• Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the piece, where it was bought, what it’s history is, its condition.
  • Use the internet to fully research each antique you are considering buying.  In particular look to see what similar items sold for.
  • An ethical dealer will give you a guarantee that the piece is original and will indicate if the object is not as advertised, is flawed in some way, or a reproduction or a fake so you know exactly what you are buying.
  • Arrive early to find the best buys. Really committed collectors will be at the fairs when the dealers are unpacking to be the first to spot that good buy.
  • Seek out specialist dealers. If you follow a particular collecting discipline, make friends with a specialist dealer who can not only source particular pieces but will also be invaluable in giving you information about your collecting discipline.
  • If starting out collecting find out who the specialist dealers are and find out as much as you can about the pieces you’re interested in – where they come from, how to spot defects and just generally make friends with those dealers – they can be invaluable in your antique quest.
  • A good antiques dealer will also give written detail on a piece – its period, whether its been restored and its price.  Make him give you a receipt with all that information on it or keep the ticket for your records, should you ever wish to sell.
  • When buying antique furniture look inside drawers for signs of extra holes where original handles and locks may have been replaced.


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