Martinsburg, West Virginia
213 N Queen St.
Martinsburg, WV 25401

The Secrets to Starting an Antique Collection September 19, 2018

Martinsburg, Berkeley
The Secrets to Starting an Antique Collection, Martinsburg, West Virginia

From historical and cultural significance to monetary value, there are plenty of reasons people collect antiques. If you plan to start a collection of interesting, authentic vintage finds, following a few steps will make your adventures at antique shops more rewarding. Below are a few tips that will make the search for prized items easier.

3 Steps to Build Your Antique Collection

1. Do Research to Understand Market Trends

Whether you’re interested in antique maps, vintage jewelry, or global finds, it’s important to know the market value of the pieces you plan to collect. This will make it easier to spot authentic merchandise in antique shops. Research pieces you want to buy online or visit auction houses to see what sells. Sitting in on an auction provides insight on the direction of market trends as well as how similar items are priced and valued.

2. Examine Items Closely Before Buying

antique shop Martinsburg WVWhen an item catches your eye at an antique shop, look over every inch of the piece carefully before committing to buy. If you see a piece online, schedule a meeting with the dealer to see it in person before agreeing to the purchase. By carefully inspecting each item, you can see if there have been alterations to original stamps and signatures, materials, colors, carvings, varnishes, and additional adjustments that could impact the value and authenticity of the piece.

3. Cultivate Relationships With Antique Dealers You Trust

Antique shop staff and owners will have access to hard-to-find goods to help grow your collection. Research dealers in your area to ensure they sell authentic pieces. Looking at online testimonials, social media sites, and Better Business Bureau® profiles will shed light on the reputation of different antique stores in your community. If you’re interested in specific items, such as furniture, the information available online can also help you find a shop that specializes in these products.   


Whether you’re an avid collector or just getting started, visit Queen Street Gallery in the historic district of downtown Martinsburg, WV. With a concentration on mid-century items, the antique shop has a diverse collection including rare posters and African tribal artifacts, antique prints, sculptures, and maps. To learn more about antiques available in Berkeley County, call (304) 263-9495, or visit the shop online for details. Like them on Facebook for more information on collecting and maintaining antiques.  

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