How To Buy Good Stuff by Ed Welch of the Journal of Antiques & Collectibles

Collectors, the following procedure is a proper procedure to follow when you are considering buying an item to add to your collection.
DO NOT LOOK AT THE PRICE TAG.

Place your hand over the price tag or remove the tag if you can. If you can do neither of the above, simply do not look at the price tag. Your goal should be to examine thoroughly the item to decide if it is authentic, if it is in perfect condition, if it is an excellent example of its type, and if you would enjoy owning this particular piece. By making a decision on whether or not to buy an antique based on quality, you have accomplished three very important objectives:
You did not let a cheap price unduly influence you into buying an item that you normally would not buy.
You did not let an expensive price tag discourage you from owning a fine antique.
You let the major consideration be that of value and quality.
There is a term used in the antique trade to describe the best examples of any type of antique. This term is simple and easy to understand: investment grade antique.
There are many drop leaf tables for sale on the antique marketplace, but only a few of these tables can be categorized as being of investment grade. The price range of drop leaf tables for sale in the antique marketplace today starts at $200 and stops at around $10,000. Just because some dealer put a price tag of $2,000 on a particular drop leaf table does not make that table worth $2,000. Some dealers have a tremendous amount of gall; other dealers simply do not know the true value of the items they carry. See the complete article: http://www.journalofantiques.com/Feb06/business.html


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