Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Yellow Shed Antiques, Mahopac

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Mark and Patti Liff stand inside their shop Yellow Shed Antiques. DAVID PROPPER PHOTO
Mark and Patti Liff stand inside their shop Yellow Shed Antiques.

When Mark Liff was still in college in Brooklyn, he realized buying and selling antiques and other collectibles could result in turning a small profit. It was the mid-1970s and if he ultimately earned a four or $5 dollar profit, it was a good deal.

While it seems like only a small sum of money compared to today’s standards, it proved to be a worthwhile venture so Liff never stopped, even after completing his college degree some decades ago. He and his wife, Patti, who are Mahopac residents, own Yellow Shed Antiques, buying and selling with a community that knows it can trust the two for fair prices.

“A (bachelor’s degree) in psychology can get you into the antique business,” Mark said with a wry smile.

Located on Route 6, Yellow Shed Antiques offers to buy and sell a wide array of jewelry, paintings, clocks, classic antiques, coins and other collectibles. Fit inside a small storefront, customers can get lost in the quaint shop for hours looking through all the different items that aren’t necessarily seen anymore. This coming April could be 45 years for the family owned business.

Mark said the amount of antique stores has reduced the last ten years because of the Internet, but Yellow Shed has been able to reinvent itself and offer honesty and fairness when buying and selling.

Mark said most sellers go to several different outlets in search of the most generous bidder, so if his store doesn’t offer an equitable price, they aren’t going to get it.

“The idea is to be competitive and be honest in what you’re doing,” Mark said.

While Mark used to run the store solo, eventually Patti came on board.

Patti, who grew up in Yorktown, left her job in New York City and worked with Mark in order to be around their kids as they grew up, something 12-14 hour days in the Big Apple made difficult. The two actually met working at the same camp, formerly known as Granite Lake Day Camp, on Mahopac Avenue.

Items sold that surprise both Mark and Patti the most is when customers are willing to unload pieces of family history, noting many children or grandchildren just want to downsize and have a little bit less to store in their home. One time, a pair of children came into the store and sold an oil painting of themselves that their parents had done when they were younger.

The oldest items Yellow Shed Antiques have are little coins from Roman times, dating back to the years 337 AD to 361. But oddly the coins are only worth around ten bucks.

While not around as long as those Roman coins, Yellow Shed has been around since the Richard Nixon administration, but Mark enjoys his job so much, he said, “It feels like about, maybe, 12 (years.)”

Yellow Shed Antiques is located at 571 Route 6 in Mahopac behind Bad Mikeys. Its phone number is 845-628-0362.


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