If you’re just starting down the path of antique collecting for the first time, you’re probably a bit anxious about making the right investment. And it wouldn’t be misplaced anxiety either. The world of antiques can be uncharted waters even for seasoned collectors at times. Setting out to buy antiques, there is a certain part of common human psychology that you should really understand, recognize and appreciate – that we don’t ever do anything well that we don’t enjoy.
The thing is, every successful collector of antiques is able to do well in his business because he likes antiques. You could pretty much say the same thing about every area of human involvement. To be successful as when you buy antiques and sell them, you really have to know a lot about antiques. To people who aren’t born with a natural degree of interest in these objects, the thought of sitting and poring over thick books to do with these objects, visiting conventions, striking up friendships with experts to pick their brain – all these can be quite unbearable. The first rule to go with if you’re going to buy antiques is – go with something that you really enjoy personally – furniture, clocks, books – whatever floats your boat.
So now that you actually have something that you really enjoy, you need to really get in elbow deep in their. Actually, while successful antique collectors may be in it for the money, they do have a natural fascination for the things they collect. This is really important to the way they manage to notice things about antiques they need to buy or sell. It also helps them gain a lot of knowledge having endless conversations about antique chess sets with someone they just met on the train. Try to really educate yourself. That would be just about the most important thing to do with successful antique collecting.
You need to approach the antique business as someone who wishes to become an insider. You’re not doing this while you are in this just for profit. You want to see yourself as someone who belongs. This will help you not feel intimidated by all the snooty dealers, traders, experts and so on.
About the best piece of advice you can get if you’re trying to buy antiques for the first time is this – start small, and don’t keep going. It’s actually a mistake that people make with anything that they get into the first time. They are so enthusiastic, that they make many ill-considered buying decisions and lose lots of money right away. You need to give yourself enough time to make mistakes and learn from them. At first, try not to make more than one purchase month.
Making those purchases, remember what they say about the early bird. A lot of the time, coming by a great find is more about perseverance and simply showing up on time rather than anything exotic. If it’s an antique show or anything, be sure to be the first person there. Whatever happens to be on sale on the cheap, be sure you’re the one to snag it before anyone else does.