What you Never Knew About Your Antique Dealer
Everyone knows one basic thing when they walk in the door at an antique dealer’s – they’re supposed to haggle. They know that the antique dealer doesn’t expect to be paid what it says on the sticker. They know they’re expected to haggle. But how much are you supposed to haggle?
Any antique dealer will always have two prices – a retail price and a trade price. The trade price, you might well imagine, is the price he’ll let something go for, when another antique dealer calls asking for it. Sometimes, they’ll let it go of it for the trade price too, when a regular customer or collector comes a-calling.
The mistake first-time buyers make is that they imagine that that special price is only reserved for those people. They never imagine that they could have a chance at it, too. If the antique dealer doesn’t know you as a regular customer yet, he may believe that you are serious enough about the whole thing and you may turn into one. And then, he may be open to considering letting go of something at the trade price.
You just need to be polite and recognize that an antique dealer isn’t just any old businessman. He is in this business because he loves what he sells. You have to show him that you understand what it’s all about. Add some politeness into the mix, and you could definitely have a chance.
If you’re looking to sell an antique that he have, you may want to go to an antique appraiser first to try to see what it might be worth. There are about 60,000 antique appraisers in the country. Actually, there are only about 5000 of them with any actual training and experience. The rest of them are just self-styled ones.
The thing is, antique appraisers work in an unregulated field. There are absolutely no legal quick requirements in place for who gets to call themselves appraisers. And if there is an appraiser who says that he belongs to some great appraisal organization, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything. There are lots of appraisal organizations that are just a bunch of amateurs.
Only the American Society of Appraisers actually has any professional standards to do with who gets to call themselves an appraiser. You have to pass a test on whatever area of appraisal expertise you plan to practice in.
If you’ve ever been to a flea market, you know that they are full of knockoffs – stuff that they like to respectfully called reproductions. The problem is that even a professional appraiser or antique dealer may sometimes find it hard to tell the difference between a real oriental rug and $50 oriental rug that was bought on Amazon.
They say even Christie’s and Sotheby’s have trouble telling the real thing from a fake. What that means is, you can’t just go into the store and hope that the antique dealer there is really knowledgeable about everything. That’s impossible.