If you are thinking of going antiquing this week, you’ve come to the right place. Though, if you know enough of it to make a weekend of antiquing, you know where to begin. But for the uninitiated, here is where you begin, be glad!
Let me start by giving you a dictionary meaning of the word and let’s take it from there. The Oxford dictionary says that an antique is a collectable item of high value because of its age and quality. Well, that is what an antique essentially is. But if you talk to someone who actually collects them, they will tell you it is much more than just that. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I can tell you that there is a lot more to it; the anticipation when you know that you are going to see a new antique (an oxymoron, I know, but you know what I mean), learning the wonderful history behind it and finally that overwhelming joy when it is in your possession. It’s definitely more than just picking up a collectable with a high value due to its age and quality.
You are not here reading this post to hear me extol upon the joys of antiquing though. Getting back to the point, here are tips from some of the experts on antiques that we know who will help you get started on this wonderful new journey of antiques.
Tip 1: Start with the research. ALWAYS DO THE RESEARCH RIGHT. If you know you are going antiquing, make sure you know what you want and focus on that. Let’s say you want something that belongs to the Elizabethan era, know enough about it so you are not conned into buying something that is not from it. But also know that just because you like something from a certain era, you need to make sure you remember what you can. You can’t afford and then set your eye on something. Once you know what you want, it is easier to go looking for it.
Tip 2: DON’T BE LATE. Should you decide that you are going to the antique market or flea market this week, make sure you go there on time. The best stuff is there in the morning and the earlier you go, the quicker you get to the bargains. Isn’t that the whole plan here? The more the things you see, the more you end up with.
Tip 3: TALK TO YOUR LOCAL EXPERTS. While you may think that the internet, the all magical solution to all your problems will know everything about antiques, it will definitely help if you talk to some of the local experts on the subject. One of the biggest advantages of going to a local expert is that they will know about trustworthy dealers and the like, helping you network and understand the world of antiques as well. Most importantly, if you are on good terms with this expert you decide to talk to, he might even let you know when he spots one you want. Neat idea, right?
Tip 4: HAGGLE. It would be quite counterproductive for you and your wallet if you walked into an antique store and bought the first interesting thing that you set your eyes on at the price that is on the object. In most places, the price that is on the item being sold leaves a little room to haggle. Be nice to yourself and ensure that you get what you need at a good price. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price.
Tip 5: LEARN THE LINGO. If you are in an antique store and you like something, make sure you are listening properly to what the dealer is saying to you. Understand how something is made, know the history and let the seller do some of the talking before you start talking/haggling. Know your stuff but let them talk. It makes a great idea for a better deal when bargaining.
Tip 6: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT, USEFUL OR PRETTY. If you have decided that you are out to pick up something you want to display around the house as a pretty but useless thing, make sure that it is not chipped or broken or damaged before you buy it. And should you decide that you are out to get something that you are going to use on a regular basis, ensure that the object is not flawed and is fully functional before you purchase it. Take it for a test spin if the dealer allows it, and only when you are fully convinced that it is in the best condition it could be, make the deal.
Tip 7: KNOW THYSELF. Most important of all rules when you go antiquing anywhere is know what your budget is and make sure that you stick to it. It is not a good idea for anyone involved, especially you, if you exceed the budget you have set for yourself.
Once you get the basic rules pat down, antiquing can be as fun as you make it. To quote J R R Tolkien, “All that is gold does not glitter.” Be careful with what you pick up.