July 28, 2017

If you have been to antiques or collectibles in Canada or beyond, you might have been disappointed by poor customer service, limited options on where to sell your valuable, and paltry choices on what to buy off their shelves.

To show you why Muzeum flips the standard collectibles market on its end, we spoke to Muzeum manager Max Smirnov, who you might remember from our Roadshow and frequent media appearances.

Below, find out how Muzeum exceeds expectations from both the seller and collector perspective:

Muzeum: For those who are just learning about Muzeum, how would you explain what Muzeum does?

Max Smirnov: Muzeum is a unique concept in that we allow regular folks who are interested in sell their antiques, collectibles, jewellery or family heirlooms to connect with collectors from around the world. 


Typically in the antique industry or precious metals industry sellers mainly deal with wholesalers or high-end auction houses and these are experts in fields who can take advantage of customers by buying items very low and selling them at a high resale price. That scenario isn't ideal for the average person who wants to get information or value from their items they want to sell.

At Muzeum, when someone wants to sell an item, we match them with one of the hundreds of collectors we have around the world.

The reason we formed Muzeum was to give people the chance to get the highest value possible for their items.

Muzeum: Can you elaborate a bit more on what makes Muzeum different from its competitors?

Max Smirnov: The main difference is that when you deal with a typical antique store or an expert in online antiques, you are dealing with just one person or firm. Their ability to give you information and a fair price is based on whatever they know or can afford. 

We have a vast collection of experts and collectors built over 10 years travelling across Canada, Europe and Asia. If you bring to us an item with little information attached to it, we work pour extensive network to get you the highest price possible, usually the best and highest price out of eight offers.

Muzem: What are the top items you are looking for from sellers who want to declutter around the home and make some money at the same time?

Max Smirnov: We welcome all items of interest to the seller, but the best deals we've made have come from our large collectibles database for coins, jewellery and also watches, sports and war memorabilia. While we have a big network available for items such as gold and other precious metals, we also welcome odd items too, like a vampire-killing kit. True story!

Muzeum: Wow! Speaking of, what are some unique items you've seen at Muzeum or on the road?

Max Smirnov: It was a dark part of our history, but what has caught my eye were uniforms worn by Holocaust survivors, in Auschwitz. We also were approached by someone looking to sell a personal photo album of Adolf Hitler photos, showing a different side of Hitler, such as him smiling or laughing or lounging on a couch.

I've also come across memorabilia such as 1000-year-old African currency fashioned like sculptures. We met a man who worked in Africa who worked with various tribes there and they gave him as a gift this figure they used as currency. 


Muzeum: The store is located in the heart of Yorkville in downtown Toronto. Why did you bring Muzeum to this area of Toronto? 

Max Smirnov: Yorkville has a rich and significant history where it began as a haven for musicians and hippies and then became what it is today. Yorkville has that perfect combination of what Toronto represents, from its beautiful architecture nestled beside bustling bars and music clubs. There is a mystique and history to Yorkville that goes hand-in-hand with our mission to showcase the very best antiques and collectibles from around the world.

Muzeum: What do you like about your job? What motivates you to get excited every day?

Max: What I love about Muzeum is that every day is different. I don't have repetitive weeks. Every day I see collectibles I've never seen before in my life. 

I also am thrilled to help families learn more about the history of an item they bring in to us, which helps them learn more about their own background. A simple pen inherited from a great-grandfather can open doors to learning about his history and other branches on that family's tree.

Muzeum: Let's say someone reading this post thinks, Hey, I have an item for Muzeum, and I want to learn more about its details and value! What should that person do next?

Max Smirnov: We always accept inquiries via email. It's easy, and free, to send us an email with photos of your items so we can offer a preliminary estimate. Anyone can email us at info@muzeum.ca and we'll reply within 24 hours.

Muzeum is located at 14 Prince Arthur Avenue near Museum Station on the TTC. For information about Muzeum, email info@muzeum.ca


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