How to Be an Antique Picker

Antique Pickers search for antiques and negotiate prices for treasured items. Learn how to become an Antique Picker and build your own business.

| July/August 1971

OK . . . so you've finally made the break. You worked and saved and sold everything you didn't need and borrowed and finally got enough together to buy that farm you'd been dreaming about. You've gotten through the first winter, the crops are planted, the cow's giving milk regularly and everything's fine. It looks like you're going to make it . . . And then the old John Deere breaks down and the barn roof starts to leak and your lady wants that new loom more than anything and the one thing you don't have is plain ol' hard cash money. The farm is nowhere near being a financial success and, besides, you aren't doing it for the money anyway and you can't—get a job and run the farm and, besides that, you need the money now, not next month and just how are you going to take care of those unexpected expenses?

Fear not! There is, indeed, a way that works for many others and that just might work for you.

Be an Antique Picker

Antique Picking is the art of buying antiques from auctions and sales and people and selling them at a profit to antique shops. People who do this are known as Antique Pickers.

Antique shops have to get their merchandise somewhere, and while some dealers make the rounds of auctions and sales, there are many others who can't because they don't have the time or they're little old ladies or they don't have a truck or whatever. Even those dealers who do go to auctions and sales can't go to them all. If you're clever, you can even buy at an auction a dealer attends and turn around and sell him the very thing he bid on earlier. More about that later.

To get started on the road to fame and fortune as an Antique Picker, all you need is a little capital. And it can really be a little. You can start with five dollars . . . maybe even less if You're really clever. While it helps to have a truck or a station wagon, it isn't absolutely essential. Here are some antique picking tips to help you along the way.

If all you have is an old VW or a bike or feet, then you can limit yourself to dealing in small antiques—jewelry, lamps, glass, china, silver, old bottles, stuff like that. In fact, it helps to have a specialty. If you get to know a particular field extremely well, not only will you probably do better at buying, but shop owners will come to respect and trust you for your expertise in that area.

4/29/2018 3:03:56 PM

Does anyone know if I need to obtain a sales tax license for the state that I live in or the state I am BUYING IN? I live in AZ and buy in MA. If I do get the license for AZ does that cover me for any state I buy in? Thanks!

4/29/2018 3:01:04 PM

Does anyone know if you need to obtain a sales tax license in the state you live in or the state you are BUYING in? I live in Arizona and travel to Massachusetts to buy antiques. OR If I do get a sales tax license in Arizona where I live does that mean I am covered for any state that I buy in? Thank you -Aubrey

9/20/2014 1:01:20 PM is a search tool made especially for pickers. It uses a map to click on Craigslist regions so that you can plan your trip, save gas and save money. It will also do national searches.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard