Tips on buying vintage and antique furniture

How and where to buy antique furniture? This is probably a well kept secret that most antique dealers don't want to share with you. Obviously every dealer has his own strategies, but the most important tips, that one way or another are used by the professionals, are explained in this article!

Especially when you have the intention to re-sell antique furniture it is important to know how to find the best bargains. As a rule of thumb, when buying antique furniture, ask yourself the question: "Can I make at least 50% profit on this piece?" If not, look for a better purchase, that is if you don't want to keep it for yourself of course.

Top 10 Tips on buying antique furniture.

1. Buy antique furniture at a local auction house, auctions online, and most recently, Craigslist. This is where the profit is!

2. Use your instincts! Buy antique furniture that grabs your attention immediately, that first impression is important for 2 reasons; When you really love the piece, doing research about the style, origin and era will turn out to be fun and interesting. And second, this piece will most likely sell very easy.

3. Do not act as an amateur (even if you are). You could receive a lot of unnecessary sales talk and it will be much more difficult to obtain a large discount.

4. Know what you are buying. Although it takes some experience to recognize them, be aware of reproductions, and fake antiques.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for discounts, most sellers include a 10-30% margin to all there items.

6. Inspect the item you are interested in, pick it up, turn it around, make sure it has no hidden flaws. Keep an eye on the sales person while doing that. If they get nervous there might be a something lose or damaged. Also ask the seller if the furniture has been restored at some point (it affects the value of an antique).

7. Look for shops who have an antique piece at display but who are not specialized in selling antique furniture. Chances are this will be a great bargain. When it doesn't fit the main philosophy of the store, the owner is probably not an expert in the field and will be happy to sell it and move on.

8. Do not offer cash money, negotiate the best price possible for paying by check or credit card first. Once you have your card or check book ready, ask if there is an extra discount for paying with cash. Almost every seller prefers cash, so use every trick in the book.

9. Always get a receipt especially from auctioneers or antique dealers. Make sure it states the age, style, wood type, value, and if there was any damage or restoration. This can be used as a guarantee when false or missing statements occur.

10. Don't make the mistake of buying more furniture than you can transport in one trip. At most estate sales and auctions, sold items must be picked up the same day of purchase. Make sure to bring blankets and straps to pack and transport you antiques without damaging them.

Where to buy antique furniture?

These are the best places to buy cheap antique furniture. Keep in mind that your geographical location is also an important factor.

Local auction house
Fairs, flee markets, swap meetings
Garage sales
Estate sales

What furniture to buy?

• Stick with antique furniture made of hardwoods: oak, walnut, mahogany, etc. If you are not experienced detecting the type of wood on sight, check the weight of the furniture. If the furniture is heavy for it's size it is most probably made of hardwood.

• Buy antique furniture that is well constructed. Check the quality of the joints, dovetails and mortise-and tenon joints will last forever.

• Consider buying antique furniture that is slightly damaged . Missing or broken pieces are difficult to repair for most people, but not for you. You belong to The Refinishing Studio learning center. Stains or imperfections in the finish shouldn't scare you off either and are fairly easy to repair. In fact these types of bargains could generate the most profit.