Auctions for Adding Antique Accessories

Antiques fit right in with a budget makeover for a room  Don't spend a fortune to purchase antique accessories when redecorating any of your rooms, just buy what you love and what’s going to complement your redecorating project.  If you're  trying to find the perfect vase for your accent table, or need just that special something to bring some warmth into your room, try attending an antique auction to find the perfect accessory at the perfect price.

Purchasing antiques at auction can be daunting for a first-timer.  You’re going to be bidding against dealers and professionals – but don’t be intimidated.  Knowing the process will keep you from making a  fool of yourself and help find just the right accessories for redecorating your room.

  1. Find an antique auction.  Some are advertised in newspapers and local publications, some are not.  Use the internet to locate an auction in your area.
  2. Attend the preview.  Auctions move fast, they don’t stop and let you look at each item being sold, so you need to preview the items before the sale.  The preview time will be advertised along with the sale.
  3. The preview is the perfect time to ask questions, don’t do it during the sale.   Introduce yourself to the floor staff or to the auctioneer.  Tell them what you are looking for.  They can help point you in the right direction.  Usually delicate accessories are kept in showcases, some auctions may have the cases locked and a member of the staff will have to hand you the item to examine.
  4. If you see an item that will work perfectly for your decorating project, examine it closely.  You want to see if there is any damage or repairs.  Feel along the edges for chips and hold it up to the light to look for hairline cracks.  If it’s painted, is the paint decoration intact and in good condition?
  5. Ask the floor staff for their opinion, were they aware of any damage or repairs on the piece?
  6. If you find it to be in good shape and you think it’s the piece for you, ask for more information on it.  Tell the auctioneer what you’re going to be using it for and ask him how much he thinks it will sell for (if there’s no catalog with price estimates).  If it’s something with which you’re not familiar, tell him or her, they are only too happy to share their knowledge and gain a new customer.  Sometimes they’ll even share more information on the piece, such as information on the estate it came from .
  7. Decide what you would like to spend on it and bid up to that amount during the sale.  You may get lucky and get it for less, or you may get caught up in auction fever and pay a bit more.  Don’t let yourself get too carried away.  Remember, many auctions charge a buyer’s premium, usually 10% or more, that is added to the selling price along with sales tax.

Auctions are a fun and exciting way to purchase budget accessories, but make sure it’s the right piece for the right place, and don’t buy too much, or you’re going to end up with a cluttered room on your hands!