So you've battled the Boston traffic and came out alive. Good for you! You made it through the tunnel, found a parking space for the "cah", and you're chomping at the bit to begin the hunt for some great antiques. Where should you begin?
Well, as the saying goes: "Ya gotta have goals", and where you should begin will depend on those goals. If you're looking to buy antiques to resell, your strategy should be different than if you wanted to furnish a sun porch in "mid-century modern".
If you to the train or the "T" into the city, you'll likely want to purchase "smalls" or items that can fit on your lap during the ride home, if not, then you need to consider shipping options.
Below is a bullet point of how to shop in Beantown for antiques, but not necessarily where to shop. Because storefronts change locations, go out of business or can be hard to find I suggest you get the most current information possible by visiting this list online.
Therefore, the information in the list below is set on principles that rarely change, so whether you've come across this article the day after it was published, or years later it should still be helpful.
Wear good shoes. I know this is a tired old saw, but it really is one of the best pieces of advice on the list. Not only will your dogs be happier if they're in a comfy pair of of shoes, but if your feet are well covered they'll be protected too! Antique shops are notorious for clutter and tripping over a wrought iron ankle-biter is not uncommon.
Bring a flashlight. Usually the one on your smartphone will suffice. Even if you don't go into dark areas of a shop you may want to look inside cupboards or under tables to see construction methods. You should always have a flashlight when on the hunt!
When negotiating a possible bargain, find out if you are dealing with the shop owner or an employee first. You'll also want to know if the shop is selling only merchandise owned by the owners of the establishment or if it is a mult-dealer co-op. This is usually easy enough to find out by deciphering a simple code on the price tag. If you're unsure ask. If it is a co-op, it's OK to ask if there are any dealers currently giving significant discounts on their merchandise.
Use your smartphone to the max. There are a great many ways to search online to find values of antiques. Some of my favorites are an online appraisal archive that has over 2000 articles on antiques & collectibles and is free to use, and the iPhone field app at Worthpoint.com. Worthpoint is a subscription service that has over 150 million records of sold antiques & collectibles. They smartphone field app they have is amazing.
Good luck and happy hunting!