BEGINNERS TIP: What are some things to expect at an antique mall?

One of the places that I love to go to and try to find great deals are at a local antique mall.  They have everything from advertising to pottery, and the inventory is usually different.  If you have never been to one, what are some of the things that you should expect?

The first thing is that the dealers that have a booth there are most likely not going to be there.  The antique mall will have someone up front running the store.

The second thing to remember is the people that run the store are open to offers on just about any item.  If the item came out of a booth that another dealer runs, the people that run the mall will be more than glad to call the dealer and give them the offer for you.

Always make sure you look at the tag—if the tag says FIRM, then the dealer will not take an offer on it.

The third thing to remember is that one of the best times to get a great deal is the middle of the week.  Auctions, estate sales and even garage sales are more often than not going to be on the weekend—the dealers will bring in new inventory about Tuesday or Wednesday and try to clear out the old about the same time.

The last thing to remember is that you never know what you are going to run across, so keep your eyes peeled.

What kinds of tips that you use when you shop at an antique mall?

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What are some different types of pottery decoration?

When you are out and about at a flea market, antique store or even local auctions, you will run across a wide variety of pottery with different decorations.  Here is a few of the decoration types that you will run across:

Tin-glazing—this is the process of giving ceramic items a tin-based glaze that is white, glossy and opaque, and it is normally applied to either red or buff pottery.  The whiteness of the tin glaze itself encourages its frequent decoration with color.  Majolica, delftware and even faience are some of the names used for some of the common types of this type of pottery.

Blue and white pottery—this covers a wide range of white pottery that is decorated under the glaze with a blue color. The decoration can be applied by hand, but it’s now usually applied with a stencil or by transfer-printing.

Lusterware—this is a type of pottery with a metallic style glaze that gives the effect of iridescence.  It’s produced by using metallic oxides in an over glaze finish and then fired in second firing at a lower temperature.

Salt-glaze—this is a pottery (usually stoneware) that has a glaze of a glossy, translucent finish with a slightly orange peel-like texture.  This finish is formed by throwing common salt into the kiln during the higher temperature part of the firing process.

This is only a few of the types of decoration that you will find on pottery.  What other types have you run across?

All the different colors of glassware can make your head spin!

Whenever you are shopping for vintage glassware, hearing all of the different colors of vintage glassware can make your head spin.  Here’s some of the colors that you can run across:

Ice blue—this is a very pale color of blue, and it can have a pastel iridescence if it is on a piece of carnival glass.

Vaseline glass—this is a glass color that has had uranium salts added to the molten glass mix.  When you look at this type of glass under normal lighting, the glass will appear to be yellow or even a yellow green.  When this glass is hit with an ultraviolet light (a blacklight), the glass will fluoresce in a very bright green (it looks like it could be glowing).

Reverse amberina—this is a type of glassware that is the opposite of amberina.  The central part of the glassware is red and it blends out to yellow at the edges (amberina is yellow at the center and it turns red at the edge).

Amber—this type of glass can vary from almost a yellow to a brown.  The best way to visualize the color of amber that is used when jewelry is made.

Horehound—this type of glassware is an amber color with a gray hue to it.  Some collectors call this color of glassware “Root beer”.

This is a small sample of what you can find on glassware.  What other colors have you run across?

What are some tips when you attend an estate sale?

When I started to sell items online, one of the types of sale that I found are estate sales.  When you go to an estate sale, the contents of the house are usually for sale.  I have heard them referred to as a tag sale and even an estate liquidation.

Estate sales are a wonderful way to find some bargains, but what are some tips to remember when you attend one?

The first thing to remember is that all sales are final.  You need to be careful with this—check everything carefully for damage and to see if any electrical items that you are interested in work.  When you attend a sale, you will most likely see signs that read either ALL SALES ARE FINAL or even one  that reads ALL ITEMS ARE AS IS / WHERE IS.

The next thing to remember is to bring cash.  The people that are running the sale may not have the ability to run a credit card or accept your check.

Another thing to remember is to bring the muscle.  You may need to load a very heavy piece, like a piece of furniture.

The last tip to remember is that there will be times that you can get a discount on the price of the item you are interested in.  The estate sale company that runs the sale will usually have the sale over a couple of days.  The first day will usually be full price while the second day will have 10 to 25 percent off and the third day could be as much as half off the price.

When I go to an estate sale, I am now in the habit of seeing if there is a discount the day I attend.

This is only a few of the tips to remember when you attend an estate sale.  What kinds of tips have you run across?