5 Places to Shop When Looking for Antiques

If you love a particular style of furniture, depression glass, or old salt and pepper shakers, this is a good time to be hunting. The movement toward minimalism has many older citizens with collections they want to pass on but no relatives interested in taking on these possessions. Additionally, many people are looking to raise cash. Buy with care, but shop with abandon!
1) Antique Shops
Antiques shop
Visit antique shops that allow smaller collectors to set up a booth. If you find a booth that contains the items you’re looking for, make a small purchase, and get to know the proprietor.
For example, if you really want a full set of Wedgewood dishes, make a connection with someone who sells these sets. They may know of a source for you to complete your collection, or help you to get a few more dinner plates. In the world of small antiques, it’s all about relationships.
2) Flea Markets
If your region offers a large flea market, you may find treasures here. However, you will need to do your homework and prepare properly. Know what you’re looking for and what the indications or markings are on these items. If you want dinnerware of a particular vintage, keep a photo of the maker’s mark on your phone so you can compare. Avoid the front row of vendors. Antiques are more likely to be found in back corners, or in the booth that contains what looks like junk. Be a treasure hunter, and don’t be afraid to put on gloves to dig around on a shelf or in a box.
3) Garage or Moving Sales
Find out when group garage sale days are in local neighborhoods. Moving sales in condo neighborhoods can often provide you with many treasures. Older folks love condos for the ease of living, and when they decide to downsize you may find treasures that they just don’t have room for anymore. Start early and carry packing materials, especially old blankets and towels in which to wrap your treasure. Come with cash in small bills and bring change. If you’re looking for larger items, try to shop with a larger vehicle and a hearty friend who can lift. If you’re borrowing a vehicle for your shopping adventure, bring flattened cardboard boxes to lay down on a bare metal floor to avoid damaging your find and the vehicle.
4) Estate Sales
The rules for moving sales and estate sales are similar, but you’ll need more cash. Also, be aware that the professionals who put together estate sales are a resource that you should cultivate. Ask lots of questions and don’t leave without giving them your contact information.
Over time, if there are collectibles that you are specifically focused on, you can put in a lot of hours searching for the next treasure. Of course, if you love this style of hunting/shopping, you can enjoy the buyer’s rush even when you don’t purchase anything. However, if you’re not a disciplined collector and find yourself drowning in stuff you never planned to collect, a contact in the estate sale business can be very useful. You should expect to pay a premium for these finds; you need to pay the original owner and the estate sale professional will also get a cut. However, if you’re really focused on getting a full dinner set, for example, estate sales are the place to shop.
5) Online
If you have the perfect spot for just the right item, dig into social media, and check blog posts by those who collect, sell, and repair antiques. From cuckoo clocks to cookware, you can find folks who collect almost anything, and these collectors may be looking to swap or sell. Stay flexible when looking online. You may find deals that look better than what you can find from a broker or a store owner, but scams abound. Avoid shipping antiques whenever possible; freight damage could leave both you and the seller very unhappy. Meet in person whenever possible and know what to look for on the piece you hope to buy. Look for tags and other indications of age and authenticity. There is great joy in owning and using antique products. Additionally, many furniture pieces from days gone by are in better shape and ideally sized for apartments and other smaller homes. Buy with care, know your source as much as possible, and enjoy your treasures.

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