Living in New England, there are so many local antique shops. From home decor, to clothing, it can get overwhelming with all of the choices.
Don't - Pay full price right off the bat
Don't - Insult the pricing or the quality
Don't - Take words for granted
Do - Negotiate price
If there is no tag that says "firm price" its fair game.
Do - Ask about payment options
Credit cards, cash, checks? Make sure you know how you can pay
Do - Ask when they restock their items
Finding out when they get all new goods is always a great idea!
Do - Ask about shipping options
Cant bring that sofa home? Ask if they can coordinate shipping for you
Do - Plug in lights or any other electrical equipment
Always make sure that they work before you buy them!
Do - Inspect each piece for any imperfections
Imperfections can make a piece unique and all value. They can also devalue items. Make sure you inspect the pieces before you buy so there are no hidden finds when you get home!
Do - Make small talk
Get to know the shop owners! You'll be able to get great deals sometimes!
Do - Ask about the piece to find out the date, era, and materials used to make the item.
It's always fun to know the story about a vintage item that you're purchasing. It can also validate the value of the piece.
Do - Come in with an open mind
You'll end up finding all sorts of things at antique shops. It's like going to TJmaxx, go in not having expectations of finding a specific thing, and have fun!
Do - Have a function in mind
By things that you need, and will use. Don't keep buying things just to buy
Do - Stay away from bulk.
If there is a lot of something, its probably not that old, or unique