Bring these essential tools on shopping days:
- Wear old clothes and comfortable shoes. Aside from testing the comfort of a Victorian fainting couch, you’ll be on your feet.
- Bring baby wipes for your hands when browsing the larger, less curated shops.
- Carry a small magnifying glass to check the maker’s mark for authenticity, signatures on prints and artwork, or the 925 — that is, sterling — on vintage jewelry, and to inspect for small cracks in china and glass.
- Take along dissolvable allergy medicine if you’re sensitive to dust.
- Pack a measuring tape when looking for decorative pieces for that certain spot in your home.
- Have a small flashlight on hand for the darker corners of antiques shops, especially those in “barn” settings.
- Use your smartphone to do a quick background check on the value of objects (a Google search can give you eBay listings and sales) or to snap a photo for your spouse’s approval on that “must-have” antique Victrola.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.