Whether you are buying at an antique shop or at an auction you have to check out furniture properly. Always really look at the peice first. Handle the item, sit on the chair, look for damage or restoration costs you might be up for. Wood borers. Look at the wood all over. Tell tale signs of borers are tiny holes. They might be active or they might not, but if they are, they will eat the peice away. And if you are in a shop looking to buy a peice, always ask for a discount.