Most of the people have the false impression that antiques cost more than they can afford. Shopping for antiques is a great way to spend a free afternoon and you may be amazed at how many good bargains you come across. The hardest thing is many people don't know the true value of the particular item they are looking at in an antique shop. It may have caught their attention because of the style of it or it brings back happy memories. You never really know if the shop owner is trying to up the price or if you are already getting a good deal.
Since you can't quickly go to another store and compare the price you pretty much have to decide the maximum you are willing to pay for an item and then walk away if the negations don't work in your favor. It is a good idea to do some checking into the reputation of a given antique dealer before you even step foot into their store. You will find you are able to get good deals on antiques when you get to know the owner of the store. If you are a frequent shopper in the store you can build a good relationship.
Brining in other customers to the store is something that will get noticed as well. The owner of the antique store will want to work with you on items so that you keep generating more business for them. You will be able to negotiate the price for what you want if the antique shop is operated by the owner and not several different employees. Even though you will find more selection at antique malls, you won't be able to negotiate the prices as much.
Small antique shops can generally offer you some history on the pieces you are the most interested in. For most antique shop owners, money talks so carry plenty of cash when you go out looking for antiques. This way they don't have to mess with credit card transactions that cost them money.
Many of the older antique stores are hesitant to take personal checks, especially if you are from out of town. Showing that you do have the cash with you in an unobvious way is also helpful. For example, you can count it and then say will you take $100 for it, that is all I have with me today. It is important to remember that you will be purchasing antiques in the condition they are in.
Make sure you take the time to thoroughly examine what you are purchasing. You don't want to get home and discover what you thought was a great bargain is nothing but junk. Most antique dealers take pride in offering quality items but you still need to check. You will be disappointed if you think you are going to take home an antique in mint condition for a very low price though.
If you are looking for certain antiques, take a look around online to get a good idea of what the going price is for them. Try to negotiate something that is about 25% less than the rates you find online. Don't be afraid to ask the antique shop owner to cut you a better price.
It helps if you say something along the lines of "would you accept $100 for this"? Instead of "can you lower the price"? It definitely helps you get what you want if you are assertive but not going overboard.
We are Antique furniture dealers located Old plank Road, 25 miles west of Chicago. We receive containers from England and France every month, so our stock of around 25,000 antiques and reproductions is constantly changing. The year after we opened this second location, Chicago Magazine named us the best antique store in the area. For more info visit www.oldplank.com