6 Antique Collecting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Antique collecting is among one of the most enthralling hobbies that anyone can pursue. As a collector, you will encounter unique histories paired with one-of-a-kind artifacts.
The problem is that not every antique is worthwhile, nor is every story worth its salt. Some antiques have unique pitfalls that can seriously harm your reputation and your wallet. Even some habits that beginning collectors display can harm you.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you will want to avoid in almost all stages of your antique collecting. This will help you overcome some of the problems that others have encountered while pushing you toward new and thrilling pieces for your collection.
1. Don’t Keep Everything
The flow of collectibles is something that you never want to obstruct, yet many beginning and experienced collectors do so. They think that holding onto certain pieces will enhance the value of those pieces exponentially.
The problem is that this is seldom the case.
By holding onto these pieces, they tend to become worn or neglected. This decreases their value, which in turn makes them harder to move.
When you begin collecting antiques, realize that there will be a day when you need to pass your antiques to someone else. This may happen through sales, gifts or anything and everything between.
The point is that you should never hold on to one thing for too long without an exceedingly quality reason.
Antique collecting is similar to a business: you need to ensure that you have a certain amount of cash reserved at all times for that amazing find that you happen to come across.
This is why letting go of old antiques and looking for new ones intersect.
The problem is that new collectors tend to overextend themselves. They will got o antique shows and other places only to spend money that they do not have. They will purchase overpriced antiques that have a minimal return.
When you look for a new antique, consider your cash flow. You want to invest in something that will have a good return.
If you are unsure about what you are buying, then limit your losses by staying on the small side of antique investments. $50 to $150 is easier to recover than, for example, $500 to $1000 in an antique.
3. Running High on Emotions
Sentiment causes the emotions of a collector to run high. This creates a unique dilemma where you may think an antique is worth significantly more than it is worth. This limits your ability to sell antiques while putting you at a greater risk for overspending.
There is a fine art to buying antiques. You need to be able to distance yourself from the sentimentality that you may have towards an antique. All antiques are beautiful, but very few are priceless because of their sentimental value.
If you do find yourself with an antique that you can’t part with or that you must have, then you may want to get a third party involved. Appraisals can help you reduce the effect of sentimentality, which in turn can help you trade more efficiently.
4. Narrowing Your Collection’s Focus
One thing about building an antique collection is that it seldom requires you to focus on one or two specific types of objects. Varying your collection will not only improve the value as a whole, but also limit your potential losses.
Consider a collection that consists of nothing but antique American tables and desks. The collection itself will lose function because it lacks seating, lights, shelves and every other component that would make it complete.
The worst part is that there tends to only be a limited number of excellent buys when it comes to antiques in an area. By varying your collection, you will make it easier to purchase good investments that will create a collection that is worth more than the sum of its pieces.
5. Lacking Research
The history of an antique is often what determines much of its worth. This is why research is one of the most important activities that an antique dealer can pursue.
If you are unfamiliar with a certain category of antique, such as an 1800s American desk, then the first thing you should do is to research it. It’s often as easy as pulling up a quick search on certain common craft qualities of furniture.
By doing so, you can determine how likely an antique’s history is authentic and accurate. This is particularly helpful when you are purchasing antiques that may be sold in garage sales or pawn shops, as dubious stories are generally common in these areas.
Research can also help you spot excellent purchase opportunities. What one person may sell for a few hundred dollars may be worth thousands. This is a win-win situation that you can use to advance your antique collection.
6. Failing to Realize Your Mistakes
Just like with any new activity, you will inevitably make mistakes. You will overspend on certain items. You will likely buy a fake or two. You may purchase goods that have been irreparably damaged through modern repair methods.
The important thing to realize in these cases is that you have made a mistake. Only when you realize that you have made a mistake can you correct it in the future.
This is why one of the biggest mistakes that antique collectors make is to avoid facing their mistakes. They will be doomed to repeat them.
Antique Collecting is Full of Challenges
The most important thing to take away about antique collecting is that it always has its challenges. You will face obstacles at every turn that you must overcome using your wits and gut instinct.
You will make some mistakes, but you will also make great victories by adhering to the right decisions. This is why getting out there to experience the world of antiques will often help you more than anything else.
When you’re ready to take your first steps into the world of antique collecting, or you simply want to see what amazing buys exist, visit Capital Bargain Barn. We sell antiques and used furniture that can help you expand your collection into something that you love even more.