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Antique pickers are people who find, buy, and sell antiques, but they generally do not sell those antiques to the general public. The main clientele for antique pickers include antique dealers, interior designers, and high-end collectors. These pickers must have extensive knowledge regarding antiques as well as places to locate certain antiques, and he or she must be willing to travel to different locations to find various pieces. A head for business is also a crucial skill of these pickers, as they will be responsible for creating a fair price, selling the piece, documenting the sale, and managing any accompanying paperwork.
The most important skill antique pickers must have is a crucial eye for detail and a keen sense of authenticity. Pickers can travel far and wide just to sift through a person's barn or storage unit, which means they will end up looking at a lot of junk. It is important for antique pickers to be able to recognize the diamond in the rough — the true antique sitting among the piles of junk. They will also need to do an assessment of what kind of restoration may be necessary, what a fair price for the item would be, and who would be an appropriate buyer for the item.
Another important facet of the job is knowing where to look. Antique pickers can waste a lot of time if they are simply going from pile to pile in a neighborhood, looking for valuable artifacts, though some do exactly that. Others create strategies for finding appropriate places to look without wasting time. Estate sales, for example, are great places to find antiques that may be valuable and can be purchased at a bargain price. Yard sales, too, can be a great place to look for valuable antiques. Most antique pickers will, however, end up sorting through barns, garages, junk piles, and storage units from time to time.
Once the picker has found some antiques, he or she will develop strong contacts within the antique world with dealers, collectors, and even professionals who may be interested in purchasing, such as photographers or film directors. The picker will come up with a fair price for an item and sell the piece to a dealer, who will in turn sell the piece to the general public. Generally, antique pickers do not sell antiques to the general public themselves.