Negotiating for antiques isn’t that difficult or scary, but this is something many people struggle with – how to bargain, what’s appropriate, and what is expected? There was a time when tourists were optimistic about finding a bargain at flea markets. Buyers have been able to unearth valuable treasures in a booth filled with junk. Let’s just put it this way… there are no longer as many fleas at the flea markets. It’s often gorgeous, high-quality inventory… in fact, so gorgeous it’s almost ALL objects that you want to bring home with you. Many flea markets in Europe, such as the Paris Flea Market, are now set up as permanent stalls – which means it may feel more like a retail experience! So the question is – can you get a bargain at the flea market? And want to know the best way to get a bargain? In honesty, my best advice is to use our Antiques Diva Guides. We do volume business. The vendors know us and know our guides. They know we are coming back week after week and that our clients are pre-qualified shoppers. You’re not given the tourist price on an Antiques Diva Paris Tour – you’re given the locals price – because the vendors have relationships with us and know that Antiques Diva clients MEAN BUSINESS!
For Americans, negotiating on antiques in Europe or Asia is more difficult than in the US due to the language and cultural differences. Part of our service is to translate and negotiate on our client’s behalf. But if you’re not with a guide, what should you do? You need to ask.
And as I always say, the best price on antiques is the price you’re willing to pay.
Negotiating for Antiques
Negotiation is a skill and an art – and not one that everyone is comfortable with. Bargaining at an online site is far less personal than negotiating with someone right in front of you – who no doubt has more haggling experience than you. Americans are used to paying the price on the price tag, while Asians believe the price tag is just the start point. Whether you’re negotiating on antiques in Europe or Asia, some bargaining guidelines will always apply. As a ground rule, expect to get at 10-15% discount. Negotiating for antiques is expected at flea markets, antique shows, stores and warehouses. But some dealers simply won’t negotiate – while others may surprise you with 25, 30 or even a 50% discount. Not all of these tips for negotiating on antiques will work with every antique dealer: but one or two should work in most circumstances!
- Be polite. The easiest most polite way to ask is to simply say, “Is that your best price?” It allows the vendor room to negotiate and sometimes they will surprise you by offering more of a discount than you expected. If you’re shipping with a reputed shipper who will give export papers you can tell the vendor it’s for export and automatically you can get a discount!
- Show some love. Antique dealers are proud of their inventory and want you to value their knowledge. Ask questions and show your interest in the piece so the dealer knows you are a serious buyer, not just a looky-loo.
- Cash is king. Cash brings you greater negotiating power, but occasionally vendors will take credit cards. Considering splitting a purchase between cash and credit for a better deal on larger items. While more and more vendors take credit cards, cash still has the most buying power when you’re negotiating for antiques.
- What is it worth to you? Look at an item and come up with a figure you would be willing to pay for it. Do this before you look at the price tag! Then when you check the price, you will know whether it’s too high or just right for you. Having a set figure in your mind before you even start negotiations allows you to buy smartly and avoid buyer’s remorse later.
- Timing is extremely important. Looking for garden furniture and statues? Buy them in the off-season and you’re sure to score a better price.
- Check for damage. If you see unusual wear and tear on a piece and want to negotiate an extra discount due to damage, be polite! Never insult the vendor or his inventory.
- Check the weather. If bad weather is keeping away the buyers, dealers may be willing to negotiate bigger discounts in order to salvage the day.
- Buy multiple pieces from a single dealer. Most vendors are willing to negotiate a bigger discount when a buyer is purchasing multiple pieces rather than a single piece.
- Counteroffer. If you think you can score a better deal than the one offered, counteroffer with a reasonable price, such as splitting the difference.
- End of day is often the ideal time to negotiate for antiques because the vendor doesn’t want to pack everything up again. But beware… true finds often go early in the day. Early birds get the best selection of inventory – but not necessarily the best prices.
Some vendors, antique shows or private sellers offer special discounts and arrangements to industry professionals, such as other antique dealers, interior designers or decorators. Often you will need some type of tax-exempt number, or even just a business card, to provide proof that you are in fact a dealer.
Negotiating for Antiques in Asia
Haggling is part of the culture in Asia. And excellent bargains and unique and unusual pieces are available for Western shoppers. The key to successfully negotiating for antiques in Asia? Do your homework.
- Research the type of pieces available and what it sells for in Asia. Online research can tell you the approximate value of an item, and you can look to see what comparable items sell for in the US.
- Know the laws. There are some items that are illegal to sell in Asia and some that are illegal to import into the US. If the price seems to good to be true… it probably is.
- Shop at the right stores where the pieces are authentic and the dealers are honest. Many buyers don’t care if an antique is “authentic” – they are buying for a specific look and price. An antique dealer knows their inventory – but you still can score a find!
- Be ready to walk away. Because negotiation is a sport in Asia, the dealer may enjoy the process as much as making the sale! Demonstrate you know how to play the negotiation game.
- Learn some local terms. Being able to say hello and thank you in the local language shows you respect the seller.
At The Antiques Diva® & Co, our team of antiques and flea market local expert antiques guides know the markets like the back of their hand. Our job is to help clients find the exact market that has what they are looking for – maximizing their time, translating, negotiating, and coordinating shipping your antiques home by liaising with a 3rd party shipper. We save our clients time and money by custom planning their visit to the antiques markets and warehouses, and helping negotiate their purchases.
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Unique and sustainable materials are important trends in interior design. Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials allow the homeowner to curate a unique, personal aesthetic that represents who they are – and isn’t identical to their neighbor’s home. We’ve seen architects use old French doors in new construction, interior designers source vintage sinks in multiple colors to complement a scheme, and clients buy gorgeous chandeliers to hang over their dining tables. The options really are endless. Owners of older homes often look for period pieces for restoration projects while those building new houses want something that adds the warmth and patina that only antiques can provide. Loft dwellers love finding burnished pieces and industrial salvage, perhaps from an old warehouse or factory. Reclaimed and repurposed materials add character and are one-of-a-kind statement pieces.
Where to Buy Architectural Salvage in Europe and Asia
Most of our clients purchase architectural salvage and reclamation pieces for a specific project: whether that’s an interior designer sourcing pieces to be used in a client’s home design or a developer who contacts us to find materials to use in constructing homes or hotels.
And as always – we have a slew of antique dealer clients who source architectural salvage in Europe and Asia to stock their own stores for resale.
The Antiques Diva & Co has helped clients source entire frescoed ceilings, built-in libraries, Italian roof tiles, floor tiles, reclaimed wood floors, and even staircases. Whether found on tour or through our Buying Services, our Antiques Diva Guides know where to go, who to talk to about restoration, what a fair price is, and how to ship your purchases back home. Depending on the look and style you want to buy, the best countries to buy architectural salvage are England, Belgium, France, Italy, Thailand and Indonesia.
Our English Antiques Diva Buying Agent Gail McLeod believes England is ideal to buy architectural salvage reclaimed materials.
Sussex is a key county – we have key architectural suppliers in both West and East Sussex. Somerset, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and The Cotswolds including Oxfordshire are other key locations. London has some excellent sources for both decorative antiques and architectural materials. We have worked on many projects and are aware of the detailed requirements when sourcing architectural and reclaimed material and objects for a specific project rather than for resale in a showroom.
Recent projects we have sourced for include a multi £million theme park – the theme was Victorian gothic and we spent 2 weeks on the road discovering ecclesiastical and architectural salvage and garden antiques. This included ancient fragments, stone roof tiles, Gothic paneling, crown top chimney pots by the 100, original stained glass windows 30 feet high and accurate period furniture for the interior of the various buildings and chapels on the park – all this done to a flat plan with specifications. They needed a large number of aged gravestones from decommissioned churches so I made sure our sources had plenty for them to choose from when we arrived!
Another large project was the remodeling of the former LA home of a musical superstar, restoring the house to the original Spanish Colonial style for the new owner – quite a niche sector but we found the most fabulous pieces and he was thrilled. Another couple was building a wonderful estate on the Seattle shoreline and has very specific requirements – they are currently on their 2nd tour with us to finalize the artwork.
Marc Allum is one of the BBC Antiques Roadshow experts and is also a historical buildings expert. He lives in an Elizabethan house just outside Bath where they recently found Roman remains when excavating the garden. England is a treasure trove for sourcing architectural salvage and reclaimed materials!
Read more: Tips for Buying Architectural Salvage
If you need to shop for architectural salvage and reclaimed pieces but don’t have time to travel, our Antiques Diva Buying Services will work with you to source, purchase and ship pieces that meet your exact requirements.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Sourcing antiques like a pro isn’t simply knowing where to buy antiques: Interior designers, antique dealers, landscape architects and other design professionals not only source antiques in Europe, they also must learn to authenticate the provenance of antiques and spot fakes! Not even experts can always spot a fake: a recent news story about a woodworker who fooled antique experts with a fake American secretary has everyone buzzing! I spoke to a room of design professionals on How to Source Antiques like the Pros with interior designers Robert Passal and Garrow Kedigian at an event at the D&D Building hosted by The Robert Allen Duralee Group.
(The event was streamed on Facebook LIVE by Aspire magazine, watch here.)
One hot topic the audience asked the panel was, How do I spot fake antiques?
How do I spot fake antiques?
First and foremost: Spotting fake antiques and reproductions that are being presented as real antiques takes practice – and even the experts can be fooled. One of my favorite stories is that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has the largest collection of fake Rembrandts in the world! They did an exhibit a few years back of all their fake Rembrandts. The reality is they didn’t buy them as fakes: they thought they were buying real Rembrandts but found out later they were not. This just goes to show: Mistakes can happen to anyone.
What I say is buyer, beware. You should always do as much as you can to authenticate a piece, but even the most educated buyer can make a mistake. But my theory is, when you’re buying an antique, it comes down to:
- Do you love it?
- Is it a price you’re willing to pay?
- Are you willing to live with it even if it’s not what you think it is?
Buyer, Beware: How to Avoid Buying Fake Antiques
Some reproductions are over 100 years old, and antiques themselves! If you love it and its perfect for your needs, there’s nothing wrong with buying a reproduction or ‘fake antique’ – as long as you know it’s not an authentic antique and it’s not being misrepresented. One of the biggest trends in ‘fake antiques’ is when vendors use antique materials to create newly made pieces. An important question to ask is, “Is this a period piece? Or a style piece?” Unfortunately, there are dealers who will deliberately mislead a buyer. Here are some steps you can take to avoid buying fake antiques:
- Educate Yourself
Do your research before you shop and become familiar with the style of antiques you are shopping for.
Ask the dealer if the piece is a genuine antique, inquire about its provenance.
- Buy From Reputable Dealers
Most antique dealers love their business and are proud of their stock and reputation. They like talking about their inventory, and telling you how they acquired a piece and sharing their expertise.
Take a close look at any piece you are interested in buying. Do the joints look authentic? Are there signs of modern manufacturing methods? Are the selections – or the prices – too good to be true?
- Consult an Expert
At The Antiques Diva®, our job is to connect you to the right experts who have what you’re looking to buy.
Interior designer Robert Passal pointed out that with experience, you can usually tell an authentic antique from a fake. He added that sometimes reproductions aren’t so bad! Design expert Garrow Kedigian agreed that sometimes reproductions a good purchase: you have to understand decorative art versus antiques. It’s all about the style – sometimes a piece is perfect, even if it’s not an antique.
We’d love to take you on an antiques buying tour, and introduce you to our expert dealers and secret sources!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Early in February, I spoke at New York City’s D&D Building and I was asked by a room full of interior design professionals, “Where is the trend heading for European now?” My response: If you’re only going to shop one place, for one-stop shopping the best place to buy antiques is England! In January I was in London twice – first for the London Art, Antiques and Interiors Fair, and then again later in the month for meetings to plan upcoming special events.
England has become a far more affordable travel destination for Americans in recent years due to some negative news: Brexit led to an economic downturn. Here’s another tip: According to USAToday, ‘Airbnb is thriving in London with an average rental rate of $115 per night, and sister-site TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals are in no short supply.’
One of the best examples of “one-stop shopping in England” is the 29th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in March.
Today is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in the UK
WATCH: Toma Clark Haines: How to Source Antiques Like the Pros
Brexit has had an impact on buying antiques in the UK. In short, England has gone on sale for American buyers! Now is the best time to buy antiques in England.
If you’re only going to shop one place, I would say shop in England. England is one-stop shopping. The best of France is already there. For hundreds of years, the Brits have been scouring the world collecting antiques.
Gail McLeod is our English Antiques Diva Buying Agent and she might just be the most connected woman in the world of antiques. She also is owner of Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website Antiques News & Fairs and is Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website and vice chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association. She is co-founder of Antiques Young Guns. Her career in the antiques trade began as manager of Pennard House Antiques in Bath – the UK’s largest export trade collective for decorative antiques in the fabled days of frantic business.
Here in England we are blessed with a complete melting pot of inventory which has arrived on our shores from the Colonies and there has never been an occasion when I have been stumped by a request from a Diva client! Spanish Colonial period pieces for a Hollywood mansion? Step this way! A collection of gravestones and a church spire for a luxury theme park? No problem!
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair is still the leading regional event to beat, where rustic to refined ultra-relevant stylish English Country House style, Mid Century design, industrial chic, Swedish period painted furniture, period portraits and perennially fashionable crusty iron garden furniture will rub shoulders with decorative staples of the 80s and 90s.
Now back in demand by a new and younger audience – French marble top chocolatiers’ tables, elaborate brass and steel bakers’ racks, buffets and armoires in fruitwood, huge pine refectory tables and Windsor chairs, rows of yellow confit pots, pub signs, marine and advertising ephemera, homely Staffordshire dogs, samplers and quilts and yes, large-scale oak, mahogany and walnut brown furniture re-imagined by a new generation of decorators and collectors.
The event has remained at the same wonky Bath Pavilion since the launch back in 1989 and quickly fills up with eager exhibitors each year, keen to secure a place at what is reliably expected to be a busy event teeming with buyers from the UK, EU and USA happy to queue up for hours in all weathers before the doors open at 12 midday.
The 29th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair
9-11 March 2018
TRADE ONLY 8 March
The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath, BA2 4EU
- Opening Times:
TRADE PREVIEW Thursday 8 March: 12noon – 5pm
Admission with Trade Invite or Trade Business Card. Otherwise £10.00.
PUBLIC: Friday 9 March 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10 March 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11 March 10am – 4pm
Toma, The Antiques Diva
I’m crushing on Chinoiserie – it’s a chic blend of what you find on The Antiques Diva® European and Asian Antique Buying tours. Travel opens your eyes and senses to new ideas and experiences, and we bring our new experiences back with us and interpret them into our own homes. As celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk told us: “Modern interior design is all about the global mix.” Our guest blogger Liza Jones, of Liza Jane Interiors, shares her love of Chinoiserie with us and how to bring the global mix with some Eastern flair into your home!
I’ve always been fascinated with all things Asian and I especially love Chinoiserie. Both as a general interior design style and as individual elements seen in interiors of all types, it’s one of those styles that have been around forever but really never goes out of fashion.
So you won’t have to struggle through this post, here’s how to pronounce ‘Chinoiserie’ which is derived from ‘chinois,’ the French word for Chinese: http://howjsay.com/pronunciation-of-Chinoiserie .
It all started in the 15th century when Marco Polo explored ‘the Orient’ and brought the first exotic Eastern treasures like colorful silks and carved ivory and jade ornaments back to Europe.
Chinoiserie – which has always been less about representing the Far East accurately and more about Europe’s idyllic, romanticized idea of the other side of the world – took the west by storm in popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was truly the first international design style.
Both then and now, Chinoiserie motifs range from the natural (willow trees, mountain ranges, streams, monkeys, elephants) to the man-made (pagodas, bridges, temples) to the fantastical (foo dogs, dragons, phoenixes).
Bearing those motifs is the ever-popular blue and white porcelain. Did you know these vases, plates, ginger jars, and more were at one time among the biggest exports from China to Europe? Today it’s everywhere and at just about every price point.
My preference has always been antique Chinoiserie. Take a look at some of these beautiful antiques I spied that would make any space special.
Pair of Red Chinoiserie Bamboo Sconces, 1st Dibs
We see Chinoiserie’s timelessness in currently very trendy fretwork patterns and glossy lacquered furniture finishes. Chinese garden stools, lacquered Ming tables, and ginger jars also adorn many of today’s homes of all styles, from staunchly traditional to ultra modern.
If you are looking to infuse your own home with a bit of Eastern-inspired flair, here’s a selection of some of my favorite pieces on the market today ranging from pagoda-shaped lanterns to bamboo-framed mirrors. I just might have to get a dog so I can have that fabulous pagoda dog bed!
Pagoda Lantern, Charles Edward Lighting
Pagoda Mirror, Interior HomeScapes
Pagoda Pet Bed, Society Social
Willow Salad Plates, Loveramics
Macau Armchair, Ballard Designs
Oscar de la Renta Pagoda Bar Cabinet, Century Furniture
Many of the grandest, most fashionable rooms have one thing in common: hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper. Some of the best quality today are from Gracie or De Gournay. Take a look at these absolutely stunning wallpapers.
For those of you who might be on the fence about installing wallpaper, I have found a company that sells temporary wallpaper in Chinoiserie styles and I think they look amazing. How cool is that?!
By the way, remember to always order a sample of any wallcovering you’re looking to put in your home, whether temporary or not, as colors can look very different on a computer screen than they do in person.
When it comes to Chinoiserie print fabrics… the sky is the limit. Almost every fabric line carries one or two patterns at the very least. I have pulled together just a few of my many favorites for you here.
Isn’t it fun knowing you can put something (whether it’s brand new or a rare antique) in your home today that’s been considered beautiful and stylish for centuries? Even though the tide of design styles ebbs and flows constantly, I’m confident we’ll never see Chinoiserie be anything less than the epitome of chic.
So tell me, are you brave enough to include a little Chinoiserie in your home?
Liza Jones, owner and principal designer at Liza Jane Interiors in McLean, VA, believes that good design is transformative, allowing us to experience joy when our living environments offer beauty, functionality and comfort.
A proud eighth-generation Virginian, Liza has a unique ability to spot unusual pieces that will punctuate and define a room’s décor. She then combines those pieces with other elements to create an elegant, cohesive finished space that reflects the clients’ personal tastes.
Her passion for gardening and original fine art, and her ongoing world travels inform Liza’s tastes for different styles and cultures. She sources a wide range of unique furnishings, artwork, and accessories to create living spaces for her clients that move their souls.
Liza Jane Interiors
Have you ever wondered where the worlds leading antiques dealers, interior designers – and mere antiques lovers – go to source fabulous, unique and authentic antiques? The secret: The Antiques Diva® & Co.
Buying antiques is not difficult. Anyone who can google can find an antique store to shop. The trick is in knowing with 1000’s and 1000’s of options – where to go – which dealer has the best inventory, the best prices, who offers the biggest discount, who is prone to having “reproductions” mislabeled as period pieces, who has hidden warehouses full of antiques never put online. The trick is in knowing that person (moi) who has the best little black book of antiquing sources – who has every dealer worth his salt on speed dial – who can get you after-hour appointments with dealers in their private homes or advance access to inventory before it hits the big trade fairs.
When buying antiques it is challenging :
- finding the best antiques dealers in Europe and Asia (they’re usually not online) – plus US secret sources where interior designers shop
- identifying if antiques are authentic – their provenance and history – and if they’re period, how that impacts their value
- how to spot damage, repairs and identify fakes (sadly purchasing antiques is caveat emptor – buyer be ware!)
- knowing what to pay for antiques and how to bargain for a better price, and for dealers what return you can expect on your investment
- spotting a great piece or exceptional value: something unique that tells a story
- shipping your purchases back home without damage
How do dealers and designers find antiques treasures? Shhhhh… The Antiques Diva is their dirty little secret!
At The Antiques Diva® we provide antiques sourcing, buying and shipping services in Europe, Asia and America: one-stop turnkey antiques services on 3 continents. We offer four service tiers, providing you one-stop turnkey antiques services in Europe and Asia. I recently sat down with Steven Favreau of Favreau Design, and filmmaker Fabien Prauss to explain what we do at AD&CO – and how we are the ONLY antiques sourcing service to offer complete turnkey antiques sourcing services:
Video Transcript: Steven Favreau interviews Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva
Steven: My name is Steven Favreau with Favreau Design and I have a dirty little secret: this is the Diva of all Divas, everybody’s secret little weapon when it comes to finding just the right antiques: the diva of all diva’s, Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines has invited me to be with her today and I’m thrilled.
Hello Toma, it’s a pleasure to have you!
Toma: Thank you so much for having me as your guest!
How to Collect Purchases From Multiple Antique Dealers: International Shipping Questions
On an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, you will most likely make purchases from multiple antique dealers. Based on your shipping requirements, our turnkey international antique shipping services can handle all your antiques buying, sourcing and shipping needs. While every client has unique requirements and specifications, AD&CO Logistic’s 50 years of expertise in international shipping provides superior levels of customer service. Your shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.
Your shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.
Collecting Purchases From Multiple Antique Dealers
1. How do you know where my purchases are?
You will be assigned a personal AD&CO Logistics shipping concierge, who collects all PO (Purchase Order) books and photographs related to your purchases (if booked on an Antiques Diva Tour we receive this information from the Diva Guides managing your tours, regardless of the number of vendors or the number of countries). Then, we pick up your purchases directly from your vendors. We’ll take your purchases from 5 or 10 different sources – often in different countries – and help you coordinate ONE shipping. We’ll sticker your purchases, fill out your shipping purchase orders, even take Tylenol on your behalf as we handle headaches to get everything across the pond to you!
2. If I make purchases at multiple vendors, how do I pay them?
At the time of purchase, buyers typically negotiate a down payment on their purchases. Once your buying trip is over, your goods need to be collected and brought to our warehouse for packing. Normally the client makes one wire transfer to the shipping company (AD&CO Logistics) that covers 100% of the purchases, regardless of the number of vendors. Then AD&CO Logistics pays each of the vendors. This not only reduces the administrative burden on the client but also saves you money as wire transfers made within Europe are free of charge. Obviously, the vendors will not release their inventory to us until they have been paid.
Once all vendors are paid, we collect your items and consolidate them back at our warehouse in Amsterdam. If required by your destination port, we fumigate your inventory.
3. How do I handle my shipment’s paperwork?
Your shipping concierge prepares all the various customs paperwork and files it on your behalf so that your goods can leave Europe. We create a detailed packing list using the international coding system so that it can be reviewed by the customs broker at the destination port.
4. Who packs my inventory?
All your goods are safely packed at our warehouse, which may be Our shippers have 50 years international shipping expertise and know the best ways to pack and protect your goods. If you are shipping your purchases by sea, your packed inventory is then loaded into a container and taken to the port to be placed on a vessel from one of the global shipping lines. If you have chosen an air shipment, we will transport your crates to the airport for delivery to your destination.
I’d love to discuss your international antiques shipping needs: contact me at email@example.com!
Toma – The Antiques Diva®
Chatuchak Market Bangkok Antiques Tour
Whenever I’m traveling in the world I love shopping the flea markets – exploring the world through retail. When in Bangkok, Chatuchak Market (aka the JJ Market) is the place to go. It’s massive and sprawling… and the best bits are hidden. Most tourists arrive amidst the tourist tack or get lost in the maze that sells literally everything from pets to candles to t-shirts. The lucky ones find their way to the housewares and decorative accessories – even the reproduction antiques – but to get to the true antiques, off the main soi’s, tucked away in alleyways you need an expert’s hand and that’s where we come in. Our Thailand Antiques Tours Diva Guides not only know the vendors, but they know the hidden antique warehouses, they know the fakes from the genuine pieces and they know how to avoid the heat – escaping occasionally from the brutal heat into AC and when and where to rehydrate with a fresh coconut. They even know the best loos.
Shopping the JJ Market without The Antiques Diva & Co simply put is a waste of your time. We save you money by bargaining on your behalf – remember in Thailand negotiation is an art. And as we know the market like the back of our hand, we save you energy by helping you avoid both sensory overload and frustrating dead ends. What To Buy? Everything, but our favorites include Thai Wooden Carvings, Burmese Antique Teak Furniture, Buddhist Manuscript boxes, Handwoven Hill Tribe Baskets, Theater Chairs, Shophouse Display Furniture, Antique Textiles and Art Prints, Architectural Remnants, Vintage Garden Furniture, Khmer Stone Carving, Retro Accessories and billions of Buddha heads (both tourist market reproductions as well as original period pieces). And while these aren’t antique we love them – Thai and Chinese silk and silk lanterns and lighting galore. Not to mention jewelry – both new and old – as well as fusion fashion. And let’s not forget fabulous lunch. In Thailand it’s all about the food – the Thai eat ALL DAY LONG, so you won’t turn a corner without another opportunity to feed your mouth. And of course, we know where the best bites are. Our guide meets you at your hotel and whisks you away to the market so you avoid getting lost in the crowds – taking you directly to the area of the market you’re most interested in seeing.
Antiques Sourcing at Bangkok Chatuchak Market with Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva® – Watch
photo credits: Thaung Sint
Welcome to Bangkok! and welcome to Chatuchak Market, also known as Jatujak Market, or, simply JJ Market.
Join your host Toma Clark Haines, CEO, The Antiques Diva & Co; and Angela Somwaiya, our Head Antiques Diva Asia Guide; and Melanie Aus, locally-based Antiques Diva Guide. The tour begins with us meeting you at your hotel. Then we hit the market. Most tourists get lost in the maze. There are 8,000 stalls over 35 acres. You’ll find a lot of tourist tack, housewares, decorative accessories, fabrics, and handicrafts.
But The Antiques Diva & Co know where to find the TRUE ANTIQUES, and the BEST VINTAGE and DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES.
Shopping builds up an appetite. We have a quick coffee… then we’re off again! Immerse yourself in the local culture. Time for coconut juice!
Leaving JJ Market to visit a nearby secret source.
Book a Thailand antiques buying or design inspiration tour: www.antiquesdiva.com.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and shop all of Asia in one destination!
Our Chatuchak Market Bangkok Antiques Buying Tours Feature:
- Unique Asian brass fittings and hardware
- Vintage mechanical
- Asian lighting decor
- Hindu and Buddhist statues
- Wood carvings
- Lacquerware and prints
- Architectural salvage
Let your senses be thrilled – your Chatuchak Market antiques tour is guaranteed to offer surprising finds! And we will make sure you stay fresh and refueled, and ready to experience everything Thailand has to offer!
Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva®
How to Ship Antiques from Europe to Your Home
At The Antiques Diva® & Co, we have been helping clients buy antiques in Europe and ship them home for nearly 10 years. Our tips on shipping antiques are based on our experiences working with thousands of antiques buyers, hundreds of antiques vendors, and dozens of international shipping companies and will help you buy antiques and safely ship them home across the pond.
My most important antique shipping tip:
Before you go abroad set up a relationship with an art and antiques shipper so you are prepared to buy and import antiques. It makes it much faster and easier if you prepare in advance! Before you travel ask the shipper to mail you a PURCHASE ORDER BOOK (PO BOOK) and SHIPPING TAGS WITH YOUR NAME ON THEM before your trip so when you’re out and about you have all you need right at your fingertips for buying antiques abroad and shipping them home.
At The Antiques Diva & Co we not only offer Antique Buying Tours: we also have an In-House Shipping Service and you don’t have to be on a tour to use our shipping service at AD&CO Logistics. Other shippers that are well known include EDET, Camard and Chudley. When contacting shippers it’s always wise to get comparison quotes from several shippers. The key thing with shipping – problems can and do occur – but if you have a good relationship with your shipper, it will make it easier to solve the problems when they do occur!
How the Process Works to Buy Antiques and Ship Them Back Home
1) You tell the vendor what you want to buy and who your shipper is.
2) If you have your PO BOOKLET you simply fill in who the vendor is including his PHONE # and EMAIL ADDRESS as well as the COLLECTION ADDRESS for the pieces you’ve purchased and fill in your delivery information as well as LIST ALL ITEMS you’ve purchased. MAKE SURE TO GET THE VENDORS EMAIL ADDRESS AND MOBILE PHONE #.
3) When paying for antiques you have a few options – you can pay the vendor cash – but if the item is a larger purchase price you probably don’t have the cash on you! No worries! Simply fill out the PO and WRITE TO BE PAID BY SHIPPER. This allows you to buy from multiple vendors ON PURCHASE ORDER: PAYMENT AT THE END OF YOUR BUYING TOUR, but a KEY POINT is that once you have issued a PO the item is OFFICIALLY SOLD to you. All Sales are Final. And there are NO RETURNS in Europe on Antiques. The item is marked sold and if you change your mind and decide not to buy the item later on, you burn bridges not only with that vendors but also with his colleagues.
4) When you’re finished buying antiques, email your SHIPPER all your Purchase Orders and your shipper will make a summary of all the items you own $$$$ for. Your shipper will then invoice you for the AMOUNT OWED in INVENTORY and will pay ALL THE VENDORS on your behalf, making the entire process easy peasy pumpkin pie saving you time so you only have to do one payment instead of several payments to various vendors.
5) Most shippers require you pay for inventory via BANK TRANSFER – but some shippers allow you to use a CREDIT CARD. Ask your shipper their payment options.
6) While it’s impossible to give exact shipping costs prior to you making your purchases, you can get estimates on delivery costs from your shipper before your trip by telling them your budget to spend, the types of items you’re hoping to find and providing your delivery zip code. Getting the measurements of the pieces you’ve bought is important to help your shipper quote on shipping costs.
Shipping Impulse Antique Purchases
Scheduling a phone conversation with your shipper BEFORE you travel will make the entire buying process much easier and SAVE YOU MONEY when you’re traveling abroad. Some shippers will even give you their personal mobile # (we do! 🙂 ) so you can call and get a quote mid buying spree. But if you didn’t set up an account with a shipper pre-travel- Have No Fear. If you find something while traveling and haven’t set an account up with a shipper in advance there are options:
- call one of the shippers recommended above for last minute pricing and options
- ask the vendor you purchase your antiques from to ship the item direct to you
You will get better shipping prices if you do some comparison pricing on shipping but you can ALWAYS ship impulse purchases. Don’t let fear of not knowing how to get your purchase home dissuade you from buying abroad!
Do you have more questions about international shipping services for art and antiques? Visit our FAQs, or contact AD&CO Logistics directly.
Toma – The Antiques Diva®
How To Buy Antiques in Sweden
If you’re an antiques dealer wanting to buy antiques to stock your store, it’s hard to know how far the US dollar will go when buying antiques abroad – especially when you’re sourcing high-end Swedish antiques, which are the most prestigious and best quality of European antiques – but also the most expensive. Daniel Larsson is our native-born Swedish Divo Guide. Daniel enjoys helping clients find the right piece at their desired price point. With his extensive travel including trips to the US, England, India, Norway, Spain and Holland, Daniel comes to the table with an international mindset. When he’s not guiding Diva clients, he runs a very successful business called D.LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel which deals in fine Swedish antiques ranging from 18th to late 19th century, specializing in high-quality Rococo and Gustavian painted furniture, Swedish country & decorative items. Daniel’s extensive knowledge of Swedish antiques is a huge asset to our company and to any client who books a tour with him, as he is sure to pass on some of his wonderful insights.
When antique dealers come overseas to buy antiques to fill a container with European antiques purchases to stock their store they often come to me with a budget of anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000. Their goal is usually to multiply their purchase cost 3 to 5 times.
We asked our Sweden Antiques Expert Divo Daniel, What can an antiques dealer buy in Sweden for $100,000?
Daniel recommends dealers stocking their store with Swedish antiques buy at least 30% STATEMENT PIECES – these are higher priced items and higher end in terms of quality – that will help establish your reputation as a dealer.
Also, remember when doing display space – Swedish antiques need air to breathe… room around them to look their best. And with your display space you’ve got the room to create the environment needed to set the tone of the collective!
Antiques Diva Tip:
Mix Mid-Century Modern in with these Period Pieces to Make Both Periods Pop.
Eclectic Mix of Perfectly Paired Contrasting Inventory Draws a Crowd.
General Price Points
- Pair of Arm Chairs $4000 – $6000
- Chest of Drawers (veneered) $3000 – $6000
- Cabinet $4000 – $5000
- Buffet $2500 – $4000
- Mirrors $2500 – $3500
- Sofa $2500 – $4000
- Console tables $3000 – $5000
- Chairs $1000 – $2000
Antiques Diva Tip:
For mirrors I often recommend clients go France as the price point on French mirrors is much lower than on Swedish – similar age and style for half the price.
To Stock Swedish Inventory in Your Store
You should consider stocking 3 kinds of Swedish pieces:
1. Period – Original Paint
2. Period – Repainted, Scraped, Retouched
3. Finer Statement Pieces
So much of what is on the market in the USA is “style” pieces – pieces that look like the period, but aren’t of the period. You want to be known for having REAL ANTIQUES. You want to set the bar that you are offering the best antiques money can buy. In my opinion the best quality – with the best profit margin – is Swedish.
Stay Tuned to Learn More Details about the upcoming Master Class Daniel and I will be leading at Dallas Market Center this June 2017.
How Much Can I Buy?
If you budget $100K to fill a 40-foot container, you can get approximately 50 Swedish pieces, including a combination of top quality statement pieces as well as a wide variety of excellent quality mid-range 17th and 18th C period pieces.
Here is a sample client budget for buying antiques inventory in Sweden:
30% STATEMENT PIECES
Price Range for Higher Priced Items and Higher End Quality
- Pair of Arm Chairs $4000 – $6000
- Chest of Drawers (veneered) $3000 – $6000
- Cabinet $4000 – $5000
- Buffet $2500 – $4000
- Mirrors $2500 – $3500
- Sofa $2500 – $4000
- Console tables $3000 – $5000
- Chairs $1000 – $2000
Statement Pieces You Can Buy
- 1 x Pair of Arm Chairs $5000
- 1 x Chest of Drawers (veneered) 5000
- 1 x Cabinet $4000
- 1 x Buffet $3000
- 1 x Mirror $3000
- 1 x Sofa $3500
- 1 x Console table $5000
- 1 x set of 8 chairs $8000
SubTotal: $36,500 – Approx 8 – 10 important pieces
70% NICE QUALITY PIECES
- Cabinet ca $2000 – $3000
- Chest of Drawers $1000 – $2000
- Tables ca Prices $500 – $1500
- Sofa $1500 – $2500
- Buffet $1000 – $2500
- Mirrors $1500 – $2500
- Chairs 500 – 1000 (per chair)
Nice Quality Pieces You Can Buy
- 5 x Cabinets ca $12500
- 5 x Chest of Drawers $8000
- 10 x Tables (includes side table and console) ca Prices $10000
- 5 x Sofa $12500
- 5 x Buffet $10000
- 5 x Mirrors $10000
- two sets of Chairs of 6 – 8 $12000
SubTotal: $75,000 – Approx 35 – 40 Pieces
TOTAL – $100,000K – Approximately 50 Pieces Total
What will it cost to ship these pieces to the US?
Assuming you’re shipping a 40-foot container and crate a lot of what’s going in the container, it’s a safe assumption to budget approximately €15K for shipping 1 exceedingly well container door to door. Granted –prices vary – so this is just a guideline – you could save thousands depending on your packing needs.
How long after my Antiques Diva buying tour will it take to receive my purchases?
Estimated lead time from payment of vendors: 2 – 3 weeks for collection and preparation + 25 days transit time + door transport.
- handling + container traction harbor € 700,00
- unloading collections + storage + charging packed goods into container € 1.100,00
- export packing /m3 € 45,00 OR
- crating for fragile items (based upon level of protection and m3) /m3 € 60,00-150,00
- fumigation (if needed: based upon nature of shipped goods) € 200,00-400,00
- weighing container (for customs) € 145,00
- ocean freight (port-port) Europe – US 40-ft € 3.400,00
- insurance 1,50%
- banking on behalf of buyer: included
Does not include duties and import taxes, demurrage or unloading at destination.
How do I price Swedish antiques for sale in the US?
We are not antiques dealers, but we work closely with dealers and designers to buy European antiques and negotiate the best price possible. Based on our experience, we find that dealers typically sell their pieces for at least 3 times over the purchase price.
Interested in booking an Antiques Diva Sweden Buying Tour? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a phone call to discuss your needs.
Toma – The Antiques Diva®