Some people are peculiarly obsessed with antique and vintage items. If you are one of them and wish to turn it into a hobby, you must know the right places to find and identify valuable items. Here are six obvious tips to instantly recognize and find valuable items on the market.
1. Do Proper Research
Before you actually set out to find valuable items on the market, do proper research and study the items you like. You can also make a list to narrow down your options and focus on just one or two categories. For example, some may like authentic cutlery whereas others may prefer to collect old books. This will also help you ward off temptation and keep you from hoarding stuff. Next, read as much as you can about the type of items you are interested in. Learn about different design types, eras, periods, and price points to determine the value of an object.
2. Know Your Materials
Gaining knowledge about different types of materials also helps. You should be able to tell whether or not the material is real gold or silver. Numbers and color icons are the easiest way to interpret the authenticity of the materials. Most valuable items are commonly made of materials such as porcelain, glass, ceramic, gold, silver, or other precious metal. Other materials such as crystal and rich wood are rare to find. Even if you do, you should make sure that they are real. It all boils down to the properties of each material, which is why you must study the common types of materials and their properties. For example, you can tell if the crystal is authentic by its firmness and luster.
3. Learn to Distinguish Fake from Real
Any noticeable signs of restoration and scratches can also help you tell the replicas apart. Remember, the devil is in the details. Look for details in the items you are interested in to tell if it’s real or fake. For example, antique furniture will likely be made and fixed with dovetail joints than with screws.
Similarly, when looking for vintage books, check the date and print edition. Even if the item is more than 100 years old, it will not be of the same value if several other similar pieces still exist. Naturally, the value of rare items will be higher than the objects that can be easily found. Keep an eye on quality marks as well. Look at the base or bottom of the item to check if there is any sign, mark, or signature carved on the surface.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions to the seller as it can help you understand and identify the authenticity of the materials. This is particularly important if you are shopping online. Since you are unable to hold and see the object from all angles, you should ask as many questions as you can. For example, you can ask questions like these-
- Where did you get this item from?
- What is it made of?
- What makes it different from other objects of the same nature?
- Are there any significant signs or marks on the object?
- Will you take it back if I am not satisfied with it?
Learn to ask the right questions to know if you are making a worthwhile investment.
5. Scrutinize and Analyze
You should develop an eye to scrutinize any item with depth. Even though it is easier said than done, keep on practicing to become an expert with time. Look closely and determine the state of the item. How well or often has it been used? Is it in an utterly bad state? How well does it shine or stay intact? When looking for books, notice the type of pages and materials used. Are the pages worn out? How old is it? The price of the object will drop if you notice any signs of damage or wear.
6. Target the Right Areas
Needless to say, the first places to visit when looking for antique items are flea markets, thrift shops, and vintage stores. Target the section that displays items of your choice. Keep an eye on the events that are supposed to be held in your area and make sure that you reach early. You may encounter other enthusiasts who are also looking for valuable items. To get hold of antique stuff, reach as early as possible and begin your quest.
Whether you are shopping online or physically visiting a flea market, you should be able to differentiate between valuable and common items. By paying attention to these tips, you will become an expert in no time. You will be able to instantly identify valuable items and take them home.