Some insider tips for treasure hunting
February 24th, 2017
Shopping for antiques can be fun, interesting, and a learning experience, but it can also be overwhelming… especially in the big antique malls when there are aisles and aisles of items to look at and you want to be sure you’re getting a good deal for your item. Here are some tips on how to find good items at a great price:
1. Shopping a multi-vendor mall:
Glance at the booth. Is there a collection or specialty such as vintage dolls, iron work, or furniture? When a majority of the items are similar, look for the different item… the one that’s out of place. It usually has a lower price, because the vendor isn’t that interested in it!
2. Shopping estate sales and antique shows:
Going on the first day is important for finding rare and unusual pieces. However, the final day of a multi-day sale is also important, because the seller is more willing to part with items at a lower price.
3. Negotiating a lower price:
Don’t be afraid to negotiate a price you think is fair for the item. The worst thing that can happen is that the seller says no, or they come back with a price in the middle.
A majority of our customers ask for a deal and we don’t mind at all. We usually don’t have a standard percentage off (unless it’s a publicized sale). Our vendors are willing to work with the customers. Keep in mind that each incidence is different, depending on how long the merchandise has been in the shop.
4. Ask the owner/seller:
Whether shopping at a show, a store, or a tag sale, talk to the seller/owner. If you’re looking for a particular item, I encourage you to ask specific questions, such as “Do you have ___?” Sales can be cluttered and things can be hidden or tucked under other pieces. It’s surprising how much you miss by briskly shopping without asking, especially if you’re on the hunt for just vintage pie birds or other small items.