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It’s a hobby that can make the average trip to the thrift store a lot more interesting and can also earn you a pretty penny if you get good at it.
Antiquing is a hobby that involves collecting items that are marked as being over 100 years old and also involves being able to accurately identify such items, as well as having the ability to care for the items as needed and, of course, to haggle with the person selling them.
It can seem like something that seems impossible to get good at, but every collector has to start somewhere, and here, you will be guided through the top tips for beginners in the world of collecting antiques.
1. Be Open To Find
Do you want to get your hands on a Thomas Chippendale piece? Or are you excited about being able to identify and nab a piece of Wedgwood porcelain? Well, the reality is that on your first few trips around thrift stores and markets, you won’t be likely to find any of those! Even if you buy antiques online, you may not be able to find exactly what you want, so you need to have a wide range of potential items that you would be happy to go home with. Give it time: you will likely get some items that you like in the process!
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Imperfections
Suppose you strike it lucky and find a genuine Wedgwood collectible plate- you shouldn’t discard it if it has a minor chip or a stain. These can be repaired by a professional restorer and, in the grand scheme of things, are to be expected with antiques. Remember, these weren’t always old items, and people were as careless with them when they were new as you are with that cup in your kitchen that you use to drink coffee.
3. Find A Reputable Store or Dealer
If you live in the UK, you will have likely heard of Only Fools and Horses and the infamous character Del Boy Trotter, who would paint every item he got his hands on as an antique. The world is full of people like him, so when you are looking for someone reliable to buy antiques from, look online and ask around the online antiquing community. Some genuine antique stores and dealers are out there, so be sure to work with them. They may even also be restorers!
4. Look At Prices
This is where the skill of haggling comes in as, in the antique world, there may come a time when you find someone who is looking to overcharge you for an item. Try to do your own research into brands, items, etc., and get a flavor for prices. Again, a reputable dealer will likely be more honest, but there are also online guides to help you.
5. Don’t Rush
Never, ever rush a purchase if you can. OK, if you have found exactly what you were looking for, it’s easy to get excited and pull out the credit card, but make sure that the item is genuine, that it is in good condition, and that any imperfections can be repaired without excess cost. Then, you can put in your PIN and add the item to your collection!