Who wants to be a millionaire?

Dr. Lori, television personality and appraiser, shares her Top 10 antiques mistakes.



Ever wonder what those antique plates you inherited from your grandmother are worth? Or perhaps the painting you picked up at a yard sale. Could it be worth millions? Now is your chance to find out.

Dr. Lori, syndicated columnist, blogger, award-winning TV personality and star antiques appraiser on the hit reality show “Auction Kings,” will be at the Greater Tulsa Home & Garden Show March 9-11. Dr. Lori’s daily shows will offer a limited number of free antiques appraisals as well as shopping tips for negotiating and finding the best bargains.

For show times and more information, visit www.TulsaHBA.com/homeandgardenshow.

As a preview for the show, Dr. Lori shared with TulsaPeople her Top 10 antiques mistakes:

1 Don’t host a yard sale. I visit yard sales, spotting valuable objects, and I tell the hosts to re-price the valuable pieces I find on their front lawns, or I direct them to take those valuable objects back in the house so they don’t mistakenly sell that $5,000 ring for $10. It does happen! During one yard-sale season, I found items valued at more than $23,000 that could have been purchased for $300 altogether.

2 Don’t discard original art. Don’t throw away works of art just because you don’t like the subject matter or because you think the works are ugly. Ugly is your first clue to value. Generally, original works of art will be among the most valuable pieces in your home.

3 Don’t sell your jewelry for its gold value alone. You can lose a considerable amount of money, as you will only get the value for the gold weight of the piece and nothing for the design value or set gemstones.

4 Don’t throw away antique furniture. Antique (more than 100 years old) or vintage (less than 100 years old) furniture will hold its value, especially because many such pieces are constructed of higher-quality woods and made better than some of today’s contemporary pieces.

5 Don’t think that because something is not marked means it is not valuable. In some time periods, it was viewed as inappropriate for artists to be paid for their work as well as have the opportunity to sign their work. Don’t only look for a signature; look for quality in workmanship when shopping for antiques.  

6 Don’t forget to negotiate. When shopping at a yard sale, flea market or high-end antiques shop, always negotiate on the price. If the seller is unwilling to negotiate, walk with your wallet. Never pay the full price for an antique, and be ready to present cash to get the best deal. ... During my shows at the Tulsa Home & Garden Show, I will reveal how to get the most out of your negotiation.

7 Don’t misuse bubble wrap. First, bubble wrap should be used for transporting objects only. It should not be used as a long-term storage solution because it traps in heat, which will damage your antiques. Second, when wrapping, the bubbles need to face outward, away from the object. The bubbles are there to protect the object from a potentially damaging impact. The bubble wrap absorbs the impact. If the bubbles are up against the object and are “popped,” the gases inside the bubble will leave a mark on your valuable object.

8 Don’t believe that your antique is worthless. Everybody makes the mistake of thinking their stuff is junk. My appraisals are based on actual records where I have seen people pay such a price for an antique with cash, credit card or a check. People who say ‘you can’t get that for it’ are trying to get you to come down on your price and get a bargain for themselves.

9 Don’t over-clean your antique. Many people want to clean up their antique, but oftentimes this can damage the object and negatively impact its value. ... Don’t repair, repaint or restore an antique without consulting with a professional first.

10 Don’t buy a starving artist’s work for investment. You have all seen those starving-artist paintings selling for $50 or so. Many of them are not the work of starving artists at all but rather the products of an art sweatshop in some third-world country. These paintings, while sometimes decorative, are not a good investment. Some are not actual oil paintings, some are not painted by a trained artist and some are outright forgeries. It is best to invest that $50 in the work of an art student from a local art school.

Editor’s Note: List has been edited and condensed.

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August 2019

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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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Cost: $1+

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