a field guide for antiquing amateurs.

There’s no question that hunting for antiques can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a little intimidating if you’re not accustomed to doing it. A few tips for the newbies …

You’ll do best if you go in with a plan – what kinds of things do you want and how much do you have to spend? You can always deviate from your plan, but it helps to hold up an impulse purchase against your original intent to make sure that item deserves a place in your life.

Listening is a really important part of a successful hunt. Dealers are a wealth of information and most are bursting at the seams to share, not just because it helps sales but because they are truly passionate about their stuff. After all, they’ve chosen to do this for a living!

It goes without saying, but be polite. There’s nothing wrong with inquiring about the best price or asking the dealer how much room she has to negotiate, but it’s just downright rude to low ball or disparage items in hopes of decreasing the price. Many dealers are friends, and it’s fair to assume that word of yucky behavior travels booth to booth. You just might find yourself without many friendly faces (or deals) if you take the wrong tone.

Your phone is your best friend! Snap pictures of things you might want to go back to see at a later time. Also use the camera to record sales information when you do make a purchase. Just think how handy it will be later to have a picture of your item with the receipt. It can save you a lot of paper chasing. And if you’re in doubt about the value of an item and fair market value, well the whole world wide web is waiting right there in your hand! Cross reference a few sources in order to make a fair offer on an item you just adore.

Last but not least, have FUN. Whether you’re shopping for work or pleasure, take time to eat, drink and be merry!

Cheers! YBP // Elizabeth