Avoid These Mistakes When Buying Antique Furniture
Acquiring antique furniture is fraught with risk, especially if you have limited knowledge of fine antique pieces. Unless you are a seasoned veteran, there is always a chance that the item is not what it seems, and with that in mind, here are some common mistakes to avoid when purchasing expensive antique furniture.
- Bartering in the Wrong Environment – Haggling might be fine at a car boot sale or the local flea market, but it is not one thing if you are acquiring the item in a bona fide antique dealer’s premises. In such a situation, one can ask the dealer whether he has any margin to drop the price, which is a way of asking politely if it is OK to haggle. Generally speaking, an established antique dealer will not give any discounts, as they regard the items as being fairly priced from the outset.
- Backing Out of an Offer – This is regarded as a breach of etiquette, so if you do make an offer on a piece, be prepared to stick with that, should it be acceptable. Think hard before making any offer and in the event it is accepted, you should be true to your word and a deal is struck. The same rule applies when you buy various vintage style furniture, if it is being displayed in a retail environment, so take care when making offers.
- Failing to Get a Second Opinion – Antique furniture is never cheap, and you should always seek a second opinion before going ahead with a purchase. This can be done by taking some high-resolution images and sending them to a trusted source, which should be enough for the person to appraise the item.
- Looking for Perfection – Any antique furniture item will be at least a century old, therefore, you must expect some wear and tear. It is these little imperfections that give antiques their charm, and resist the temptation to restore items that exhibit normal wear and tear. There is a difference between wear and tear and damage, and by knowing the difference, you can purchase with more confidence.
- Buying the Wrong Item – You might love that Louis XIV dresser, but does it really go in your home environment? A piece might look stunning, but that is not a reason to buy it, unless, of course, you have a placement for it in your home. Buying antiques and simply storing them means that you will not reap all of the benefits that come with owning a stunning piece of antique furniture.
- Insisting on Proof of Authenticity – While many items will have the maker’s mark somewhere, many do not. The maker might not mark his pieces, or the mark may have been worn away, and if you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of a particular item, ask for a second opinion.
If you are new to the mysterious world of antiques, you are advised to spend time doing online research, which will expand your knowledge, and by dealing with an established local antique dealer, you can be reasonably sure that the item in question is correctly valued.
This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.