Story by Michelle Klima, Summer 2014
Oh, the hunt! The thrill can be a downright high for me on any given day. Little treasures are always out there just waiting to be found, and the savviest of junkers just needs to know how to find them.
After 20 years searching for all things rusty, crusty and old, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade. These tidbits should help you navigate your own junking adventures.
First, be an early bird! You’ll have first dibs on the entire sale, so this could be your deal of the day. However, don't bargain with sellers too much. If you want rock-bottom prices, shop later towards the end of any particular sale.
Next, be sure to always look both high and low in antique stores and shows. Vendors are paying for space, and we want to make the most of every dollar. So, that little treasure you’re looking for might be stacked just out of plain sight.
Further, when vendors are unloading at an antique sale, always check out what hasn't yet made it off the truck. Sometimes your best find is still waiting to be unloaded. You can also do this at yard sales by asking if there are any old barns/sheds on the property.
Moving on, I love to stop in small towns while travelling, especially the old mill towns that dot our part of the country. Oftentimes you’ll find a little junk store with some of the best finds at very low prices.
Finally, the most important tidbit I can offer is probably the simplest – if you love it, buy it. I’ve seen it a million times, as people think too long and come back to get the one thing that they loved only to find out that it has already been sold.
However, this leads me to what I call my “junking laws.” Every business or industry has ethical standards, and junking is no different.
Above all else, you must know how to talk to dealers about merchandise and negotiate a better price. Don’t degrade or pick apart someone's stuff no matter its condition. Moreover, never just flatly tell someone what you will pay for their merchandise. Rather, simply ask the person for their best price.
As the old saying goes, you get more with "sugar" than you do "salt,” and successful junkers know how to play that game.
Finally, remember that the people in the antique business are some of the best you’ll ever meet. If you abide by these simple “junking laws,” you’ll be able to find the best treasures at the best prices and probably make a new friend or two along the way.
Story by Michelle Klima
Owner of Resurrect Antiques