- Do your research
The internet can tell us many things, but don’t rely on it alone. Get some books on the subject and read up on anything that interests you. Do this before heading out to buy antiques and this will help you to decide on a style that you like and that you can afford.
- Tackle one subject at a time
Do your research but don’t overdo it. Learning about different movements and styles is great, but it’s easier to stick to one at a time.
- Be aware of seller codes
You’ll discover that some dealers don’t price items but use a code instead. When you show an interest, the assistant looks up the code and sees the price the dealer paid for an item but in code, so you can’t see what that figure was. It is a suspicion that the price is open to interpretation by the store depending on who you are.
- Go left
Did you know that when people enter an antiques fair, everyone turns right? Buck the trend and make a conscious effort to turn left. That way, you’ll beat the crowds to the bargains first.
- Visit respectable dealers
Events run by organisations like the British Antique Dealers Association or the London and Provincial Antique Dealers will guarantee that the antiques are exactly what they claim to be. You are protected as a consumer.
- Be patient
Don’t feel too downhearted if you visit an antique fair or store and are unable to negotiate a lower price with the dealer. Bide your time and return just before the end of the day. If the item is still available, they might be more inclined to accept your offer rather than keeping hold of it.
- Visit a Reclamation Yard
Remember that reclamation yards can offer excellent items at real value for money. You are not restricted to fairs and specialist shops. For a Reclamation Yard Ireland, visit www.wilsonsyard.com
- Choose quality
Always save yourself for the piece that offers the best quality if you want a better investment. There are plenty of antiques out there of a lesser quality, but you should always aim to wait and find the piece that is the very best example of its era or style.
- A tip for buying chairs
Dealers prefer to sell chairs in full sets of four or six which of course are far more expensive for being supplied with the whole set. A chair on its own will sell for much less. If you’re seeking a certain set of chairs, carry a photo or picture with you for reference and try to pick up the collection chair by chair.