With popular TV programs like Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, and even Pawn Stars, there is a renewed interest in all things vintage. Whether you’re searching through your own clutter for hidden treasures or spending afternoons out and about on your quest, you’re definitely part of a growing movement. If you’d like to take part in this fun pastime or turn antiquing into a full-blown hobby, here are a few tips to get you started.
Pick the Best Place to Find Your Treasures
To find the best items, it’s important to know the right places to shop. If you’re incredibly wealthy, this is easy–simply hit a high-end auction, a fancy estate sale, or the hot antique shop in your area. For the rest of us, here are a few places where you might find a high quality antique that’s being sold at a bargain rate:
- Yard and Garage Sales
- Flea Markets
- Church Fundraisers
- Swap Meets
- Thrift Stores
- Antique Fairs
- Antiques on eBay
Determine the Best Time to Make Your Purchase
To get the best deal or the largest selection, timing is everything. Here are a few tips based on venue or shopping strategy:
For yard sales, flea markets, and other sales that are only held on certain days, get there early for the widest selection and stay late for the best bargains.
If you’re shopping at a dealer, try to time your trip for slow periods to make the most of your haggling skills. This could be near the end of the month, at tax time, at the beginning of the school year, or at any other time when other shoppers are low on funds.
When you have your heart set on a specific item but can’t afford the high price, keep your eye on it. If it sits there long enough, most merchants are willing to cut a deal to move their inventory.
Be Prepared to Buy
When shopping for antiques, you need more than a good eye and a wad of cash. To be prepared to bring home whatever you might find on your antiquing adventures, keep these items handy:
Packing supplies including padding material, boxes, and tape
For larger items, ropes, bungee cords, or tarps will be needed to secure your load and protect it from the elements.
If you’re covering a large sale on foot, bring along a wagon or cart to make it easy to carry everything back to the car.
Antiquing can be hard, dirty work. Bring along snacks, drinks, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and rain ponchos.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be wheeling and dealing with the best of them. When will you venture into the exciting world of antiquing?