my appraisal expertise with television audiences worldwide, but my favorite task is to share my tips about shopping for the old and the outstanding with readers
of my internationally syndicated column.
In the art and antiques marketplace, there are a few tips to remember, no matter if you are shopping at
the high-end antiques shops or at the low-end flea markets. Good deals are available if you do your homework and know your stuff.
Ask for It
When shopping for a work of art, antique or collectible, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. You should always ask if the asking price is the dealer’s “best price.” People will tell me that they think asking for a discount
will insult the dealer . Don’t worry about insulting a dealer or any other seller. Many expect to bargain with informed shoppers. Be polite — you may just
get a great deal.
Never let them see you swoon!
Don’t admit to any seller that you “just love the piece” — even if you do love it. You will never get a good bargain if you let the seller know that you love it or that you
are emotionally attached to it. Never tell a seller that you just have to have it. Once you show such emotion about an antique, work of art, collectible or vintage object that’s for sale, your negotiating power is gone.
When in Rome ...
When shopping for art, antiques or collectibles, buy like a local. You want to know what to buy and what it should cost.
Locals know what to buy and where to find the best deals, so, as an out-of-town buyer, it is best if you don’t reveal that you are from out of town. Don’t admit you are on a business trip or on vacation. Don’t offer the information that you may be the type of ‘one-time only’ client who is probably never to be heard from again if
something goes wrong with the sale and that an unscrupulous dealer is looking to hoodwink. Also, informing a seller that you are in town on vacation suggests you may be willing to spend more than you would on a work of art or antique if you were shopping for the same piece at home.
Most people realize many antique dealerships are in vacation spots. Perhaps the reason for this location selection is that sellers know that most vacationers will spend more money on a piece of art or antique if purchased while on vacation as a souvenir.
If you are tempted to buy on vacation, ask yourself, “Would I spend this much on this art or antique if I were buying it from a shop at home?” and “Is the piece as good
an antique or work of art as one I might find at home for less money?” Smart art and antiques collectors know that prices are higher in vacation spots or resort areas.
Dr. Lori is an internationally known antiques appraiser and author with a doctorate in art history. Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events around the world. Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s
“Auction Kings.” Visit www.DrLoriV.com,
www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori or call (888) 431-1010.