Antiquing has become a popular hobby for many. The Internet has made antiquing even more exciting because of the access it gives you from all over the world. You could have a beautiful antique in your home from clear across the world without even stepping out of your home.
There are a variety of places that have antiques for sale online; however, it is important to be careful when going this route. While the Internet does open the door to a world of possibilities when it comes to antiquing, you must know what to look for before making a final purchase. There are just too many scammers out there ready to take advantage of novice antique hunters.
The most important thing you will do is to do your homework. Know the reputation of the company by researching reviews and their processing procedures. If a company will not give you direct contact information so that you can actually talk to them, look the other way. If the company cannot provide you with extra pictures of an antique, move onto the next site.
A reputable company will be more than happy to talk with you and send you detailed pictures of a particular piece. Make sure they send you pictures of the front, back, top, underneath, and inside.
Make sure the company has a refund policy. You should be able to return an item within a reasonable amount of time. If they do not allow this, then absolutely do not purchase from this company.
How to Identify Reproductions
The difficult part about antiquing online is the fact that you cannot hold the piece to examine it. Therefore, you must learn some ways to identify the piece you are interested in by looks. The two most noticeable ways to tell if the item is a reproduction is to:
- Look for signs of age – Depending on the type of antique you are collecting, there are different things to look for. For furniture, you should see signs of cracking, warping, and fading because true wood will shrink over time. Look for slightly ragged edges since the piece will have been made by a handsaw. For other antiques, such as china and books, you will have a hard time distinguishing age by the picture. You will need to do some further investigating and ask direct questions pertaining to age to the seller.
- Look for imperfections – This also depends on the type of antique you are purchasing. For furniture, you will want to see a few imperfections. This indicates it is a true antique because a handmade piece of furniture could not be perfect. However, for books and china, you will not want to see imperfections, as this will lower their value.
Regardless of the type of antique you are researching, any reputable seller will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. If you are just beginning your ventures with antiquing, you may wish to ask an antique expert to help you make a decision on whether a piece is real or fake.
Making the Purchase
Once you have determined that you are sure the item is truly antique, it will be time to make a purchase. Each company will have its own policy and purchasing procedures. However, here are some general tips to making an online purchase:
- Consider the shipping prices. To help reduce these costs, look for sellers in your region. For places like eBay, try to find sellers who use blanket-wrap shipping services.
- Never use a wire transfer company to pay for a purchase. A wire transfer company is not safe when you are paying someone you don’t know. PayPal seems to be the method of choice for many companies and buyers as they provide protection of the money.
- Do not make the purchase if when you get to a specific place in the transaction it states, “Items are not the seller’s responsibility once dispatched.” If you see this, you can either stop the transaction or contact your Chamber of Commerce for the rules in your country.
- Read everything, including the little print. Don’t fall victim of someone’s scam. It always seems to be in the small print where no-one likes to read where they will get you if they are not reputable.
Where to Buy Antiques Online
There are tons of sites out there ready to captivate you with their beautiful antiques. It is important that you take the steps necessary to protect yourself at all times. The following are a list of places to consider shopping; however, they have not been researched. You should always do the research on your own to ensure a safe transaction.
These are just a few places of hundreds to find on the Internet. You can buy antiques online safely if you do your research of not only the company, but the antique. Know what you are looking for, and you can enjoy antiques from all over the world.