Traveling may be exciting enough, but add to that the thrill of hunting for treasures along the way. Whether you prefer to peruse antique shops, thrift shops, consignment shops, marketplaces, or flea markets, treasures abound.
Make the most of your hunting by following these five tips:
Start with a Budget and a List
Be prepared before you even start your treasure hunt. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on your trip overall. Also, prepare a list of wanted items and keep it on hand as you amble through markets and shops. This list may include vintage textiles, milk glass, Victorian linens, or whatever strikes your fancy.
Bring Cash for Negotiating
Although credit and debit cards are used everywhere these days, it doesn’t hurt to carry cash for negotiating prices. Vendors and shop owners are more likely to negotiate if you can offer them cash. Be sure to use courtesy in your negotiations, however, so as not to offend the sellers, particularly in foreign locations.
Step off the Busy Main Streets
You’re bound to find many shops and markets to peruse along the busier main streets of small towns and even larger cities. Limit your time in these spots. Instead, wander a block or two away. Chances are you’ll find yourself browsing antique opal rings in a small shop off the main drag along with many other exciting finds. Prices will be more affordable as well, and they will be less crowded so you can take your time sorting through the piles and shelves.
Know What to Look For
While consumed with excitement of finding another treasure, be sure to measure a little skepticism in with that excitement. Many items these days are fakes or forgeries, made to look old and valuable. For the items you like to collect, study up on what to look for in genuine finds and how to tell the difference. Here are a few examples:
- If you’re into certain glassware, be sure to know what imprints or etchings, and other details to look for.
- Check the hardware on a piece of furniture to see if it is authentic for the time.
- For antique rugs, inspect the weave.
- Know how to identify differences between sterling silver items and sterling plated. (Hint: take a magnet with you)
In most instances, it’s far more likely to encounter a fake or forgery at a flea market than at an antique store. A little knowledge of your favorite treasures will go a long way in adding to your genuine collection.
Look for Recommendations
Join an online group or look for recommendations of shops and markets in your travel locale. You can find these in blog posts, on social media, or by word of mouth from other travelers. Locals may also be able to tell you who is selling what and where to find them.
Whether the focus of your travels is treasure and antique hunting or you enjoy it as a side trip wherever you travel to, knowing a few tips before you go can make it more enjoyable, as well as more fruitful.