Picking with Reyne – Vol 3 – By Reyne Haines

May 13th, 2010 by

Last week we touched a bit on some of the things you will need when hitting this summer’s flea markets.   I thought I’d expound a little more on a few of these areas.

Let’s face it; knowledge is power in the world of collecting.  It doesn’t matter if you are a dealer, or a collector – you need to know all there is to know about the items you are buying.

What you don’t know can cost you money.  No one likes making mistakes, but you are going to from time to time.   When on the road searching for those elusive treasures, you need backup.  What do I mean by backup?  A variety of tools that can help you make a wise purchase, or ones to stop you from making a bad one.

So what tools am I talking about?

  1. Bring along an array of pocket guides that will help you quickly look up items for additional information on size, colors it was made in, period it was made, any significant markings to look for, and reproduction information.  There are several publishers that have paperback guides you can throw in the backseat of the car for quick reference.  Krause Publications offers their pocket-guides online at http://www.krausebooks.com/category/antiques_collectibles
  2. A measuring tape can not only tell you the size of an item (I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at guessing the size of something) but it can also tell you if a piece has been cut down, or if it is a reproduction.  Many items were originally made in very specific sizes, and reproductions of these items are usually a little smaller or a little bigger.  By measuring the item you can often tell if the one you are looking at is new or old.
  3. A cell phone or I-pad.  Not only can you “phone a friend” but you can take a quick digital photo to show a friend or customer of an item you are considering.   Beyond the photo capabilities, you can hit the Internet to research current market value.
  4. Where to research?  There are lots of places you can go to find price realized on collectibles.  eBay of course is one place for more common items, but many of the auction houses have online catalogs with prices realized.  You can do a few keyword searches on places like Sotheby’s and Christie’s for free.  If what you are looking at falls somewhere in-between eBay merchandise and Sotheby’s worthy, try purchasing a subscription at Artfact.com or Priceminer.com.  Both sites offer photos, item descriptions, estimates and prices realized on a variety of art, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more.

By arming yourself with these tools you certainly stand a better chance of paying the right price when you come across your next treasure!

Did you think of a tip I missed?  Make sure to comment here!

Happy Hunting!

12 Responses to “Picking with Reyne – Vol 3 – By Reyne Haines”

  1. Carolyn COBAYLEY Says:

    This is FUN!! Reyne..The flea market season is just getting going here…another reminder about shopping at a flea or anywhere for that matter…pay attention to your inner voice. Lots of times I’ll handle something, hmmm and hawwww…put it down and Tom will stop, make me look it over again. 9 times out of 10 I buy it and do very well with it. In this business, first instincts are important. The item called to you, caught your eye, got your attention, Buy It!!

  2. Marko Says:

    Carolyn…I agree!

    I`ve lost a lot of good products when I´ve been thinking too much.
    I`ll take the product in my hand, put down, walk away, come back, take my hand, etc, etc..

    Finally, I ask the seller: Where is the product, I can buy it?
    Seller smile and give me an answer: Unfortynately, I sold it!

    Really! The first “touch” is important! Is it love at first sight or something else :-)
    So, don`t forget the feelings when you to do treasure hunting. It`s an important tool !

    Wish: A man who has lost…hmmm??…many treasures :-)

    quote R.H. :” Happy hunting! “

  3. Reyne Haines Says:

    Carolyn – I like that! Pay attention to your inner voice. I have said many times
    about items I passed that “haunted” me. I knew I should have bought them.

    Marko – The time to buy an antique, is when you see it!

    Thank you both for your comments!

    “Happy Hunting”


  4. Marko Says:

    Hi my special friend :-)
    So here you have a few flea market picture.I was a little busy because I sold my stuff and and I will show one person’s book.

    Market place is called “Hietalahti”
    Pic 1 Early morning, the marketplace is still quiet

    Pic 2 The morning’s first sale. Baron buy my moomin mugs. Good start for the day.

    Reyne, do you know Muumin mugs?

    Pic 3-4 Trading has begun and people have arrived

    Here were a few pictures. I hope that you enjoy them.

    When you come to Finland to see a flea market culture?


  5. Reyne Haines Says:


    Thanks for the photos. It just goes to show how flea markets/antique markets
    and collecting is a world wide phenomenon!

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this photo was taken at one of the
    outdoor markets in NYC!

    Thanks for uploading these for us. This is great!


  6. Marko Says:

    Reyne…You’re welcome!

    Flea market atmosphere is the same everywhere in the world. I enjoy it!
    I can forget the worries and troubles when I walk in the middle of people .

    It is therapy and medicine what you can not find elsewhere :-)

    Now I’ve got an idea!! I can set up a therapy reception.
    I go with people to flea market and take away their sorrows.

    Hey!! This is KING IDEA !

    Marko :-)

  7. Reyne Haines Says:

    I think shopping for antiques is certainly therapy.
    At least for me!

    You can have a table at a flea market that says “The Doctor Is In”


  8. Marko Says:

    Reyne, You’re right !

    Antique shopping is good therapy!

    Sometimes becomes “a moral hangover”, when I invested in an expensive product.
    But the hangover goes away when I buy more products :-)
    Now someone thinks about … really sick ! Collector enthusiasts know of this disease.

    Investing in antiques/ design you’ll get a better rate for your money when the bank deposits.

    At least here in Finland !

    And attention!!! “The Doctor Is In” :-)


  9. Reyne Haines Says:


    Traditionally, here in the US, investing in Fine Art & Antiques has always proved a better rate of return as well.

    That should be your tag line….The Doctor Is In!

    Love it!


  10. Marko Says:

    Hahaa Reyne!

    Do you want to be my first patient? :-)

    The clinic is now open !

    Dr. M. Kareinen

  11. Reyne Haines Says:

    I could certainly use some antique retail therapy.
    Something I can buy and keep!


  12. Marko Says:


    Dealer golden rule number UNO……
    “Don`t NEVER fall in LOVE with the goods which you buy”, put your eyes closed and sell it !

    This taught me an old antique dealer. He is gone!
    He has gone “upstairs” to hunting antiques.

    R.I.P Aimo.


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