Antique hunting can be fun and exciting. Spending a nice cool day digging through the local antique stores new stock, trying to fidn that piece you have been looking for. The feeling you get when you finally find that piece is like no other. I have put together a list of tips that will help you to become a better antique hunter.
1. Knowledge – I can not stress this enough. Doing your research and knowing what you are looking for is the most important thing when it comes to antiques. As any antique hunter knows you can not plan what you will find but if you have an idea and some knowledge then you have a better chance at protecting yourself from fakes, overpricing, damage and missed opportunities. This also goes hand in hand with number 2.
2. Focus on one area of antiques – Stick to one niche this way you can learn about that niche and have the knowledge to protect your self. When you try to take on too many types of antiques you can get overwhelmed. As the saying goes “Jack of all trades master of none”. I know that you can sometimes find a perfect deal and you just have to go with your gut on, this is ok from time to time.
3. Bring your tools – When I go antique hunting I usually take my appraiser kit with me. This is because every hunter needs their tools. Taking your tools with you can help you make good purchase decisions, this way you can examin and test the items before you make a purchase. Note do not do any test that may cause damage to the items while in the store, most antique stores have a you break it you buy it policy.
A few things your kit should include are:
- 10x Jewelers Loop
- Magnifying Glass
- Digital Camera
- Ruler/Measuring Tape
- Books on your niche
- Clean soft cloth to remove dust
- Paint brush to remove dust
- Notebook to make notes
- Pen or Pencil
4. Plan your route – Know where your going so you can make sure to hit all your favorite shops. Remember most antique stores have different trading hours then your normal stores they may open later or close earlier. Don’t overload and plan to visit too many stores so you have enough time to look around and enjoy yourself.
5. Learn to haggle – You can save money by just asking for a better price. Most items in an antique store or sale has haggle room in the price. Don’t be afride to ask for a better price.
6. Look for the odd one out – The odd items are usually the best bargains. Looking for items that do not belong for example: ceramics in a antique coin store. In these instances the dealer is more likely to make a good deal with you to get the item out of their shop.
7. Relationships – Having a good relationship with your local antique dealers and auction houses can result in being able to view the items before the open public (Auction house) and better prices (antique dealers).
If you have any useful tips on how to be a better antique hunter feel free to leave them below in the comments section.