Whatever the reason, antiques and haggling go hand in hand. Those who collect antiques in general or a specific type will soon find learning this art and mastering it are important to keeping the cost of collecting reasonable. Plus, when the art is practiced in a fair way, it's very fun to perfect!
Antique dealers expect a little haggling to go into most propositions. This can be hard for shoppers to get used to since bartering is not a way of life any more. The best way to get started is to jump in with these things in mind: * In most shops, the sticker price has been set to allow some bartering. Of course the dealer will take the full price, but you never know how much less he or she will go down if you don't ask! * Keep it friendly. Point out imperfections in a piece in a nice manner and use them as negotiating points for a lowering of the price. Or, simply state you'd like the piece, but can't afford the full ticket price. With a little luck, that price just might go down a bit. * Don't give yourself away. If you're willing to pay full price because you've fallen in love with a piece, don't give that away. Acting indifferent can really help. * Ask questions about pieces. This can help you determine its actual value and also perhaps net you a friend. Those who deal in antiques, love to talk about them and share their stories. Most collectible pieces have very interesting histories and they can really add to the fun of collecting.
Haggling is not something a modern day shopper will likely be good at coming out of the gate. However, with a little practice and a good attitude, the art can be perfected and it just might show big returns in decent prices for pieces you're after.
Just remember not every piece will be up for negotiation, but that many are. Dealers are willing to drop the price from time to time to help them make a sale or to make customers happy or both. Asking doesn't hurt. Not asking might result in your wallet getting a whole lot lighter.