The Salvage Hunter’s top 5 tips for buying antiques

To accompany his H&A column, Salvage Hunters' Drew Pritchard passes on insider antiques-hunting advice

Antiques and restoration expert Drew Pritchard

Salvage Hunters‘ presenter and antiques dealer Drew Pritchard tells the fantastic and fascinating stories of life antiques hunting. To help you on your own hunt for an amazing find, here Drew passes on his top five tips here for unearthing exciting antiques and creating a fruitful relationship with your local dealer…

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1

Everyone should be a winner

Make sure the antique dealer can walk away with a profit too and don’t try to haggle them into the ground. Ideally you should try to build a longer-term relationship so you can come back again and again.

2

Avoid fakes

When you buy, ensure that the dealer writes the full description including the provenance of the item with any known dates. That way you know exactly what you’re buying and if it’s authentic. Plus, you can walk away with a strong degree of confidence about what you’ve bought.

3

Buy complete sets

Make sure you buy complete items – avoid buying part of a set thinking you can buy another part or piece at another time, elsewhere. There’s no guarantee you’ll complete the set. Antique parts are very hard to find.

4

Know your salvage dealer

If your budget is limited, you’ll often be able to buy unrestored stock cheaply if you’re on the ball and can act fast. Many dealers have quick stock turnover. Give them a call every now and then to see what they have. Be prepared to buy it there and then and take it as it is. You can undertake the restoration under your own steam.

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5

Take a big car or 4×4

Whenever you go to a salvage yard or antique shop, make sure you arrive with suitable transport to take away any prospective bargains. It’s also a good idea to take a friend along with you – just in case you find a bulky item that you want to buy straightaway. If you can avoid a delivery cost, you will get the best price.