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Know how to bargain-hunt: expert advice

Know how to bargain-hunt: expert advice



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To do good business when you are looking for an old object, it is better to know its subject. Hubert Duez, a flea market enthusiast and author of several books on the subject, tells us about his secrets as an experienced bargain hunter. Interview by Axelle de Guelz What are the best places to hunt around? Flea markets, garage sales, flea markets or the second-hand shop? Question of terminology, the Flea market, the flea market and the garage sale mean the same thing: a second-hand goods market. But there is a difference between the first two and the garage sale. In the garage sale, there are fewer "real" goods than in a flea market, that is to say, fewer pieces of high value or quality. Quite simply because the exhibitors of garage sales are mainly individuals. In all cases, you have to go very early to this type of market to be present as soon as you unpack. Be morning! What are the different bargain hunters profiles? First there are the merchants: those who buy to resell. They are looking for "the cut", that is to say the error, the rare pearl that the exhibitor would not have detected himself. This will allow them to make an interesting margin on the product. Then there are the collectors. They are the most formidable buyers because they are experts in their field. They seek to complete their collection of ancient objects. There are also simple barges. They don't necessarily come to buy, but to walk around, taste the atmosphere. Finally, there is the occasional bargain hunter who seeks to decorate his interior with taste, when he has just settled, for example. Can we speak of "fashions" on the object market? What are the most represented styles and eras? Indeed, there are trends. Right now, pieces from the 1950s are highly rated. In general, it is the 1950s to the 1970s that are the most represented, furniture in Formica or chairs in woven fibers for example. It is a very particular style and to do business, it is better to know the designers of this period. Precisely, where to get information to improve your knowledge? One can read "The Gazette of the Hotel Drouot", the weekly of the famous Paris auction house. These are feature articles, very well done, relating to all styles and all eras. Observing the photos, reading the histories and descriptions allows you to catch your eye and get an idea of ​​the value of the objects. There are also many other magazines such as "Antiquités Brocante", "Aladin" or "Le Chineur"… which often list the dates and places of the various object markets in France. Finally, there is also a lot of documentation on the Internet. Hubert Duez is notably the author of "Secrets d'un brocanteur" (Seuil) and "Come and hunt with me. 100 objects to discover" (Seuil). For the past 10 years, he has been writing a column entitled "Chiner" for the daily "La Croix".