Found yourself wondering ‘how can I make the most of the antique stores near me’? Wonder no more. Follow these simple tips and tricks to uncover the best treasures on your next trip to the antique stores.
Identifying a Genuine Antique
Look at the joinery and hardware – old dull nails indicate that the piece is indeed antique and likely in its original state. More importantly, dovetails indicate that a piece was made by hand rather than mass produced. This is a dead giveaway as to whether a piece is a legitimate antique or not.
At first glance, it can be difficult to discern between sterling silver and silver plating. A simple trick is to bring a magnet with you to antique stores. Sterling silver will not be attracted to the magnet, while silver plated items will.
Another cheeky hack to determine quality is to use a flashlight on porcelain items. Hold a flashlight up to piece, if it shines through, you can be sure it is real porcelain.
Textiles and Rugs
When it comes to vintage – a little imperfection is a good sign! If you’re antique shopping for rugs and textiles, look for imperfections or inconsistencies in the weave / fabric. This indicates it was woven by hand and not mass produce by machine.
Things to Avoid
When it comes to scouring antique stores, not all flaws should be a deal breaker. Some antique pieces can easily be brought back to life with a little TLC. There are, however, some items that are better to cut your losses with.
Frayed rugs are a nightmare to deal with. No matter how breath-taking or unique a rug may look in the antique store, if it has untied edges and excessive fraying then it is only a matter of time before it falls to pieces.
Structurally Damaged Furniture
Always remain aware of your actual capacity to restore each item. If something is going to take significant intervention to be made functional again, it’s likely not worth it. Don’t be lured in by a cheap price – if it’s too far gone, it’s best left alone.
Our Top Tips for Antique Stores Australia
- Have patience. Keep checking back at your favourite antique stores as they will continuously receive new stock. By shopping regularly, you may get in early on the newest items to hit the shop floor.
- Don’t disregard an item just because it’s flawed – there are certain items that can easily be refurbished or brought back to life.
- Do your research prior to entering antique stores. Come equipped with the knowledge to discern between valuable pieces and cheap replicas. This will also provide a good awareness of the value of the pieces you’re shopping for.
- This brings us to our next point – don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you’ve done your research, you can be confident in the value of the item you’re looking for. Many antique stores won’t have prices labelled on their items, so negotiation is welcome. Keep conversation with the seller respectful and open-minded and you could score yourself a bargain.