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Buying Antiques on eBay - postscript

I should follow this morning's post by pointing out that there are, actually, some really good and trustworthy people selling on eBay.

The problem is that the bad guys outnumber the good guys - or so it seems when it comes to antiquing online, and there are millions of eBay members.  You're bound to run into a baddun sooner or later.

Problem number two is that even good guys make mistakes - in age, in identification, in condition.

Problem three: the forgers are getting better and better, so it can be awfully hard to spot them.

The good news is that there are some steps buyers can take.  We'll tackle the major eBay pitfalls one by one in future posts.  Meanwhile, some things you can do right away:
  • Spend only modest amounts, particularly with a seller who is unknown to you, until you know them better
  • Go by word of mouth
  • Educate yourself
  • Join online forums for enthusiasts in your collecting area(s)
  • Actually read the feedback others leave, and the seller's responses to any negative comments.
Watch for my series on the eBay pitfalls, and what to do about them.


katlupe said...

Do you ever sell on eBay? I have bought expensive items on eBay and it turned out great actually. Not antiques, but solar panels and quite a few of our computers when I first got started.

that's life! said...

Hi Kat!

My considered opinion is that eBay is problematic for the buying or selling of antiques.

I, too, have bought terrific items in different price ranges on eBay. One expensive generator was a major dud, but other than that, we've had good experiences with everything from small machinery to flowering plants. (Never bought any major electronics; I'm glad to hear your experience was good!)

There are some wonderful people out there just trying to make an honest living.