Weekend “It” List: Score an Antique Find

Summer marks the perfect time to frequent local antique shops, markets, and fairs, but there are some lessons to be learned for scooping up the perfect pieces. Below, some essential tips and tricks for navigating these well-worn treasures.

Know before you go.
You don’t want to insult the store owner by low-balling an item, so know your merchandise before you head out. You can check out similar items on Craigslist to get an idea of the true value. But remember – value is only what someone is willing to pay for it.

Look for cherry, mahogany, and walnut pieces.
These furniture items are made with wood that is more than likely to go up in value. So even if you find a piece that’s not a true antique, get it if you love it. A few years down the road, it could be worth way more.

Be wary of consignment.
It’s not the same as a regular antique store. Different vendors place their merchandise and set the price, so you have a lot less negotiating power than if you were to find it at that sweet little antique shop. Still, so long as you observe proper bargaining etiquette, a try at negotiating can’t hurt.

Ask for authenticity.
Very valuable pieces often come with papers to assert their authenticity. Don’t hesitate to ask for verification.

If you love it, buy it.
Just like Rue, these items won’t stick around. And if you’ve walked through the whole store and still can’t get your mind off it, buy it! It might not be around the next time you show up.

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

Have your own antiquing tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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August 17, 2012