 400 sets.

The latest craze for the younger generation is purchasing the old furniture and redoing it. That’s why the store in Kipling will be selling Fusion Mineral Paint, a paint needed for old furniture. McCullough has old 1930’s cabinets where this would be used.

McCullough says he sees himself being in the antique business for a few years yet!

“I’ve never been the type of guy to slow down and do nothing!” says McCullough “I used to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. I’ve cut back the last couple of years so I get a chance to go ice fishing. That’s why we’re closed two days a week.”

“We’re quite happy we’re here,” comments both the McCulloughs.

So take a trip through Bob’s Antiques, Collectibles and Used and make him an offer. Bartering in an antique store is just part of the business. It’s been that way since Day 1.

“The wheeling and dealing part of it is fun!” says McCullough with a big smile.

“If I don’t have what you’re looking for … let me know!” 

© Copyright Carlyle Observer

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