Found a Clock at a Flea Market? Here Are Issues to Watch Out For

by Michael Nestell

Buying a clock at a flea market could seem like a bargain, but it could cost you double in repairs and restoration. It may seem like a beautiful antique when taking your first look, but underneath the surface, there could be issues that you need to watch out for. That’s why it’s important to give it a good look over, inspect all the parts, and even send photos to a professional first. If you’ve found a clock at a flea market, here are some things to watch out for before you purchase.

Found Clock At Flea Market

Clock Doesn’t Run Properly

If the clock is not running, ask to set it in motion to ensure that it does indeed work. Watch it run for a couple of minutes and time it against your phone to see if it’s keeping time properly. There are lots of things that can stop a clock from working, and even a small amount of wear to the parts can require a complete repair that could cost you money.

Missing and Damaged Parts

First, look for obvious missing parts inside the clock. Check the strings inside to see if any are absent or loose. Look for any cracks in the glass, check the dial, gears, and hands of the clock for any obvious signs of tampering or damage.

Cracked or Split Case

Look around the entire clock casing to see if there are any signs of cracks or damage. These may not seem like a big deal at first, but if you decide to get it restored, it could cost you much more than you had bargained for.

Damaged Pendulum Swing

Checking the overall movement of the clock is important when you’re considering buying a clock at a flea market. The pendulum should swing on time without rubbing against the back of the clock casing. If you notice scratch marks where the pendulum bob is, then the clock may not have the right movement, and will not measure time correctly.

Lack of Guarantee

Ask for a guarantee of the clock’s authenticity or money back guarantee if it doesn’t work. If the seller doesn't let you take the clock home and test it out or offer any return policies, there may be hidden issues that they’re not telling you about.

When buying a clock at a flea market, there can be many issues that can arise. That’s why we always recommend purchasing from a reputable source. They not only have the knowledge necessary to guide you in your purchase, but they also can offer guarantees of the clock’s authenticity and a return policy to assure satisfaction of your timepiece.