5 Things You Should Know Buying High-End Antiques Today
Antiques demand a certain sense of understanding to truly gain value and appreciation for both their worth and their sentiment – particularly when it comes to high-end antiques. Gaining this solid understanding, however, can present challenges for even the savviest of antique buyers. To help ease your high-end antique buying journeys, consider the below five tips.
Tip #1: Buy from Reputable Sellers
When it comes to antiques, trusting where you purchase them from is important. Reputable sellers earn their authority in the antique business by being both informed on antiques as well as trusted by buyers. This is a key component to consider when you’re ready to make a purchase – ultimately helping you gain confidence in your high-end antique investment. This said, prepare to be as informed as possible when you’re looking to purchase (or sell!) an antique. As antique expert Pamela Y. Wiggins recently explained, “don’t expect an antique dealer to tell you everything you need to know about your antique or vintage items.” It’s imperative to conduct your own research to help navigate your purchase. Reputable sellers should support you in answering any questions you may have – including insight on product details or the past life of a particular vintage item you’re considering – yet, even the best, most reputable sellers may not answer questions you don’t know to ask.
Tip #2: Learn to Negotiate… Respectfully
High-end antiques can be expensive – yet most sellers expect buyers to ask for discounts whether you’re attending an antique show, flea market, antique shop or even an estate sell. Keeping this in mind, the key to gaining a reduced price on a high-end antique is to approach your sales negotiation with respect and confidence in a polite manner. Showing courtesy as you negotiate price can help you achieve 10 or even up to 15 percent off the original ticketed price – a common percentage for antique sellers to reduce their inventory. The key takeaway here, however, is simple: show respect during your negotiation process in an effort to not only gain a discount, but to also enhance the buyer-seller relationship along the way.
Tip #3: Authentication is Key
The business of antiques can be very profitable. As a result, reproductions have been introduced into the mix of high-end antiques. These reproductions can often be hard to identify; yet with the right research and a willingness to ask questions, you can be better prepared to detect reproductions from genuine antiques. Take the time to handle genuine pieces as much as possible to help you become more experienced with authentic antiques as opposed to fakes. Additionally, when making your next high-end antique purchase, be sure to identify any distinct details that will help strengthen both the value of your antique and its authenticity. As Boston Magazine recently explained, “make sure to search for labels, stamps, or manufacturing tags that can tell when and where a piece was made.” Do not hesitate to ask questions among collectors and dealers to strengthen your knowledge of the product at hand to ensure you are, in fact, buying a sincere antique.
Tip #4: Nurture Buyer-Seller Relationships
Antiques are appreciated for a variety of reasons… they are often one-of-a-kind, always hard to find, and impossible to duplicate. Because of these reasons and many more, it’s important for buyers and sellers to create and maintain effective communication. Having open conversation between shows can help buyers and sellers stay in touch regarding what they both respectively may want or find. Nurturing these relationships from either side takes time and persistence. Like any relationship in life, putting in the time and remaining persistent will pay off. As Northwestern Kellogg’s School of Business recently reported, there are notable characteristics in achieving long-term buyer-seller relationships. Researchers found that it consists of three dimensions – competence, honesty, and benevolence – and of these three dimensions, honesty and benevolence lead this trio because you cannot have one without the other. Keeping this in mind, aim to please when it comes to nurturing your buyer-seller relationships.
Tip #5: Review Antiques for Damage
Even the most experienced antique buyer can be deceived by something they love. When emotions are fueling intent, it can become easy to overlook damage. Whatever may be driving you to buy, be sure to analyze every detail of the antique to identify what may need to be repaired or replaced – or confidently confirm it is in a condition you are comfortable with. This review process is a key step in high-end antique buying since the majority of purchases are final sales.
Finally, as you aim to strengthen your high-end antique buying experiences, remember that time will be on your side as you continue your love affair with antiques. Over time, you will undoubtedly gain more experiences handling antiques, strengthening your negotiation skills and nurturing relationships with other buyers and sellers along the way. These collective experiences will ultimately aid you in becoming a stronger high-end antique buyer – something any antique lover can appreciate.