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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/What types of furniture, wood items should I collect from auctions, estate sales etc.


QUESTION: I am new to buying and selling "antiques" mostly picking up items that I can refinish and/or repair. What types of furniture or other items such as this do you recommend I purchase to turn around and sell? What seems to be hot in the market right now? Thank you very much for your input!

ANSWER: Hi Randy
I like your question.
I live in Canada and can tell you how it is here but its likely no different in the USA.
Unless you have a large storage area, I avoid large items like dining sets, sideboards or large dressers.
On the other hand small dressers are easily sold here.
Smalls like side tables, plant stands, wooden advertising boxes, chests as in cedar chests remain popular.
Folk art items are and have remained very sought after here. As are weathered pieces.
I notice that glassware does not get the prices it did several years ago but old metal things remain sought after. Small pieces that are used as accents in the modern home like vintage kitchen utensils.
In my younger days I went to every auction around. Like you I bought items that needed repair, repurposed or refinished.
This is where I made the best sales. But low, sell reasonably. Keep your stock rotating.
Very best of luck in all your efforts Randy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for your detailed response. I will definitely take your advice. One last question. How is the market for mid century modern furniture right now? It seems to be popular with many new shops opening here in Minneapolis/St Paul. Is this a worthwhile area to pursue and if so, which items seem to have the best profit margins? Thanks again!

Hi again Randy
As a senior, this type of stuff is not old me LOL.
However I must admit that its popular here too.
Coffee tables, side tables, non upholestery chairs, dressers etc are seen here but in reality these "vintage" things are tomorrows antiques and the younger folks love them.
Thanks again for a great question.

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Eileen Cronk


I can answer most questions about the repairing and refinishing of all your old furniture items (the things we call antiques). I can also give you advice on what wood items to choose and what wood items to avoid at auctions, flea markets etc. I DO NOT give appraisals on antiques as this is not my field of expertise.


I have been repairing, refinishing and of course buying old furniture for the past 30 years. On any given weekend I can be found at auction sales or flea markets searching out a good buy. I have taken several courses in this area over the years, but I find "Hands On" learning to be the best teacher. I can help you avoid the pitfalls and problems of this wonderful rewarding craft.

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