Top 5 Ways To Dig Up Valuable Yard Sale Finds

Valuable yard sale finds

Summer is the season of yard sales, and you’d be surprised what kinds of treasures you may discover. While most of what people are selling on their front lawn isn’t actually worth particularly much, if you’re a savvy buyer, you may be able to score some valuable finds at yard sales this summer. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your yard sale shopping.

1. Get There Early 

Generally, antique dealers are the first ones to get to yard and estate sales, and they’ll likely scoop up any antiques worth having. If you want to get in there and claim some antiques for yourself, you’ll have to be one of the first shoppers at the sale.

2.  Shop in Older Neighborhoods 

Is there a town nearby that has families who have lived there generation after generation? Members of these older neighborhoods are more likely to have antiques that were passed down to them from previous generations and that may end up on their yard sale tables.

3. Don’t Pass Up Less Obvious Antiques 

When you hear antique, you probably think of furniture or jewelry. But antiques come in a variety of categories and you may stumble upon some pretty valuable finds unexpectedly at your next yard sale. Examples include antique ornaments, sports memorabilia, fishing equipment, art frames, and books.

4. Judge the Weight 

Heavier items tend to be authentically older, as materials commonly used long ago were bulkier and more weighty than ones used today. Anything that feels light in your hand probably isn’t an authentic antique.

5. Look for Identifying Marks 

Antiques will often have markings on them put there by their manufacturers. These marks help identify the maker and the time period. Certain language on backstamps was also used by specific countries in different eras, so study those backstamps if you see them and do some research to help you decipher these clues.

Confirm Your Potentially Valuable Yard Sale Finds

Remember that once you bring home your potentially valuable finds from yard sales, get your items appraised. The experienced buyers at Old and New Shop will give you a fair and accurate price for your antique pieces. Then you can make an informed decision on what to do next – do you want to sell and make some money? Or hold on to it and potentially pass it down in your own family? 

Is Your Antique Furniture Authentic? Top Three Categories to Consider.

authentic antique furniture

If you have an antique piece of furniture in your home, you may want to know more about it and learn how much it may be worth. There are several different criteria to consider when evaluating the authenticity of a furniture antique. Below are the top three important categories of elements that can help you learn if your antique furniture is authentic – or at least if it is worth bringing to a professional appraiser! 

 

Consider the Era

 

There are several different styles of furniture from different time periods, and each piece has its own story to tell. Furniture is usually considered antique if it is over 100 years old. Identifying the era from which your piece of furniture comes can help you determine if your piece is authentic and how much it may be worth.

 

Queen Anne and Chippendale styles are both from the 1700s and were popular in the early American colonies, particularly Boston and Philadelphia. They have subtle but distinct differences from one another in their shape and details. 

 

Eastlake furniture came later, towards the end of the Victorian period. Charles Eastlake, who wanted to move away from the ornate Victorian styles, designed furniture that was simpler and more practical. Famous manufacturers of Eastlake furniture were the Herter Brothers, though they added elaborations to the classic Eastlake style. Any piece of Eastlake furniture manufactured by the Herter brothers will be worth more than other Eastlake pieces.

 

Eames furniture is more modern and also quite collectible. Charles and Ray Eames–husband and wife–highly influenced modern American furniture, creating functional and affordable furniture out of plywood in simple, comfortable designs that embrace the clean mid-century modern style.

 

Examine Its Construction

 

Antique furniture was made before machines, which means the edges will not be 100% perfectly straight. If you check inside the drawers of your furniture piece, you may notice irregular dovetail joints. In addition, multiple types of wood were often used in antique pieces, as artisans would not use expensive wood in areas that weren’t seen, such as the bottom of chairs.   

 

Evaluate Its Condition

 

Antiques are old and they look it. They often have uneven coloring as well as black marks indicating water damage. Nicks and scratches can also indicate a piece is a true antique, although anyone can nick or scratch a piece of furniture to make it seem old, so be careful with that criteria. Drawer runners will usually be worn from so many years of use, and hardware pieces will frequently not be completely identical. Check the insides of drawers or the underside of your piece for any labels or markings that can provide clues as to when and where the piece was made.

A Professional Can Help Figure Out If Your Antique Furniture is Authentic

At the end of the day, a professional is probably the best person to tell you if your furniture is a true antique piece or a reproduction. At Old & New Shop, our professionals can help you determine the true history and worth of your piece of furniture.

How Can You Determine Your Antique’s Worth? [A Comprehensive Guide]

What are your antiques worth?

You’re cleaning out your attic and you find that old writing desk you stuck up there years ago when you updated your decor. Or maybe you have a pair of lamps you picked up from a yard sale that looked funky at the time but is now sitting in your basement. Whatever your antique item might be, you’re probably wondering if it is actually worth anything or if it’s just a novelty that won’t get you much. There are a few elements to consider when deciding an antique’s worth, and a good appraiser will help you. That said, be careful, as some appraisers may give you a lowball price so that you’ll sell to them and then they can get even more for it. Make sure any appraiser you use is reputable. The main characteristics to consider when thinking about an object’s worth are rarity, quality, authenticity, history, and condition.

Rarity

The less available something is, the higher its worth usually becomes. There are a few reasons an item might be considered rare.

  1. Only a few items were made. Artisans or manufacturers may have only produced a small number of certain items because, long ago, only royalty or nobility would have used them. Additionally, certain famous or highly-regarded books only have a few early editions out there before they became popular.
  2. The item has an unusual feature. Certain artists or manufacturers used specific styles or elements in creating their pieces but sometimes ventured into a different style for a short while. The products with a more unusual feature for that artist are rarer than items that follow the artist’s usual form. For example, a piece made in a different color than usual or using a different material that is perhaps more expensive or difficult to work with.
  3. Many of the original items have become lost or destroyed. Objects made of crystal, glass, porcelain, and other fragile materials may have become damaged or broken over the decades (and even centuries), leaving only a few objects remaining that are in-tact.

Quality

Quality has to do with the standard of materials used to manufacture the item. Certain materials and gems are considered to be more precious or of a higher standard than others. For example, gold or platinum jewelry pieces are usually of higher quality than silver jewelry. An antique’s worth increases if it is made of higher quality material.

Authenticity

As you enter the world of valuable items, there are bound to be counterfeit pieces. Some items will have markings on them from the artist or manufacturer that prove their authenticity. There are also experts who are able to tell real signatures from fake ones, or who will know with certainty which time period a piece is from. The more you can prove your item is authentic, the higher you raise its value.

History

Some items may not be valuable on their own, but the story they carry gives them worth. You may have an item that was once owned by a celebrity or that can be traced back many generations to a historical politician or another influential figure, or even to a specific time period. Additionally, the more you know about an item’s history, the greater ability you have to prove the item is authentic.

Condition

The condition of the item in question is important in determining its worth. Something in mint condition means it has no small cracks or damaged areas, the paint or coloring has not dulled or flaked off, and it is generally in perfect condition without any repairs or restorations done to it. Your item may have small damaged areas and may even have been repaired somewhere along the line, making it in either excellent or good condition. Anything below good condition is probably not worth very much.

Experts Can Tell You Your Antique’s Worth

Whether you are looking to sell your antiques or you just want to learn their value, it is always important to consult an expert. At Old & New Shop, our professionals will be able to determine the value of your antique pieces and will take them off your hands the same day if that’s your wish. No matter what you decide to do with your antiques, don’t underestimate the value of what may be sitting in your attic!

TOP FOUR REASONS TO SELL TO AN ANTIQUE DEALER

One way of getting rid of items that you no longer need or want is by selling them to a dealer. There are many reasons why a person might sell some of their possessions to a dealer. You may be decluttering or downsizing, or you may even need some quick cash. Whatever your reason, selling through a dealer ensures you get the most fair price for your items.

1. Decluttering

In the era of Marie Kondo, everyone seems to be getting rid of things from their homes. Some items get tossed, some get donated, and some get sold. According to Ms. Kondo, living in a tidy, organized space can actually make you happier and more organized about all the other aspects of your life. It can bring peace to your home. So it’s no wonder so many people have jumped on board. Even if you don’t follow Marie Kondo’s method, there’s no question that decluttering your home can be therapeutic and elevates your home’s atmosphere. In the process of decluttering, it is common to come across items of value that were either passed down to you or were gifts that you no longer use or just have no need for (or maybe you don’t even like). These items are worth bringing to a dealer, finding out their cost, and actually making a profit on them.

2. Earn Cash

It can be a beneficial strategy to turn to your attic or storage space when in need of some money. Maybe there’s something of value up there that’s been forgotten about until now? Selling antiques, certain jewelry, or pieces of art can bring in a surprising pay day.

3. Downsizing

As we go through life, we tend to accumulate possessions. Some of those possessions still hold value to us throughout the passage of time, but some turn into clutter, or just lose their value or purpose in our eyes. When a person downsizes, many of those accumulated items need to go. A dealer can help discover the true value these items and pay you what they are worth, rather than taking your chances in a yard sale.

4. Inherited an Estate

If you inherited an estate or part of an estate after someone passes away, there can be an overwhelming amount of furniture, antiques, jewelry, silver, artwork, and other items that you need to figure out what to do with. Some items are obvious for the trash, some you may want to donate, and many others can be sold at auctions or to dealers who will pay you a fair price for them.

Antique Dealers Are The Experts

Antique dealers are experts at determining the value of an item so you can get a fair price for it. It is easy to undervalue antiques, old furniture, and other possessions that you have no use for. At Old & New Shop, our dealers will offer you top dollar for the items you no longer need or want. No estate is too big or too small, so make sure you get a fair price for your items by working with the experts.