Two antique dealers discuss their profession

Two antique dealers discuss their profession

Angie's List chatted with two antique dealers about one of the oldest recycling methods: antiquing. Here's who we talked to:

Diane Solomon, owner, Diane’s Antiques, Kensington, Md.
Amy and Mitch Hazam, owners, Vintage Swank, Front Royal, Va.

In order to be considered an antique, how old must an item be?

Solomon: Antiques have to be 100 years old, but collectibles only have to be 50 years old.

Hazam: Vintage should be 25 years or older; antiques 100 years or older.

Do you carry antiques and collectibles? What do you specialize in or carry the most of?

Solomon: Both. However, I would estimate that 85 percent of our merchandise is antique. We carry a little bit of everything. Our variety of items ranges from Victorian to 1950s.

Hazam: Most of what we carry are considered collectibles. Half of our merchandise is clothing, but we also carry glassware, jewelry, accessories, furniture, and other housewares.

Besides selling items, what other services do you offer?

Solomon: I also do estate liquidation sales.

Hazam: We restore vintage and antique telephones as well as other coin-operated pieces.

Why should people consider buying antiques versus buying new?

Solomon: Antiques will last a lot longer because of the high level of craftsmanship.

Hazam: The quality is better with antiques. Vintage and antique items mix well with new pieces, so it’s easy to incorporate them into your home.

Do you think the increasingly popular green-living concept will boost the antiques business? Why?

Solomon: If consumers realize that the construction of antiques is of a higher quality, then yes.

Hazam: Possibly, because of the rebellion against everything ‘instant.’ A lot of people prefer the traditional version.

What personality trait does a successful antiquer need to possess?

Solomon: They have to be open minded in order to realize the dual-functionality of an item and should have good judgment about the quality of a piece.

Hazam: They need to have a general idea of what they’re looking for. It helps if they do their research in advance so no one takes advantage of them.

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