As a beginning antique dealer, you have so much to learn, but just like the antiques you are trying to find, buy and sell, this knowledge takes years to accumulate. You already know you may find something incredible at an estate sale, but how do you determine which estate sales are major and which ones are minor? For example, anyone can call their sale an estate sale if they are selling off Mom and Pop's stuff after their parents die, but it might not include anything of real value. Here is how you can save time and energy and not run to every "estate sale" within fifty miles.
The Estate Sale Listing Belongs to a Former Someone of Wealth
These are the hot beds of antique dealers and the estate sales you absolutely have to attend. There are so many valuable items that the heirs had to take an ad out in the local paper and list everything of remote worth to get buyers to come. Usually the heirs will pick through everything that was not willed to them specifically, but all of the antique furniture remaining could result in some serious deals and profit for you.
The Estate Sale Has Its Own Auctioneer
This is not just some massive yard sale with people roaming around and picking stuff up--oh no. This type of estate sale means that the previous owner of these goods needs to liquidate everything he or she has (or had, if he/she has passed on) and pay their debts or pay for something of great importance and with great urgency. You will have the opportunity to look over all of the antique furniture and all of the goods for sale for at least one hour prior to the auction. This is where you can get an eighteenth century cabinetry or a side table for far less than what they are worth.
Choosing a Period and Studying It Intensely
Another helpful approach to becoming an antique dealer is to pick a period in history and study its furniture intensely. This will keep you from buying everything under the sun just because it is older than you. For instance, if you know that you can probably find lots of antique furniture from the very early twentieth century, that might be a good period to study and to stick with. You may have a lot of competition in your area and desired field of expertise, but then you also know what to expect from the best estate sales in your vicinity.
You can also contact antique dealers, like Bucks County Estate Traders, to browse their available merchandise.