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Tips for Purchasing High Quality Furniture for Low Prices

When I moved into my first apartment as an adult, I had no idea how to find good furniture that wasn't expensive. We had a local budget furniture store and a high-end luxury store, and while I didn't like the feel of the items from the budget store, I couldn't afford the prices of the luxury store! Although I was eager to prove my independence, I called my mom and asked for help. She told me that I was looking in the wrong place and led me to another store just outside my city that had quality furniture and great prices. She found great furniture for me that was high-quality and in my budget. She has since given me many tips about furniture to help me when I make new purchases in the future. I plan to share them here!

Tips for Purchasing High Quality Furniture for Low Prices

There's Antique, and Then There's "Antique": How To Tell the Difference

by Wayne Watson

Antique furniture is not always antique. Come again? The popularity of finding and buying furniture that looks antique has led to production of knock-offs in mass quantities. So, you have antique, and you have "antique." Here is how you can tell the difference.

Pieces Promoted As Antique Being Sold by a Modern Department Store

That, right there, is a dead giveaway. A modern department store that does not invest in the finding and restoration of furniture but is claiming to sell antique furniture is not actually selling true antique furniture. It is furniture that is made to look like classic antique pieces. If you just want the look of antique, that is fine. However, if you want the real deal, leave the department store look-a-likes in the department store.

An Imported Goods Store

Again, not antique. Every country from Taiwan to Bangladesh is creating "antique" furniture. Consumers not in the know may think that these imported goods are antiques from overseas. Nope; what you have again are copycats. If you want antique furniture from India, you are going to have to go to India, look for the real thing, and then ship it home all on your own. Just make sure it does not have a modern sticker on it somewhere that says "Made in [whatever country]". 

Look VERY Closely at Antiques in Antique Shops

Technically, anything over twenty years old is considered an antique. This includes cars, toys and furniture. If you walk into an antique shop and you are looking at antique furniture, make sure you look the pieces over thoroughly.

If you want something older than yourself, you will have to become familiar with furniture styles and periods, such as Art Deco from the twenties, or the futuristic chrome and plastics of the early to mid seventies. Another popular style these days is called mid century modern. Look for authentic original pieces in any of these styles if you want real antiques for your home.

Additionally, some antique dealers, especially those in antique malls, make an occasional mistake at identifying the differences between antique and "antique." Either they recognize the mistake and put the pieces in their sales booths anyway, or they do not recognize the mistakes and try to sell it thinking it's a true antique. Knowing and recognizing the differences between true antique furniture and something that just looks antique will help you make smarter purchases based on what you want.