Several possible reasons could make you find yourself in the world of antique buying. Antiques come in the form of various items ranging from clocks to oriental rugs and poison rings, which portrays their almost endless uses.
You could desire to start a collection, or you might require a unique item to complete that decoration, or you could just be trying to enter into the vintage reselling business.
For whatever reasons you might be trying to buy antiques, it is something you definitely do not want to just dabble into. Regret buys are not uncommon among antique buyers;
Therefore, one cannot overstate the need to be cautious. We have put together some tips that could be instrumental in ensuring you make as few mistakes as possible in this new endeavor of yours.
LEARN THE BASICS
You are probably reading this article because you really are not familiar with the process of purchasing antiques. In further recognition of your knowledge’s inadequacy, you must carry out additional research to get acquainted with the antique-buying terrain.
First, understand what an antique is. Yes, you might have some idea of what antiques are, everyone who knows the word probably does. However, to adequately equip yourself in antique-buying, you certainly must be armed with more than this general knowledge. You will need to understand the specifics that characterize antiques, their various categories, and how it all relates to your purpose for purchasing them. Furthermore, you should be able to understand and distinguish various terms and the items they apply to such as true antique, near antique, vintage, collectibles, and so on.
UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES ANTIQUES VALUABLE
You also have to learn about how the age, rarity, quality, and historical significance of an item come into play in determining its value. The primary source of value may differ depending on the kind of item, so in cases where you are looking to purchase a specific antique, try to find out what gives the most value to that class of items. For instance, the value of a particular antique poison ring might be attributed mainly to its historical significance. In contrast, another antique piece, such as an oriental rug, derives its value from its quality. Having this kind of knowledge would come in handy when you finally get down to purchasing antiques. It helps guide your negotiation for an item. It also ensures that you can ask the right questions when necessary.
EXAMINE AGE AND AUTHENTICITY OF ITEM
As a beginner, one of the last things you desire to happen to you is purchasing a fake antique or purchasing an item of quality other than what was represented to you. The only realistic way of guarding against this is to get your hands dirty in examining and reexamining items.
One of the qualities you seek to ascertain when examining a supposed antique is its age. The age of an item lies at the heart of what makes it an antique. Hence, it is essential to be able to examine this. To effectively review an item and determine if it is in the right timeframe, you must know enough about certain factors such as modern production signs, signs of repair, the condition of aged materials like wood, fabric, and so on. You should research the various authenticity marks of the kind of antique you are considering, such as artist signatures, signs that characterize the era of production, and so on. For instance, to check for the authenticity of an oriental rug, you would look for signs of it being handwoven rather than machine-made. Knowing these right signs would sharpen your guts in determining if a product is as old and authentic as you are being led to believe or if it is altogether a mere imitation.
CHECK CONDITION OF ITEM
If age and authenticity turn out not to be a problem, another thing to check for is the condition of the item. Is it in mint, good or excellent condition? If it requires repairs, how expensive are those repairs, and what impact would they have on the overall value of the item? These are questions that should be on your mind when inspecting items. Check meticulously for damages such as cracks, chipped paint, and holes. Even the smallest damage might have a significant effect on the value of an item. So ensure that you take your time to carry out a thorough inspection. It might be advisable to come prepared with your own magnifier or any other such needed tool.
UNDERSTAND THE VARIOUS BUYING MEDIUMS
There are various ways you can begin purchasing antiques. It could be through auctions, flea markets, local stores, online markets, antique dealers, or even through car boots sales. Before choosing your preferred medium(s), make sure you are aware of the limitations and the best buying practices specific to each medium. For instance, buying online gives you a limited opportunity to inspect the condition of antiques physically. You don’t get to haggle at auctions and might end up overvaluing. A particular medium might also be more prone to fake items than others.
Therefore, before you start purchasing through a medium, understand its characteristics and risks. This way, you can fashion out measures to offset those risks. For instance, when buying a poison ring online, you should know that you will have to resort to extensive research about that particular poison ring to compensate for lack of physical examination.
DO THE NECESSARY RESEARCH AND CONSULT EXPERTS
Finally, before you bid for a particular antique, there are things you should consider, such as the possible future value of the item, the rarity of the article, and current trends in the world of antiques. Gathering the necessary information about these factors would guide how much you should be willing to pay for the antique in question. If you are in doubt, especially when the concerned item is going to cost a lot, do not hesitate to consult professionals who can appraise it. Good luck!