ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Shop an Antique Market or Fair Like a Professional

Updated on March 2, 2015
Shopping for antiques can be a lot of fun
Shopping for antiques can be a lot of fun | Source

Introduction

Shopping for antiques can be a lot of fun. You can appreciate a sense of history and culture whilst seeing lots of beautiful items and you might even pick up a bargain. There is an art to antique shopping though, and we'll explore some of the things you can do to make your shopping trip worthwhile, whilst saving you a few pennies!

It can be very helpful to have a plan, ideas and techniques that you can use to get the items you need at a price you can afford. This article covers the various aspects of shopping for and purchasing antiques including preparing to go shopping, planning your trip, making an offer and getting what you want. We'll cover:

  • Preparing to go shopping
  • Having a plan to shop
  • Tips for when you're shopping
  • Tips for making an offer

Benefits of knowing how to shop for antiques

  • You'll find what you want more easily
  • You'll have more fun shopping
  • You'll be able to negotiate a better price on what you buy

Step 1 - Prepare to go shopping

Make sure that you are properly prepared for your shopping trip, this might include:

  • Dress properly for shopping - In the winter, outdoor antique fairs and even the interiors of large antique barns and warehouses can get very cold, so you'll want to take a coat, hat and gloves; in the summer, it can get very hot, so make sure you have protection from the sun; always make sure you wear comfortable shoes!
  • Know where you are going - Even with a GPS, it can be difficult to locate some out of town antique fairs, so make sure you get directions and take a map
  • If you're shopping for furniture, take measurements - If you're after antique furniture for a particular room, make sure that you have measurements so you don't buy a piece that's too big, and take a tape-measure with you
  • Take plenty of cash and a check book - When you negotiate on price, you'll be in a stronger position if you have cash or can provide a check
  • Take a notebook - You will probably want to write down prices, where you saw something and other notes, so take a pocket-sized notebook and pen
  • Take a camera or smartphone - You can take pictures of items that you like to make it easier to find them again and also to compare them with other items

To get the most out of your antique shopping, you might need to do some preparation
To get the most out of your antique shopping, you might need to do some preparation | Source

Have a plan to shop

In some of the larger antique places, it's easy to get overwhelmed by how much stuff there is, that's why it's vital that you have a plan to shop:

  • Have a clear idea of what you want to buy - Have a list with you of exactly what you're searching for; whether it's a great piece of furniture, unique art, the perfect ornament or something else, having a list you can stick to really helps
  • Plan to get there early - Antique fairs in particular, can be very popular; try to get there as early in the day as possible so that the best items aren't gone by the time you arrive
  • Try not to get distracted - Yes, there are lots of pretty and shiny things! If you're at the antique event for something in particular though, try not to get too distracted until you get what it was that you went there for
  • Have a plan to see the whole place - Antique fairs, barns, markets and malls can often be huge! To make sure that you see everything, have a plan and method so that you visit all the places that you need to. This might be working round the outside first and then looking further in, or it might involve examining the place one row at a time

Browsing through an antique shop

Tips for when you're shopping

Here's some handy advice for when you're in the process of shopping:

  • Make notes of where you see items that you're interested in - Note down the item, the area (e.g. a bay or reference number), the price etc.
  • Take photos to help you remember - If its a large place, a photograph of an item will make it easier to remember and compare later on
  • Note down any special offers - If the dealer is having a sale or giving money off, note this down
  • Note down any defects or damage - If the item you're interested in is damaged or defective, make a note of it
  • Before you make an offer - Go and confirm that the items you've seen are the ones that you want
  • Examine your potential purchases carefully - Look over anything that you're tempted to buy to satisfy yourself that it's in the condition you expect
  • Think about how you're going to use the item - Don't buy it just because it's there - have a specific use in mind

You can find some gems if you're prepared to look
You can find some gems if you're prepared to look | Source

Tips for when it comes to making an offer

Here are some tips to bear in mind when it comes to negotiating a price for your antiques:

  • You shouldn't appear too keen - If you're interested in an item, don't appear too keen to the dealer or seller, you may not be able to negotiate such a good price
  • Negotiate on everything - Always be prepared to ask for a lower price. Don't ask questions that only have a yes or no answer, such as 'Is that your best price?' - Always ask something like 'What's the best price you can do on that?' Additionally, if you buy more than one item, they may be prepared to give you more of a discount
  • Even if you can't get a big discount ask for other perks - For example, will they throw in something else or give you a discount on delivery?
  • Have a 'Walk Away' price - Have a price above which you're not prepared to go
  • Delivery charges - remember that if its a larger piece and you can't take it in the car, you will probably have to pay for delivery charges. For this reason, it's often good to get two or more items from the same place as they will very likely consolidate the delivery or give you a good deal on the price

Antiques might be worth more than they appear
Antiques might be worth more than they appear | Source

What's your favorite thing about antiques shopping?

See results

In Closing

Antiques shopping can be very enjoyable. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how you can tackle your next big shopping trip and also provided information that can help you to negotiate a better price and save some money.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to do antique shopping but I have to give most away when we moved and downsized. Nowadays, I still go and browse once in a while.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)