Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tips for antique buying

If you’re just getting into the hobby of collecting antiques, you want to decorate or maybe find a hidden treasure to make a later profit, here are some tips for you:

Make a habit of it
Be sure to visit flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales often. Every weekend, especially at the end of each season, you’ll be able to find sidewalk and state sales. Thrift stores need to restock, so make sure you know when that happens so you get first dibs on new (old!) items.
Also, on these trips, it’s always good to be early, but it doesn’t hurt to go around one last time right before they close. Something that the seller might have priced high and did not sale can become a good bargain!

Know your stuff
Some things are particularly nice and obvious looking. However, you need to develop an eye for detail. You have to know what you’re looking for and a ballpark number of how much sellers are asking for.
Fine glass has a distinct feel to it, learn how to determine if it is in fact crystal or just regular glass. Ceramics will often have hand painting on them, the more detailed, the more valuable. Clothing and textiles will have great craftsmanship in the stitching.
Make your own categories and locate the piece into good, great, excellent in your scale.
Keep a notebook with your own references and information about the items you are looking for. You can’t remember every detail of what you’re supposed to look for and this will help when you are facing an item and don’t know for sure if it is a bargain.
Also, if you can’t use your phone to access the internet to look for how much other people are selling similar items for, call a friend and have him take a look while you still hold the piece, so the seller doesn’t give it away to someone else. You can always put it back.

On the site
Be careful with “stalkers”. You may encounter people that realize that you know your stuff and follow you around to see if you put down something you picked up. They may see it’s valuable and take advantage of your doubt to get the piece.
Be aware of reproductions, they are all around, and the seller (especially in a garage, sidewalk or estate sale) may not even know that it is. They will with no harm tell you that the item belonged to their grandparents and it may well be true. However, they don’t know for sure where the item came from in the first place.

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