With the proliferation of television programmes on antiques higher than ever, such as the BBC’s Cash in the Attic, more people are attempting to go hunting for bargains. However, many would be bargain hunters are finding that it can be more difficult than it first appears. With that in mind, here are some top tips for antiques bargain hunting, whether you are looking for a piece to take pride of place in your living room, or just to turn a profit.
The most important step is finding where to look for antiques. However, this is not always as straightforward as it seems. The obvious place to start is at antique shops. A quick search online or through the local trade papers will normally turn up a number of such shops. While these stores come with the benefit of having a dealer who has already spent much time and effort tracking down a good inventory and generally knowledgeable staff, this expertise also means it is unlikely you will find a bargain at such a location. While it is a good idea to take advantage of such expertise for personal purchases, those looking for bargains to turn a profit are normally best served looking elsewhere.
Antique shows are much more likely to turn up profit making bargains, especially as there are typically dozens or even hundreds of sellers at such shows. Trade magazines, as well as online searches can often turn up many such shows in your area. Auctions too provide an opportunity for finding bargains. Finally, be sure to always check classified ads in your local paper as you might be surprised at what shows up.
Once you know where to look for antiques, it is necessary to have at least some knowledge about them and what you are looking for. While you do not have to be an expert, it is advisable to know the basics about styles, periods, woods and construction details. This can easily be learned online in a few hours and will pay dividends later on. Then once you start your real, practical antiques education begins. Another great place for beginners to learn about antiques is in antique stores, as their owners are generally very knowledgeable and more than willing to share their knowledge with those who are interested.