We’ve really enjoyed Aaron Lapedis’ advice that he’s shared, both in his book and online so we wanted to pass along some of his best tips to all of our readers.
Find Your Passion
Aaron recommends you first discover what collectibles you find the most interesting. Then start learning as much as you can (through books and the Internet) on the subject in order to catch deals at garage or estate sales.
Aaron’s Million-Dollar Tip – Older items are not always worth money. Friends who go to estate sales, see a little dust, and get excited about their “great find.” For anything to be considered an antique, the item needs to be at least a hundred years old. This doesn’t mean things made later don’t have value; you just need to do a little more research.
There are a lot of great places to find a deal on a treasure. Garage sales are wonderful, but you will need to get there early when all the good gems are still available.
Tip – When you are at one of these sales, if you don’t see something you’re looking for, always make sure to ask. Sellers often haven’t put everything out, or they think nobody would be interested in that particular item.
When buying your treasure, try to use a credit card. This will give you added protection if the item is not as described or presented. If the collectible turns out to be a fake or has been restored, usually you can go to your credit card company for assistance in recovering the purchase cost if the owner of the store won’t refund the full amount. If you happen to buy from a garage sale or other store that only accepts cash, make sure you take the time to do your homework before you buy.
Tagsellit.com never recommends using a credit card at a yard or garage sale unless the particular event is being run by a professional and legitimate company. These organizations will most likely be prominently and proudly displaying their business cards and perhaps fliers/information so you can get a better sense of trust for them.
The Art of the Deal
Aaron’s dish on haggling: “One question I am always asked is, “Can I negotiate a better price?” The answer is, always ask. The worst the person can say is no. But there is a trick to asking. Offer a fair price, one that shows the seller that you understand the value of the item. The logic? Asking for a basement price will insult the owner and put him on the defensive. In some instances, the owner may decide he does not want to work with you any longer.”
Final words, Turning Hobby to a Profession
“Treasure hunting is a great hobby and can become a profession when you get good enough. Make sure, when you’re buying something, you take your time. If you move too quickly, you may think you just found a treasure only to realize it is actually trash. Finally, remember to ask questions before you buy. In my mind, there are no dumb questions; only a sucker who thinks they know it all. Have fun and good hunting!”
Source: Denver Magazine