A beginner's guide to buying antiques

photo by Scottwebb 
I love thrifting my wardrobe and am always on the hunt for unique, second hand items of clothing that have clearly stood the test of time. Recently, my efforts to recycle clothing have brought me into the world of antiques and antique jewellery. Since this involves much bigger bucks I wanted to put together a short guide to help you feel assured that you're purchasing authentic pieces every time.

Make sure they know what they're selling

This may seem like an obvious one, but a genuine registered jewellery valuer will be very familiar with the piece and should be willing to not only impart historical information, but also detail on how to care for and maintain the item. If you believe the seller has a genuine reason as to why they don't know a lot about an item, ask them how they came about it.

Proof of authenticity and value 

It’s worth noting that a reasonable price for an antique is the amount others have paid for similar items. Do some research, but a reputable seller should justify the asking price by offering recent sales reports. As for authenticity, that could come down to the seller’s expert opinion, but in some cases there may be documentation to back up history of the item, be it a photo or a letter.

Guarantees, returns and refunds

These are two important points when buying an antique without having seen it. You need to look for an undertaking that you will be able to get your money back should the item not be in the condition advertised, or if it turns out to be a fake. It is normal for a seller to put a time limit and even charge a restocking fee for accepting returns, but they should detail these terms from the outset. You’re also entitled to ask the seller if they will vouch for the authenticity of the item. If you’re unable to get a written guarantee, that ought to be reflected in the sale price.

Questions to Ask Yourself

If you’re buying antiques online, such as from https://www.kalmarantiques.com.au, you should also ask yourself the following:

Does the item seem genuine?

A quick bit of research will show some of the most common antique scams. For example, antique furniture is usually made of several different types of wood, so the same quality wood all around an item is a sure-fire sign of a scam.

photo by Sarakgraves

Is the price too good to be true?

This is a scammer’s favourite type of scam. The exception is when you find an antique, often in an estate sale or from a reputable dealer, that is under-priced purely because the seller has not yet been able to identify its true value. If you have a good hunch, and the price is right for you, go for it!

Let me know your thoughts on buying antiques!

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