Unfortunately, for those just starting out in the hobby, it's hard to decide what's worth the price tag and what's not. Whether you want to collect "antiques" in general or you're interested in a specific glassmaker's works or a toy company's dolls, the key to creating a good collection is to have fun with the buying process.
Remember, not every "find" would turn out to be a winner on an antique appraisal program, but if each buy fits the collection, makes you happy and compliments your home, you're doing good. The best rule of thumb for the beginner is to find items you like and go with those until you're more familiar with discerning values. If you like something, you can't go wrong.
To ensure you're happy with purchases for your antique collection, consider the following things before making the purchase:
* Do you love the item? If you don't, it's not going to make you happy whether it's worth 10 times its going price or exactly what you pay for it. * Is the price reasonable? If you're just starting out or even if you have a little background in pricing antiques, if the price seems to high for what you're getting and you can't determine the real value, you might want to steer clear - for now. Go and research the piece, if you must, and go back if the price is right. * Does the item fit your collection? If you collect dolls and you're buying a piece of satin glass because you think it's a steal, you might not be getting what you think. Unless the price is good, stick with what you know until you can research things further. * Look for distinguishing marks. This goes especially for collectors of china and other glass type goods. Oftentimes, makers of fine china and good glass signed their pieces with either painted insignias, symbols, letters or some other such means of identifying where the glass came from. These marks are good for distinguishing authenticity. Look for them.
Getting started in buying antiques is a fun and rewarding process. Some buys are actually worth far more than the sticker price. Others may not be, but if they fit the look you're going for and you love them, the price is perfect!