While we know you shop Swierenga Jewelers first for unique and timeless jewelry pieces, many folks like to visit the occasional estate sale or antique store during their summer travels. Its fun and you may even find an interesting vintage piece or attention-getting costume jewelry. So with that in mind here are a few helpful tips to help you shop savvier, according to blogger Karla Deras:
1. Do your research.“Whenever I travel, I look online beforehand for antique malls, vintage shops and flea markets in the area. A simple Google or Yelp search can lead to helpful reviews and comments that’ll save you time in finding the best spots.”
2. Know your goals & spending limits.“Entering an antique store can be overwhelming. There’s always so much to look at, and you never know where to start. I usually make a list of items I’m on the hunt for, even if it’s just a general idea like ‘rhinestone clip-ons’ or ‘chunky gold necklaces.’ It’s also important to keep in mind how much you’re willing to spend and stick to that budget.”
3. Always check the condition of the item.“Be sure to inspect antique jewelry and accessories for damage. Test the clasps and hooks, and check for missing stones or deep scratches.”
4. Sometimes, there’s a solution.“Minor defects like broken lobster clasps, missing rhinestones, natural patina on sterling silver pieces, or loose clip-ons can be fixed most of the time. I always take my jewelry to a local silversmith to polish and repair damage. If I’m just missing a gem on a bracelet, I’ll search eBay for a lot of mismatched earrings and simply replace the missing stones with ones from the unused jewelry using super glue and tweezers.” And remember, our staff is always here to appraise, repair or imagine a new setting for any fun piece you find. Don’t hesitate to ask!
5. Get to know the sellers and store owners.“[Antique] sellers and shop owners remember their good customers, and good customers usually get the best discounts!”
6. Quality, not quantity.“I advise shoppers to buy less quantity and more quality. I personally think it’s better to spend your entire budget on one well-made, versatile piece than a surplus of cheap jewelry.”