7 Places to Find Antique Pieces

Antique ClocksAntique collecting is a passion that you can turn into profit. That is, if you know how to play your cards right.

More than being a hobby, collecting antiques can provide a financial hedge for economic downturns or unforeseen events that warrants a need for extra cash. While they are unconventional financial or risk management tools, selling your antiques or rare valuable pieces can give you the financial boost you need.

But selling antiques is not just simply gathering old items, setting them up in your yard, and expecting thousands of dollars to trickle in. It entails a process, and part of that is having the right pieces in your collection. You can do that by filling your antique trove with valuable pieces. To help you begin your search, here’s a list of seven places you can go to in order to find high-value antiques at reasonable prices.

1. Auctions

An auction is a good place to find rare pieces that you can resell later on. While there’s a lot of competition going on at auctions, there’s no need to be intimidated. There are ways on how you can snag valuable pieces in auctions without going over your budget.

If you can, try to go during viewing sessions that are typically scheduled a few days before the auction. If not, be there early so that you can inspect items ahead of time and take note of lots you would want to bid on. Make your mind up on how much you’re willing to pay for an item or lot. This helps you avoid being tangled in auction fever—or the pressure of bidding way beyond what you initially plan to spend.

To stay updated with auction schedules in your area, check your local newspaper or use online services.

2. Estate Sales

Estate sales are conducted in order to liquidate the assets of a family or estate. A wide range of items is sold during estate sales—from  clothing, appliances, household items to artworks, jewelry, antiques, cars, and even boats.

In a way, an estate sale is similar to a garage or yard sale, but it is conducted in a more formal manner. In fact, most estate sales are done with the help of professionals such as an auctioneer or professional estate agent. They help with organizing the event and assessing the value of the items and are paid based on the total earnings of the sale.

Typically, estate sales follow a first come first served basis, which means that the person who arrives first will get to look at the items first. Meanwhile others use a number system.

If you’re purchasing small pieces, you can take them with you upon checkout, while big items will be marked as sold and delivered to you. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to pay for the price on the tag, you can try to bargain and place your bid on the item. However, you will lose your claim over it when another buyer places a higher offer.

3. Garage Sales

Garage sales are usually done in order to let go of used items and earn extra. While it can be challenging to find antique pieces in garage sales, it’s not impossible to find a valuable item in such events. Who knows? Maybe there’s rare antique or a unique piece of vintage jewelry that’s lying in those racks or boxes.

Be on the lookout for garage sales in your community. Just pop in there and see what you can find. Sometimes, the valuable items are found in the most unlikely settings.

4. Flea Markets

Flea markets are a form of bazaar where vendors rent space in order to sell merchandise. Most flea markets today are filled with imported and new items, but there are still antiques and collectibles being sold in this type of setting.

Just like garage sales, flea markets can be a hit or miss, but they are worth checking out. Taking time to shop around will not just help you spot good antique pieces, but can also be a fun activity.

5. Antique Shops

Just like garage sales and flea markets, shopping at antique stores require perseverance.

Just because it says “antique store” on the signage doesn’t necessarily mean that you will only find rare items and vintage pieces in there. Some stores are mostly filled up of garage sale items that are not necessarily antiques. Since that is the case, it may take a lot of work going through the different items displayed. However, it’s still worth giving a shot because there’s still a huge chance that you’re going to find rare and genuine pieces at reasonable prices in there.

If you want to make the most out of a trip to an antique shop, walk along every aisle. Afterwards, turn around and walk the opposite direction. This gives you a new perspective on the items and helps you spot something that you may have missed the first time you passed by.

6. Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are places where you can buy all sorts of items, including collectibles and antiques. It may take a lot of time looking at the items that are for sale, but it’s very likely that you will find a rare or valuable piece in there.

If you have a local thrift store, it’s advisable to befriend the owner and leave your card with them. This way, they can easily update you on new items that might interest you. Likewise, it also pays to know when items are delivered to the store and to visit on those days so that you can get first dibs on new pieces.

7. Online Stores

Thanks to the advent of the Internet, you can now purchase antiques more conveniently through online sellers. While it is less taxing than going to auctions and actual stores, buying online requires extra caution and due diligence.

If you decide to buy antiques online, always opt for meet-ups. Don’t provide any crucial information online and clarify important details about the items and terms of the sale. Investigate and see if the dealer or seller is legitimate.

Regardless of where you want to buy an antique, the only way that you can get the best pieces is through having a keen eye, which is a skill you develop overtime through studying antiques, reading up about rare pieces, and understanding how antiques are valued. When you know the ins and outs of the field of collectibles, you will be able to appreciate the beauty and quality of a piece and know which ones are worthy of your money.


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