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How to Find Covetable Antiques and Collectibles in Yard Sales and Thrift Shops (and Other Unusual Places)

How to Find Covetable Antiques and Collectibles in Yard Sales and Thrift Shops (and Other Unusual Places)

The popularity of Antiques Roadshow on PBS speaks to one secret desire in many of us: the dream of finding a rare, valuable object in a house clearance or yard sale. True, the valuable part is mostly fantasy. Even experts struggle to make money in the antique business. But it’s certainly possible to discover delightful and beautiful pieces where others least expect to find them. Here’s how to get started.

1. Get to Know What You’re Looking for – and Looking At

If you’re serious about finding those covetable objects overlooked by everyone else, you’re going to need to develop an expert eye (or at least a semi-expert one). This means doing your homework.

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Because ‘antiques’ is a vast field covering everything from fireplaces and architectural salvage to jewelry and fine art, you’re also going to need to be selective. Pick an area you really love, and you’ll find that developing your expertise comes naturally and pleasurably.

There’s one caveat: good for you if 19th-century Russian silver is your thing, but you might not get to see too much of it in your neighborhood yard sales (though of course, that depends on your neighborhood!). It might be a better idea to specialize in 1970s dinner services, or ephemera – the type of antique you’ll encounter more frequently in your local setting.

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2. Browse the Marketplace

So you may not be in it for the money, but you’ll find it easier to nurture your expertise if you have a good idea of what’s hot and what’s not. This means getting up close and personal with the marketplace for your chosen specialty.

Visit auctions if you can. This is the very best way of finding out which antiques are the most covetable, and which might be the next big thing. Of course, checking out dealerships and eBay is also a reasonable way to gather market intelligence, as is consulting a range of current price guides.

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But don’t forget that the market is fickle. Just because tin toy cars are the collectible of the moment doesn’t mean they’ll be as desirable next year. With a little persistence and observation, you’ll get a feel for how the market in your specialty cycles.

3. Don’t Overlook It If It’s Not That Old

Collectors of a certain age, this one’s for you. I want to be delicate, so I’ll whisper it quietly: just because you owned an object in your childhood or teens, this doesn’t mean that it’s not covetable now.

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According to the US Customs Service, an object isn’t considered an antique unless it’s a century old. Granted, your old Rubik’s cube might not be an antique, but there may still be a market for it. There’s now a thriving trade in late 20th century collectibles, so if you owned some of these the first time around, you could have a substantial head start. After all, the tchotchkes of yesteryear are the collectibles of today and could be the antiques of tomorrow.

4. Hone Your Interpersonal Skills

If you’re looking for antiques at yard sales, especially when you’re still building your expertise, it can be helpful to hear the backstory behind particular pieces. This can give you clues to the provenance of items, and alert you when objects are more desirable than they seem at first glance.

So it’s always worth having a friendly conversation with the person holding the sale: that random tangle of wires and metal may turn out to be a valuable 1940s toaster, and only those in the know will ever find out. Besides that fact, honing your interpersonal skills will also help you connect well with the seller

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Lanre Onibalusi

Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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