Antique Shopping Tips
Smart shopping tips for hitting the antique stores
If you are looking for a bargain or trying to redo your home using older pieces, antique stores are a great place to start. It is important, however, to learn how to identify what is an antique and understand when you are getting a deal or not on vintage pieces.
Shopping at antique stores is a great way to furnish your home in a vintage style but these stores can be confusing for first-time antique shoppers who aren’t sure what they should be looking for. Antiques can include everything from furniture to art, signs to home décor. You can use a few antiques as accents in a modern home or decorate entirely with pieces from an era gone by.
Here are some tips when purchasing antiques:
Know the language
Understanding the terms that antique dealers use will help you understand what you are looking at. By law, anything that is labeled as antique must be at least 100 years old. Vintage collectibles are at least 50 years old. Watch out for items tagged collectible, retro, reproduction or old-fashioned. They may not actually be old or authentic.
Pick a style
Identify what your own needs are when it comes to antiques. If you are trying to furnish an older home, for example, decide what style would best meet the needs of the architecture. If you are interested in collecting antiques for more décor than whole-house style, start researching collectibles that are small enough to display around the house.
Learn how to use a price guide before you actually start shopping. These guides can help you identify not only specific pieces but what price range they are selling for.
Ask the shop owner if they specialize in particular styles or types of antiques before you start exploring. Also, ask them if they belong to any dealer associations or are a certified appraiser. The more knowledge and education the seller has, the more likely items are priced appropriately.
Exam the piece you are interested in. Price guides are great for pricing but wear and tear can determine if that piece is actually worth the price they are asking. Look for normal wear and tear but also be aware of any damage that has occurred accidentally.
Talk to the shop owner
If you notice a flaw in something you are interested in, bring it to the owner’s attention. Not all sellers will lower a price but if they aren’t aware of a flaw, it should be brought to their attention. No need to argue if they won’t drop a price, simply move on. Also, if you suspect something may be a reproduction, ask the seller for a written guarantee of its age.
Not all antique dealers are willing to work with you about pricing, authenticity or condition of an item but legitimate ones will take the time to discuss any concerns you may have. At Antique Allure, we are confident in our items and will work with you to reach a conclusion you are happy with. We don’t want you to leave our antique store feeling uneasy or unhappy about anything.