How to Get the Best Antiques in a Fair

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Every now and then, there will be a story in the media where someone has found something at a car boot sale or market, which turns out to be very expensive. Recently there was the case in the UK where the Breitling watch worn in the James Bond Film, Thunderball, was found at a car boot sale and purchased for £25.00 as the owner did not know its true value. This is now to be sold at Christies Auction for an estimated £60,000.00. This just goes to show that if you look hard enough and know your stuff, you can find a great bargain, which could be potentially worth a lot of money. This is what inspires a lot of people to scour antiques fairs, markets, and car boot sales looking for the next lost masterpiece!

antiques How to Get the Best Antiques in a Fair

Know Your Stuff

It does come down a lot to luck when finding valuable items that you can make a massive mark up on. There can still be a lot of money made if you know what you are doing. You will need to research and do your homework on the pieces that you are looking to collect and be able to tell a forgery from the real thing. You will also need to be able to evaluate a piece if it needs restoration and get a rough idea for the cost of this. You will then be able to work out your potential margin and see if the piece is worth buying. Of course, you may just buy an antique as you like the look of it and do not care about the value of it. Whatever your reasons for buying antiques, you will need to make sure you have enough knowledge to ensure that you do not get ripped off, and you know exactly what you are buying. This will come with experience, and you should be prepared for a few mistakes along the way, which does happen to most antiques collectors and dealers at some point in their careers.

Looking Around

To increase your chances of finding that all elusive one-of-a-kind bargain, you really do need to get out and look for it as much as possible.

  • Pawn Shops

  • Markets

  • Antique Fairs

  • Antique Road Shows

  • Car Boot Sales

  • Junk Yards

  • Antique Shops

In all of the places listed above, it is possible to find a true bargain, which you can make some money on. Some places are better than others. If you visit a Pawn Shop or an Antique Shop, you may find that the person selling has a lot of knowledge already and probably knows the true worth of the piece. This is not always the case though, so you still may be able to make some money. Markets, Fairs, Car Boot Sales and Junk Yards are probably the best places to pick up the real bargains. A lot of people may consider an item to be junk and not know its true value. So if you come along and recognize the value in a piece, you can really make a killing. You do have to be careful and make sure you know exactly what it is that you are buying. You are not going to be too happy getting home and finding out the item is a fake or a reproduction as this will not be worth as much, although will still have some value.


The good thing about most of the places where you can buy antiques is that the owners will most likely be willing to haggle on the price. Haggling is truly an art form, and if you have ever been abroad to places such as Asia, it is very common to haggle over the price of an object. This is also a good way to gauge the seller’s knowledge of the piece that they are selling. Making sure that you do not start either too low, or too high, is essential. Some people do find this awkward, and it is like everything else as it gets easier the more practice you get! So if you are looking for antiques in Sydney, Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia, remember to look around and start practicing your haggling skills. Or you can go to for the best bargains. You never know you might just find yourself a lost work of art some day!

Author bio:

Rowena Anderson is an avid antique and jewellery collector who can often be found scouring the local markets and antique fairs. Rowena also loves to write articles and blog about her exploits to share her experiences and ideas. Rowena quite often visits Kalmar Antiques in Sydney to see if there is anything there to add to her vast collection.

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