Second Hand Bargain Shopping

Find useful tips for buying and selling second hand items.

| March 2018

Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Care for Antiques, Collectibles, and Other Treasures (Practical Guide Series) (University of North Texas Press, 2012), by Georgia Kemp Caraway, encourages readers to take care of their antiques and collectibles. Georgia Kemp Caraway shares ways to clean antiques that will not damage the surfaces. She also shares helpful tips about where and how to find and acquire antiques and collectibles. This excerpt can be found in “Appendix A-D.”

Auction Tips

Try to attend the preview before bidding starts. Some auctioneers will point out flaws or imperfections, but don’t depend on it. The preview is your opportunity to look for chips, cracks, and other problems before you bid.

Check out box lots for hidden treasures. Before bidding, check to make sure the treasure you want is still in the box.

Listen for the auctioneer’s announcements before the bid-ding begins. You will learn the terms of the auction: method of payment; refund policy; if a buyer’s premium will be added to the price; reserves applicable; “as is” terms; and return policies.



Keep track of who is bidding so as not to bid against yourself. If the auctioneer notices, he should point this out to you; however, some unscrupulous auctioneers may take advantage of your mistake. Also, if you have a bidding partner, be sure you are not bidding against each other.

At an estate sale, try to avoid bidding against relatives of the owner if it is evident that the item has sentimental value. Use your own judgment here.






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