Allison Schottenstein balances most of her time between completing her PhD in history at The University of Texas at Austin and serving as an editor at Cincinnati, Ohio-based Scholar Compass. During her free time, Allison Schottenstein enjoys antiquing and is an ardent collector of Jewish antiquities such as books and dreidels.
Antiquing is a great way to find uniquely designed items that sometimes have a good story attached to them. However, finding the perfect treasure can be difficult, especially with the increasing number of fakes and distressed items made to look like antiques.
When antiquing for decorative household items, remember that buying what you love is better than buying what is trendy. If you find an item that evokes memories or even just a strong emotional response, you are likely to enjoy it more than if your motivation for purchasing it is its popularity. Additionally, you are likely to keep longer, as it won’t lose its novelty as an interesting household detail.
For all antiquing, make sure to do some comparison-shopping, both online and otherwise. Just because an item is classified as an antique does not mean you should pay a lot for it. Many antique items were mass-produced, so they are not always difficult to find at various price points. When searching online, you have a higher risk of coming across a fake, so make sure you know and check for signs of authenticity. Occasionally, you may have the opportunity to barter with a store owner or an online seller. If the asking price for something you love is just too high, see if you can come to an agreement by asking if it can be lowered.