How to make sure you are buying genuine antiques from reputable dealers
Never before has browsing for antiques been so accessible. More and more vintage and antiques dealers are selling online and internet marketplaces such as the-saleroom.com, 1stdibs, Proxibid and sellingantiques.co.uk are doing a roaring trade. Plus all the big auction houses have online bidding services. The internet has given us access to antiques from all over the world – not just our local dealers.
But, while shopping from your sofa might seem like a comfortable option, an increased risk of fakes and misleading provenances requires some internet savvy.
Here Jason Nielsen of Proxibid gives us his top five tips for antiques shopping online.
- Don’t fall for fakes. To ensure your online safety, only buy from marketplaces that offer up-to-date fraud protection software. You want to look out for fraud prevention systems that monitor the marketplace for fraud all the time and ensure only trustworthy sellers.
- If you have questions or concerns contact the seller. It’s your money and you’re perfectly entitled to ask for more information. Most sellers will provide their contact information in their auction listing. Also, make sure you understand return policies and all the other vital details.
- Get your facts straight. It may sound obvious, but only purchase items that have clear, detailed descriptions and photographs. And always make sure the marketplace and seller use reputable delivery companies.
- Protect your identity and your cash. Look for secure payment solutions such as Auction Payment Network (APN) and PayPal. Systems like this ensure that all transactions are secure.
- Look out for extra support. Only bid in marketplaces that offer help for antiques hunters. Buying and selling guides as well as instruction videos are all indicators of reputable sites. Easily accessible customer support contacts are also a good sign.
Proxibid is an American antiques online marketplace that launches in the UK this month