Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park.
Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park.
Share this article

Following on from last weeks introduction, this week I’ll continue to advise on the best ways to buy and sell antiques.

Last week I talked about car boot sales and fairs and the main problem with these is their permanence.

There isn’t much (if any) come back once they’ve left town.

Obviously, I am biased, but as antiques centres are a permanent fixture, as a buyer, you have immediate secure comeback.

There is usually a large choice, you have the ability to check an item before purchase and sometimes it is possible to negotiate a discount. There isn’t that same (sometimes stressful) urgency at a centre, like there is at a car boot or a fair, where often there is pushing, shoving and haggling too.

Finally, the shopping experience is nicer and members of staff are often experts who can be trusted with advice, valuations, help and delivery.

As there are less and less small antique shops and antique dealers around now, it can be difficult finding one.

Choice can be limited and prices high, but at least you can get expert advice on what you are buying.

For anyone wanting to sell, dealers want a deal and shops want a mark up, so get a neutral valuation first, or do some research before offering your item up for sale.

There are dangers to both buyers and sellers of antiques using the internet.

You can only do limited checks of the people who are either buying or selling.

Very often the quality of the photographs is intentionally poor, making it very difficult for even an experienced buyer to check for reproductions, repairs, damage and condition.

Goods that arrive damaged (or in some cases don’t arrive at all) can take a long time to sort out.

Local newspapers and magazines can be useful for larger items and things that have a local interest, but you will get “time wasters” on the phone and people who offer next to nothing.

Next week I’ll talk about the most complex (but often the most exciting) way to buy and sell antiques and collectables – the auction.