Antiques are a significant investment. Not only do they add character to any setting they’re put into, but they can also be handed down as they grow in value. From small items, like trading cards, to large pieces like furniture and weapons, there’s an antique out there for every individual taste and interest.

Once you have decided on what to collect, the next step is figuring out where to find items to add to your collection. In the past, buying, enjoying and investing in antiques was mainly for the well-off. If you didn’t inherit your antiques, you had to go through brokerage houses or private dealers, who tacked on hefty fees and commissions.

However, the playing field is now more equal than ever. Forget scouring estate sales or visiting brokerage houses – the best place to find antiques to buy is at the pawnshops in the Ontario, Chino, and Pomona areas.

Why Buy Antiques at My Local Pawn Shop?

Obviously, you want to avoid paying more than necessary, and you want to ensure that the pieces you buy are genuine, and a right fit for your collection.

Most merchandise that can be found at your local pawnshop is deeply discounted. Also, pawnshops in your area do everything they can to ensure that everything in the shop is genuine. As a buyer, this works to your advantage, reducing the risk of overpaying or of being unable to recoup your investment if you decide to resell down the line.

By virtue of the business model, pawn shops always maintain a diverse inventory, which is usually made of a few common items, such as:

What sets antiques and collectibles apart from the other items on that list is the fact that because most pawn shops are small, independent businesses, it is impossible to say what kind of antiques you will be able to find at your local pawn shop.

It is worth going to visit and seeing what they have. You might even consider visiting a few times per year, to see what’s new and to get an idea of what you can expect to find at your local pawnshop on a regular basis.

The chances are good that at any given time, your local pawn shop will have something you are interested in. Additionally, buying your antiques at your local pawn shop has the advantage of allowing you to carefully examine the piece before you buy, and to negotiate to reach a price that satisfies everyone. Not to mention that you will not pay shipping fees, dealers fees, or insurance. Also, you won’t have to worry about your item getting damaged by careless handlers when it is on the way to you.

Your local pawnbroker will also likely know the history of the antique, which can increase its value by giving it provenance, which is the chronology of its ownership. At the very least, knowing more about the history of the item will make it worth more to you on a personal level.

How to Pick the Right Antiques and Collectibles at Your Local Pawn shop

If you are looking for antiques that are made out of or feature any precious metal, avoid items that appear polished or overly-cleaned. Many times, sellers, hoping to get the highest offer, will clean or polish off age marks or patina that give the antique its value.

Other considerations you should take into mind when shopping for your antiques at a pawnshop near you include:

Know your price limit

Are you buying an antique or collectible to keep, display and pass on to an heir? Or are you buying it to resell? Depending on your intentions for your antique, your price limit and leeway for negotiating may be affected.

In the event that you cannot come to an agreement with your pawnbroker about price, don’t be afraid to just thank them for their time and walk away. It’s respectful and far better than overpaying.

Do your own homework

Learning how to research antiques online is easier than ever. Take the time to familiarize yourself with common telltale signs of forgeries, fakes, and reproductions. Your local pawnbroker has done everything they can to ensure that every item in their shop is the genuine article, but sometimes mistakes happen. As a buyer, it is up to you to do your due diligence into authenticity.

Get to know some experts

The Inland Empire communities are home to many collecting clubs and antiques dealers’ associations; get to know some of the experts in these groups to find people who can help you decide what to purchase and when. As an added bonus of networking with experts and fellow aficionados, you will gradually become an authority on items that catch your interest and will be in a position to help your fellow buyer down the road.

If you see something that interests you, that fits into your collection and is within your price range, buy it – every item is one of a kind and once it’s off the market, you may never see it again. Feel free to negotiate to get the item you want.

Finally, to protect your investment and to keep it enjoyable for years to come, learn how to take care of your antiques.

Regardless of how long you have been collecting antiques, your local pawnshop is a great place to find and buy antiques. Those just starting out collecting or dealing in antiques will discover great starter items; collectors and dealers can find deals and create a relationship with their local pawnbroker that will be mutually beneficial for years to come.