The first thing you should do any time you go on a shopping trip is to make sure you have done your research, if necessary. Walking up and down endless aisles can become frustrating if you are not browsing but instead looking for just one thing. Is there a specific item you’re looking to find? Do you know information about the original manufacturer of this item? Can you spot a fake? If you’re not looking for something specific, you may not have to do as much planning. Of course, one of the joys of antiquing is that you never know what you might find when you are not looking for anything in particular.
Another tip to keep in mind while shopping is to keep an eye out for items that are in very good shape or in their original condition. With older items, you can normally expect minor aesthetic flaws. From a piece of furniture with a few scratches to glassware that has some small cracks, these blemishes are perfectly normal any time you are dealing with antiques. That being said, you might come across an item that appears to have no flaws. This is because certain antiques may have been only lightly used and kept in good condition by their original owners. Items in pristine condition hold a higher value, whether you plan on holding onto the items or reselling them.
While the quality of an item in an antique mall store may not be obvious to the naked eye, there are tried and true methods of evaluating quality. You can bring an appraiser kit along with you. Standard kits come complete with a number of useful tools including a magnifying glass, a notebook, writing utensils, a camera, and more. These tools along with others can help you not only get a better look at the items in an antique mall, but they can also help you keep track of pieces that catch your interest. By using a camera and a notebook, you can accurately keep track of different items, their condition, their price, and where they are located.
If you are new to the world of antiques and you want to get your feet wet, one thing you can do is to focus your time and energy into one specific area. While veterans may have a vast knowledge of everything for end tables to clocks, if you would like to become an expert, you will have to spend your time doing a lot of research. You can make this process easier by sticking to one area to start with, whether that is furniture, books, jewelry, or anything else.