antique shop

Tips for Antiquing Trips

There are hundreds of antique shops peppered throughout the Finger Lakes region, so knowing a few tips before you venture out will help you get the best prices and prizes.


* Make yourself a wish list and have a budget! C’mon, we’ve all done it; we head out to a store for one item and come back with things that were NOT on the list and, in turn, blew our budget.

* Measurements = So you want a beautiful table and or dresser for the foyer, may I suggest take measures of the hall before you head out. Take those measurements three times to be sure, and when you are done with those, be sure to take measurements of your car too. I.E., take measures of the trunk and or lay the seats down (depending on your vehicle) and take those measurements. It is better to be accurate on sizes before you leave the house because who knows you may end up a few hours away, and it would be sad if that dream piece you just found doesn’t fit in the car to bring it back.

*Packing supplies = A word from experience, take a blanket and or blankets (can be moving or otherwise) bubble wrap, rope or bungee cords and oh yes.. bring your own measuring tape. It is ALWAYS better to go prepared even if you are going to (browse) we know that sometimes we cannot pass up those special finds no matter how much willpower one has, and you never know when you will see it again and at that price.

*Phone = Now, I am not saying to take your phone to take selfies while you’re shopping, but I am saying to take your phone to take pictures of where you are in the antique store. Yup, that’s right.. the aisle number and the case number is significant when you’re standing in the middle of the antique mall where there are more nooks and crannies than your English muffin, but if you have a memory of an Elephant, then no worries.

*Inspect pieces of any size = The thing to remember when you’re antique shopping is, ALL SALES ARE FINAL, so with that being said, don’t be shy to thoroughly inspect the piece that you are interested in. I think it is essential to crawl all over an interest that you have and look for any damages, significant defects, etc. and ask the salespeople to assist you too on big pieces and who knows… it is possible to get something cheaper than priced if you see something more significant than a little scratch.

*Show respect = Unlike some mini secondhand folks like garage sales or a thrift store you may find sprinkled along the roads, the antique dealers are well-versed. Do yourself a huge favor or two, skip all the low price jabs and ask, “what’s the best you can do”? Trust me, it shows respect, and no law ball offer or hard haggling needs to happen.

*Lastly .. CASH = Here’s a tip of the trade that I have been told by a few local antique shop owners when you buy your items and or item with cash you are likely to get some money off even if it is a couple bucks. Why? Because you’re saving them their charges from their bank or credit card companies in regards to surcharges.

For more information about antiques in the area, check out this website.

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