Where to Buy Antiques to Invest In

You can buy antiques in a number of places. While many people buy antiques simply for their aesthetic value, others buy them as investments. The idea is that the older the antiques get, the more valuable they become, allowing the investor to earn profit by simply holding onto an antique for a certain length of time and selling it for a much larger price. However, investing in antiques isn't just about buying old objects. An investor has to find something that is genuinely valuable, something that won't lose value over time. That is why investors will probably have to spend lots of time searching for antiques that fit their investment strategies.

Understanding Buying Antiques

The value of an antique depends on a number of factors. These include age, condition, how often it's been retouched or repaired (if at all) and how much demand it generates. The demand is particularly important. For example, some guitar models may be more famous than others because they are rare or because they were models of choice for some famous musicians. The demand can also change over time. For example, old comic books were a popular source of investment in the early 90s, but by the middle of the decade, the demand fell sharply as investors recognized that only a relatively small percentage of those old comic books had any intrinsic long-term value.

What this means is that shopping for antiques isn't merely about buying old objects--it is about being able to recognize their worth. This requires the investors to study the market and the history of the antiques. Or, failing that, they can hire appraisers who already have that expertise and can advise them.

Antiques can be found in any of the following places.

1. Antique Stores

As the name suggests, antique stores specialize in selling antiques. They can be found in large cities and small towns alike. Their biggest advantage is that the antiques are usually certified, so investors know they are at least buying something of value. They also usually have a pretty wide selection, offering everything from old dresses to fine china.  While they can be more expensive than some of the other options, they still offer a decent range of prices.

2. Auction Houses

At auction houses, antiques are sold at the open auction to the highest bidder. This is the most expensive option of them all. And while the price can be worth the investment, that isn't usually the case. In the auction house's fast-paced environment, the investors don't have opportunities to verify if the auctioneers accurately represented the antiques' values. As a result, an investor may wind up getting stuck with an object that's worth far less than what she paid for it.

If an investor want to buy antiques at the auction, she should set a limit on how much she will spend before going in. If the bidding on an antiques she wants goes above that limit, she should move on to some other item.

3. Flea Markets

"Flea markets" is a general term for any store or outdoor market that sells cheap goods, many of which are antiques. While this is one of the cheapest options, much of what they sell is, quite plainly, junk--it may have good aesthetic qualities, but it's not worth the investment. Invesors should also keep in mind that the dealers won't usually hesitate to try to turn sales in their favor by trying to get an investor to pay more than a good is worth. While most dealers will not outright lie, many will take advantage of an investor's ignorance or apply high-pressure sales tactics. This is why investors must be especially careful about what they buy.