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On the stalls, there is something for all budgets and for all tastes. An experienced collector or amateur looking for nostalgia, everyone can find a little wonder there. You still have to know how to find it. Patricia Josselin, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Le Chineur”, shares her tips. Interview by Charlotte Cousin How do you recognize a real junk dealer? A second-hand dealer is a professional in antiques and second-hand objects who is declared. He only sells products that have entered a second life. It can be a Louis-Philippe wardrobe, like an object called "folk art": a Banania iron box for example. It is up to him to find the most beautiful products. Generally, he has his favorite addresses and contacts. Some retypes the objects; in this case, they are also restorers. When they don't, they are said to sell the items "in their juice". What practical advice would you give to an amateur? First, he must choose the place where he will hunt according to what he is looking for. If he wants a beautiful mirror and has the budget to go with it, he will find it more in a flea market than in a garage sale. In the first, it will only deal with professional exhibitors while in the second, the exhibitors will be individuals. If he has a small budget, that he seeks a simple framework for example, it is rather there that we will have to poke around. On D-Day, he gets up early because the most beautiful pieces always leave first. And it provides a flashlight: in winter, it is still dark when the flea market opens. The perfect bargain hunter is also equipped with cash in small denominations and an empty backpack, since a priori he will charge it. Can we negotiate prices and to what extent? You obviously have the right to negotiate. But you have to be reasonable. We do not offer five euros for an object presented at thirty. Above all, you have to be courteous and friendly. How not to be deceived about the value of an object or its authenticity? When you talk to a professional, there is bound to be a guarantee. A second-hand dealer has a gable on the street and he is required to register all the goods he buys. A priori, that obliges him to be honest. What he presents to you must correspond to the description made of it. If it is a copy, this should be mentioned. If he cheated on you, you can turn against him. Always ask for an invoice. And with a trace of the transaction, all remedies are possible. However, this is not the case when you are dealing with an individual. There, it's your word against hers. To avoid being tricked, it is best to know how to recognize and estimate the object yourself. This is why you must document yourself before going hunting. Patricia Josselin has been editor-in-chief of the monthly “Le Chineur” for 13 years. This magazine specializing in flea markets, antiques and collections is available in newsstands.