How to shop for antiques

Shopping is the kind of activity that can be as good or as challenging as you make it, but shopping for antiques is one of those specific types of shopping that requires a bit of inside knowledge and a fair bit of patience. You can’t just rush into buying antiques, it’s not like hitting the high street shops or picking up something in the sales, buying antiques isn’t something that can be rushed. In this article we share with you a few of our hints and tips on how to shop for antiques online and offline.


Have a vague plan

One of the challenges about shopping for antiques is that it is fairly difficult to be precise about exactly what you’ll find, but it is important to have a broad idea of what you’re looking for and what will fit in your home. For example, you might decide that what would really give your home some flair and character is an antique mirror, or a small table, or some plates to flow a colour accent through your decor – whatever it is, it’s going to help you to narrow your search if you know that you’re looking at plates, or mirrors, or tables. It sounds obvious but there is such a huge amount of antiques markets and stores out there that unless you have got endless amounts of time on your hands then you’re going to have to prioritise somehow.


Are you really looking for an antique?

Just because something is old doesn’t automatically make it an antique – there’s a number of factors that determine whether a piece of furniture or other item is an antique, generally the value is created by its quality, how rare it is, and whether there is something notable about it. Antique items are obviously more expensive, so it is worth reflecting whether you are specifically looking for an antique piece or just something vintage and a bit unique that will work in your home. If you definitely want to buy something that is recognised as an antique then you’re going to need to educate yourself a little as to what style or type of pieces you are looking for.


Where to shop for your antiques

If you have decided that you will be happy with just finding a vintage piece that you love and will work in your home, then you will have lots of fun wandering around flea markets and rummaging through second-hand stores. However if you are definitely looking for an antique then you will need to focus your search on reputable antique stores, antique auctions and antique fairs. The more antiques that you see and the more knowledgable people that you talk to about what you’re looking for, then the more you will learn and the more your confidence will grow. Alternatively, you can buy antiques online or at an antique market. This is particularly useful as you learn more about what you are looking for and the key features to look out for in the specific piece that you are seeking.


Shopping can be a lot of fun, but with a bit of knowledge and patience then shopping for antiques can be very rewarding.