Is antiquing a hobby?
For some collectors, antiquing is a serious hobby. They know which shops to visit, how much something is really worth, and how to bargain. For amateurs, the process can be very intimidating. Here are some things to look for when you are collecting, whether you are a seasoned antiquer or a beginner.
Pay attention to condition
In the ever-changing world of online buying and selling buyers are finding that they don’t have to settle for cracks or chips anymore because they can find a piece without damage easier than ever.
Nostalgia drives most of our buying
Look for items that represent a period in history when they were actually first used and avoid later reproductions.
Fakes can be very hard to differentiate from the real thing
Ask questions like “why is this particular element done this way?” “Why did the craftsman do X?” “Why isn’t this part consistent with that?” Don’t try to rush to the answers of these questions, just listen to the explanations and make your own judgment. If you have to ask the questions, you probably already know the answer, it’s fake!
Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it
Many dealers and estate sales professionals price items to what they know their buyers will pay and it is often times very subjective. The online world allows us to see how items are priced around the world, which is how many items are priced today.
When is it appropriate to bargain?
There is probably a no more appropriate place to bargain than an antique shop. Many items in shops and estate sales are priced with the bargain shopper in mind.
Buy what you love, use what you buy, and enjoy your hobby
Remember that the joy of collecting is in the act of collecting. The thrill of the hunt and the memories of the chase all contribute to great experiences when building a collection.
If you want to buy and sell
Do your research and attend local auctions, estate sales, and antique stores. Find out how you can add value to the community or items that you will be offering. Educate yourself, get involved with the community and do what you love!
Focus on the difference between collecting and accumulating
An accumulation of books means that you like to read so put them on a shelf; a collection of books means that you took pride in every purchase and that you sought out specific editions and autographed copies in perfect condition. Don’t just accumulate items, collect them. Seek out the best example in a category and fill your collection with great examples of great things.
Antiquing is a fun hobby for many and a serious business for others. No matter what part of the spectrum you fall on when it comes to antiques, do it because it makes you happy. The nostalgia of the past and the thrill of the hunt are what makes searching for antiques worth the while.