The antiques and collectibles category is traditionally one of the most popular on online marketplaces, and it is expected that it will become popular on too. Unsurprisingly, most of the antique and collectible objects traded online are sold in the auction format. After all, this area of human activity has always been the backbone of the auction business, because the dynamic mechanism of bidding is particularly well suited for determining the price of non-standard items whose value is open to debate.

Consequently, taking the business of buying and selling antiques online was just a matter of transplanting a popular activity and a suitable pricing mechanism into a new milieu, the Internet. And there it flourished from day one and still continues to flourish today.

In the past, the antiques and collectibles world used to be a restricted affair, confined to regional or, at best, national venues and fairs. The internet has changed that. It has provided a global market place, connecting distant buyers and sellers. The objects a buyer would normally spend months or even years tracking down are now available at any time, from a computer at the buyer’s home. The objects a seller would previously hoard for days or months until he found a buyer will now sell online in a matter of days or even hours, and often at a better price than could be obtained in the “real world”.

The internet has also empowered buyers and sellers, by making available to both a wealth of knowledge. It has never been easier to do research about antique and collectible items and to keep up-to-date with current trends and the latest values. With all that information at their fingertips, a buyer who overpays for a collectible item and a seller who undersells an antique object are becoming a rarity themselves.   

Here are a few tips for the sellers of antiques and collectibles:

  • Present your item well. If you do not value your collectible enough to take a good photograph and write an attractive description, chances are – neither will the potential buyers.
  • List everything you know about the item truthfully, including any defects it may have.
  • Mention the prices a similar item fetched previously only if that is to your advantage: you are under no obligation to do this.
  • Answer any questions potential buyers may have promptly.

And, for the sake of balance, here are a few tips for the buyers of antiques and collectibles:

  • Read the description carefully.
  • If you are still in doubt about the item, ask the seller a question.
  • If you receive obviously evasive answers to simple questions, look elsewhere.
  • Do not expect the seller to tell you what the current value may be or how much he paid for the object. Research the item you consider buying on the Internet.

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