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List: Posted: 05/03/11
Are you an antiques collector or looking to shop for someone in your life who is? If so, knowing what not to buy is as essential as knowing what to buy. We all want to ensure that we are getting a good deal for our money, but unless you are an antiques expert, it can be nerve-wracking work knowing you're always taking a chance at the antiques store! Here are some tips to help you shop for antiques without getting ripped off.
For starters, know that quality is everything. No matter how old an item is, it should still be in good shape. If it is a jewelry box, it should still open and have all of the hinges. If it is a plate or glass, it should be free of chips and cracks. Paint shouldn’t be scratched, and the item should still be functional. Quality is always the biggest factor when pricing antiques. If an item is damaged it will need to be restored before it is worth anything, and a professional restoration experts services can run to thousands of dollars depending on the type and age of the item.
Price is another factor to take into consideration, but that can be a little tricky. Unless you know exactly what things are worth on the resale market, it can be easy to get taken advantage of. One thing that you absolutely must know is that age doesn’t always equal value. Even if an item is a hundred years old, if it was mass produced, it is not as likely to hold great value. Collectors treasure rarity, so if the item is obviously handmade or limited edition, you'll be able to get more for it if you later decide to resell it.
Another thing to consider is brand. When it comes to mass produced items, you will usually have far less success with branded items than unique hand crafted items. With that said, however, some brands are certainly popular with die-hard collectors. Coca Cola antiques such as old coolers, dispensers and displays can often fetch a small fortune.
Ultimately, the best tip anyone can follow is to learn as much as possible and to always do their homework when buying antiques. And remember the old collectors' motto - "If you're unsure, just leave it in the store!"
Antiques & Furniture Restoration, Inc. was founded in 1991 in New York City. In 1996, we moved our service to Sterling, Virginia. We are a full service ant
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