"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer


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Friday, August 8, 2014

Fleamarket Friday: How To Spot a Deal

When it comes to shopping antique stores and flea markets, beauty and value is in the eye of the beholder -and prices can fluctuate like the stock market.

Although antiques are usually defined as anything 100 years or older and vintage collectibles as pieces at least 20 years past new, determining an item’s price it’s not age but home d├ęcor trends, region, modern lifestyle and nostalgia that reign.

When I interviewed managing director of New York-based, Heritage Auctions, and Antiques Roadshow appraiser Kathleen Guzman for my bookazine, Flea Market Finds she provided this example: "[Right now] nobody wants an armoire. Twenty years ago, people liked armoires because they could hide their TVs…but now, TVs are so thin, its sort of modern and trendy to have a flat screen on your wall like a picture. An armoire that twenty years ago brought $20,000 dollars, may get $500 today. It’s like firewood…Thank God silver has a high melt value right now because people don’t want it, and it’s all being melted…People don’t live that way anymore with expensive flatware services and china and Waterford crystal. You go to any regional auction house and they’re giving that stuff away. They can’t even find buyers for it.”

Which can be good news if (in spite of what everyone else is doing) you happen to like that stuff...

In fact, when it comes to buying cool old stuff, Guzman says buying what you like is really the only thing that matters. “People always ask me, what should I collect, Kathleen? I think first and foremost you should collect what you love…because it’s a lifelong thing. It may appreciate in value in your lifetime, it may not. You may as well enjoy it while you’re doing it."

Bottom line, browsing online auction sites like eBay or comparison shopping at an antique mall can provide a ballpark estimate or price range for items that interest you. If you can find it for less at a flea market or yard sale: score!

Happy hunting!

 Loved this pricey comic strip clip of Steve the "fighting editor" of Snapshot Magazine!
 Desperately seeking Warhol. Tiny, doll-sized soup cans!
 Howdy, Kewpie!
 Is it me, or does Howdy's head look like it's on backwards...
40-Something flashback...pre-My Little Pony era.

Where the fleas are:
This weekend check out
Pasadena, CA
2nd Sunday of every month
coming up: Sunday, Dec.8
 
every Sunday 9am-5pm 
In the parking lot at Fairfax High School
7850 Fairfax Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
$3 Admission fee is a fundraiser for the high school

Brooklyn Fleas
Brooklyn, NY:
Saturday 10-5
 Saturday and Sunday 10-5
Sunday 10-5

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