One of the downsides to antiquing is that it's far too easy to overspend on items that turn out to be not as valuable as you had hoped. A little know-how can help you avoid the worst mistakes beginning antique collectors make. These 5 smart antiquing tips will help you get the best value from your secondary market purchases at antique malls, flea markets, collectibles shows and estate sales.
Dare to Haggle, but Make Your Final Offers Realistic
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Most dealers make allowances for bargaining room when they price their merchandise. With diplomatic haggling, you're likely to be able to acquire a collectible piece for less than its posted price. The trick is to do your negotiating in a manner that is fair to the dealer and offers you both an attractive deal.
Early Arrivals Pay Off
If you're heading out to a flea market, antique fair or estate sale, arriving early is a good strategy for finding the best deals. The earlier you go, the wider the selection of merchandise you'll have to choose from. You want to avoid letting other collectors beat you to buying the best pieces.
Making Return Visits Can Pay Off Too
Once you've arrived at the flea market or antique fair, staying late can be another worthwhile strategy. Towards closing time in the business day, make follow-up stops to see if any vendors want to make last-minute deals on items that didn't sell. This works best for large pieces. Some dealers prefer to sell an item cheap rather than truck it home.
Educate Yourself about the Characteristics That Distinguish Quality Pieces from Junk
There's a lot of junk available for sale out there, and quite a bit of it is masquerading as “collectible.” If you're shopping for furniture, learn how to recognize exceptional joinery. If pottery interests you, educate yourself about how to discern details that detract from its value like crazing and other imperfections.
Beware of Reproductions and Fakes
Valuable antiques are often counterfeited. There are significant numbers of reproductions to look out for in the pottery and furniture niches. It's worth making a trip to the library to grab a few guidebooks before venturing out to the antique malls with cash in hand.
Antiquing at a shop like Crissy Galleries can be a profitable and fun hobby, but only if it is done wisely. If you apply these suggestions routinely, you'll be further ahead in your pursuits of fantastic bargains on collectibles, antiques, and secondary market purchases.