Don't let the title deceive you, there are probably hundreds of things I always look for, but for the sake of brevity, I just chose four for now.
Number one: Hanging shelves. As a dealer, I like them hanging shelves because they get stuff off tables and up on the walls at the eye level of customers. For customers, they are handy to have at home to display small collectibles.
I'm just cleaning this one to get it ready to sell:
Number Two: Tool totes. These are fun to use as a way to organize items for sale in the antique mall. I can imagine a person would find them useful for craft supplies like paintbrushes and pencils at home too. But the most interesting use for a tote is as a primitive table centerpiece. Can you picture this on a large farm table, or in a bay window?
To keep ivy and cut branches alive, tuck bottles with water in the tote.
Number Three: Art or mirrors in round or oval frames. I like a mix of rectangular, oval, and round framed wall art in my home. Having too many angular items looks harsh, in my opinion. The painting below is very large, and would make a great piece of art above a fireplace instead of the more common rectangular framed mirror or painting.
Number Four: Something Unusual. I never really know what it's going to be, but when I see it I know it right away. The Pyrex lab beakers below fit the bill perfectly. They make cool vases and would appeal to men as well as women:
Another good example of something very unusual: a Kotex display from a drugstore. It's one of those things that you just have to comment on when you see it. I put this in the ladies' bathroom at the Antiques Market of Williamston several months ago and it sold!
What do you always look for on your hunt for vintage treasures?