Many people who love antiques dream of uncovering those pieces that sell for very little yet have a high demand and an even higher resale price. That's the joy of taking one person's trash and turning it into another person's treasure. In fact, finding antiques has actually become an art form in itself, and you can take advantage of several tips and tricks of the trade the next time you look for those hidden riches amid the junk pile.
Where to Shop
You can find antiques just about anywhere. In some cases, you may have too many shops and too little time. Go to places that interest you the most, such as flea markets, antique shows, salvage shops, estate sales or vintage stores. If you have a Saturday afternoon, shop by neighborhood and then move on to another neighborhood next weekend. In the era of online sales, seeing an actual item in person may offer the best way to shop.
Use the Internet to Your Advantage
The Internet contains a wealth of knowledge, and you can find out a lot of things about antiques. In terms of pricing, peruse eBay, Craigslist or Etsy to find relevant prices of a particular item. Finding a price lets you determine the supply and demand for a piece, but remember that an antique is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The Internet also lets you research the history behind a manufacturer, although searching the Web may not make it easy to work out if you have a keeper.
Find an Appraiser
An appraiser can help assign an object's value. Find a local expert on some artifact you have, or find an appraiser online who specializes in the type of object you have. Examine the appraiser's experience, resume and time in the business to figure out if this person knows what he is talking about when it comes to assigning a monetary value to a piece. Keep in mind appraisers often charge a fee, but they may take a quick look at something to tell you if it's junk or not.
Know When to Get an Appraiser
Never, ever sell your item to the same person who appraised it, as that creates an instant conflict of interest. An appraiser interested in buying your object naturally tells you a lower price than what it's really worth. If you simply cannot find an information online or you need an expert opinion as to an item's condition, that's when you need to get an appraisal.