How To Go Antiquing Like A Pro.
Where do you find the perfect antique treasures??
Where do you find this stuff? This is a question I have been asked so many times. My momma has been dragging me to antique shops, garage sales, estate sales, and any other little bargain hunt there is since birth. Bargain antiquing is in my blood. I wish to goodness I lived in a place that has those amazing flea markets like they have on TV, but if you have ever been to the flea market in good 'ol Albuquerque you know that just ain't here. Many of you I'm betting don't live near an amazing flea market either. We do have antiques and treasures, though. You just have to know how to look. It does depend on you budget and what you're looking for.
Here is a basic breakdown of where to find the perfect antique treasures.
Garage/ Yard Sales: Cheap, but unpredictable
Typically, this is where you can find the best deals, but it can also be a total bust. A garage sale is usually filled with stuff people just no longer want. "One man's trash is another man's treasure!" Unlike many of the other places on this list, garage sales are not a business. Since it is a matter of getting 'junk' off their hands the hosts of these sales are usually more than willing to let items go super cheap. Always offer 50-75% of what they are asking for any item. Dealing at a garage sale is really part of the deal. Sounds perfect right? Well, there is a catch- not all garage sales are created equal. In fact, they can be down right creepy depending on where it is. Tip: If says 'barn sale' you have to go!!! Barn sales are gold.
Estate Sales: Opportunity to be great, but pricey until the last day
I good chunk of my favorite home decor came from great estate sales. Although they are both at homes, there is a big difference between an estate sale and a garage sale. An estate sale usually is held by a professional estate sale company that is asked to hold it on behalf of a family or individual when the homes contents need to be luquidated. The owner of the home has either moved out or gone to heaven. Since it is almost always run by a professional company they know what things are worth and they will not deal... until the last day. Estate sales usually run from Thursday to Sunday. Sunday is half price day. A word to the wise, the big antique dealers hit up estate sales 7am on Thursday mornings if they haven't already been to a preview. You can get dates and details on upcoming events from local antique shops. You are looking for sales in older parts of town. If the home was lived in and loved for 50 years, chances are the items for sale will reflect age and love as well.
Good Will / Thrift Shops/ Indoor Flea Markets: Great deals if you have vision
I am not above going into any 'ol shop even Good Will. These stores are like garage sales that you don't have to hunt for. You honestly never know what you will find. Admittedly, most items bought at these shops often need some work. A coat of paint, rewiring, a few added screws, or general deep cleaning is usually necessary. If you have vision and are not afraid to do some work then these permanent garage sales can be heaven. If you find something you like you can always pinterest some ideas on how to improve upon it.
Basic Antique Shop: Often on par with estate sale pricing with a decent selection
This applies to your average antique shop you see. Usually, these are in areas that have vacant buildings with low rent prices, filled with booths of antique dealers. Some booths will have great prices and great selection. Other booths will have a different vibe and varied prices. Good news is if you find a booth where the dealer fits your aesthetic and price point it can be like having your own personal shopper. Dealers are always on the hunt for items to fill their booth with. Tip: Always ask the front for a discount. Sometimes they will have to call the dealer, but other times the dealer has already authorized a percentage off. People get afraid to ask, but dealers are used to this- it's part of the business. Unless it says 'firm' they will always deal.
Specialty Shops: Most expensive, often a mix of vintage and reproductions
There are two types of specialty shops; all high end antiques, and reproduction/ antique mix to-look-beautiful shops. Both of these are usually in more posh areas like main streets with lots of shops of all kinds. These usually have one owner instead of booths. Sometimes, they do have contributors. These shops are usually done for pretty and are a real experience for those who enter. The inventory has been curated to fit the owners aesthetic. Nothing you purchase from these shops typically needs work. That being said, they also are usually the most expensive. Deals can be found, but most of the time the price is as marked. Often these shops have their own line of something. Candles, their own line of chalk paint, jewelry, cards or stamped signs are all items that are not uncommon to find as an exclusive brand of these specialty shops. This would be what Magnolia is. Who doesn't want to at least go in and look?