Most sellers and dealers will entertain offers on the pieces they have for sale. While television shows such as “The Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” will haggle back and forth over price make it seem like a game…it is not a game to the person who is selling the piece.
Sellers and dealers have spent long hours learning about what they are selling, invested their money in purchasing, have expenses in travel to buy pieces to sell. Most sellers are always happy to share their knowledge and help any collector to learn and this knowledge has come with a price.
Let’s face it, antique sellers, just cannot put an order into China and get another delivered next week. In fact, in our last couple of years, when sell a piece, we cannot replace it at what we sold it for.
Everything you collect is unique and the piece you buy has been used, loved and enjoyed in a different way. Some come with chips, scratches, slight bends, while others come just like they were made. So, those of us who lovingly buy to pass on to another collector should have some profit. Offering a seller 50% of their asking price is an insult to them and if you get a “NO” don’t be surprised. As a seller, I prefer to be asked “Can you do any better?” Sometimes in malls you will see pieces marked “Firm”. While as sellers we understand, trying to work with other collectors to help them collect is a positive to the industry.
Another comment, I would like to make here, many collectors go to auction, which is another place to find vintage pieces. However, almost all auction houses add a buyer’s premium to the final price…they do not discount or offer it at a reduced price, you pay your bid, plus fees.
So, again, remember to be considerate of the person who is selling it and know they have searched for pieces for you and it has not walked through the door at a cheap price.