Wednesday, 18 June 2014

How To Find The Perfect Gems At An Antique Market

Hi everyone, Sue here and I'm guest posting again on Laura's blog.  Todays post is a simple guide to finding the perfect gems at an antique market.
 
Antique markets and car boot sales are treasure troves for delightful furniture and even fashion. In the midst of a car boot revival, I wish to ride the antique bargain wave and find some gems of my own.
 
There are so many markets out there now and most are frequent occurrences. You’re never quite sure what you may find. Team this with the excitement of haggling have made it in a firm favourite amongst old and young. One of my favourites is Kempton Park near Twickenham that holds the Sunbury Antiques Market every Tuesday where you can find some really great finds, but also spontaneous random ones that pop up along the roadside.
 
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But what are the general rules and regulations to follow when heading to the market? The yes and no’s of haggling and the tricks to discovering a real find? Here are some simple pointers:
 
The Quality
A book will half the story ripped out is not a bargain! And it’s very difficult to get a refund at a boot sale. Thoroughly check any item you wish to purchase beforehand to make sure they are at a standard you find acceptable. We obviously don’t expect perfection on our second hand goods, but a certain level of quality must be adhered to.

Haggling
Probably the hardest aspect and something us Brits are notoriously bad at, but haggling is vital in getting the best goods at the best price. In fact, sellers will overprice, expecting you to challenge them and this is even crossing over into stores. So in terms of your starting offer, don’t go far too low – the seller will think you’re not taking matters seriously and you’ll be less likely to come out with a realistic offer. Have an idea beforehand of what you’re willing to spend on said item and start a little bit lower, working yourself up. If the item exceeds your target, move on. It might only be a couple of quid more but this all mounts up so a firm finishing line is key. Also, when you then refuse and become disinterested, more often than not, the seller will panic and sell at that price anyway. If they don’t? Well, it just wasn’t for you!
 
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Keep your eyes peeled
You can find some real gems at markets when you know what you’re looking for, and it’s harder than it seems. Ever seen Bargain Hunt? It’s no laughing matter! One thing I would love to find is some authentic designer clothes; it’s been known to happen! But remember, stolen goods are often sold at car boots AND fakes as well. It’s often obviously when an item is being marketed as “designer” when it really isn’t and if you’re ever not sure, just walk away! The easiest way to check is not just the label, but does the seller have all the correct packaging? I don’t know about you, but with anything worth a lot (from electrical goods to designer shoes) I keep the packaging always. It’s essential for buying online as well...
 

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