Antique Store Shopping Tips

Many people love going antique shopping because it’s like a treasure hunt. You go in not knowing what to expect and are always searching for that one hidden gem. For some shoppers, this is a fun weekend diversion, while for others it’s a more serious venture. If you’re looking for antique shopping tips to help you get started on finding your next bargain in Mill Valley, CA, read on!

Prepare right

Finding out about some of the terminology before you head out on your first excursion is a good idea. For example, for an item to be considered an antique, it must be at least a century old. If it’s less than that, other terms like “collectible” or “vintage” may be used.

You’ll also want to research the prices of items you’re interested in. Antique shopping isn’t just about finding the piece you want—it’s about finding it at the right price. When determining the value of an item, you want to consider its condition and whether it can be repaired. Any work you have to put in—such as paying for repairs—should be reflected in the price.

Where to search

There are plenty of places to go when you’re looking for a deal. Antique hunters are often circulating around, looking for the best prices on unique pieces at a range of locations like:

  • Antique malls
  • Barn sales
  • Festivals
  • Coin and jewelry shops
  • Flea markets
  • Antique fairs
  • Pawn shops

What to check

Let’s say you’re out and about and you find a wood furniture piece that’s exactly what you’re looking for. You want to take a moment to check out the hardware. You may realize that the handles or knobs have been replaced if they don’t look like they match the original. The best pieces are those that have been maintained well and include all original work.

Then you’ll want to inspect the joinery and nails. Products made by craftsmen and not produced in a factory have a distinct appearance. Those with nails that are older and dull show they’re likely original to the piece.

If you’re considering an antique rug, you’ll want to first look at the rug’s weave. If it was made by hand, there should be some inconsistencies that give it away. For Oriental rugs, the greater number of colors used, the higher the value of the rug. There are ways to check everything from antique silver to tools and frames, so find out about your particular interest before putting in an offer.

We hope these antique shopping tips in Mill Valley, CA prove helpful on your next antique journey. For more than 25 years, Collectible Coins & Jewelry has been providing quality services to the San Francisco Bay Area. We’re the leader for antiques and precious metals in Northern California, offering the highest prices and paying cash or check on the spot. Whether you come in to buy or sell, our priority is to make you feel comfortable and provide a level of service that is genuine, courteous and discreet. Give us a call or stop by today!

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