3 Tips For Buying Antiques At Flea Markets

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If you like to purchase antiques for yourself or to sell, you must consider visiting a flea market. Flea markets can offer some of the best deals on all types of antiques, including light fixtures, furniture and other home décor. However, finding the hidden gems before everyone else does can prove difficult. If you want to find the best antique deals at flea markets, check out these three tips.

Educate Yourself on Identifying Antiques

Before you start hunting for antiques, you need to do some homework and educate yourself about antiques. At the very least, you need to be able to identify authentic age. Some items may be built to look like antiques. Depending on the quality of the reproduction, it may be difficult for someone with an untrained eye to determine if it is actually an antique or a reproduction.

One sign an item is actually old is the separation of boards at the seam, which causes the surface to feel uneven. New pieces, even those designed to look old, will be smooth. Another common sign is water damage on wood. These will appear as black circles or marks. Keep in mind, however, that not all antiques are worth money, so while being able to identify antiques will help, you need to learn what types of antiques are worth the most. They are usually aesthetically-pleasing, highly desired and rare.

Arrive Early With a Plan

If you want some of the best items, you need to arrive early because they will go fast. In fact, if possible, you should arrive while the market is still being setup because you may find people willing to get rid of items early for cheap, especially larger ones they don't want to haul. You can find antiques regardless of when you arrive, but the more obvious ones will go fast because more people can identify them as valuable antiques. By the afternoon, you may be left taking a chance on an item with which you aren't familiar.

You should also come with a plan. Start by listing all the items you want. Start with the larger items like furniture because you can do a quick sweep of the market, while waiting for something to catch your eye. The next step is to hunt for the smaller pieces that require you to sort through more items. If the flea market has a social media account, follow it to see what is being sold at the next event, so you aren't going in blind.

Bring the Necessary Equipment

Depending on what you are buying, you may need various pieces of equipment. For jewelry or small items, you may want a small magnifying lens, so you can examine the item closely. It can at least help you identify real silver antique jewelry from costume jewelry by making it easier to read any markings. A flashlight is also a good idea in case the lighting is bad. Poor lighting can make a reproduction look more like a real antique.

Last, bring a smartphone or tablet. This is like having an antique specialist in your pocket. If you find an item you think is worth money but don't want to take the chance, simply use your phone to research the item. You can also use it to take photos or notes of items you like but don't want to or can't buy just yet.

Flea markets are a great place to find affordable antiques, but you have a lot of competition. If you want to start enjoying the benefits of flea markets, make sure you follow these three tips, so you don't waste your time and money. Learn more by contacting antique dealers like Pegaso  Gallery Design.

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