How to Buy High-End Antiques Online

As avid shoppers, we think that one of the single best parts about the internet is that it truly allows you to find anything you want without leaving your home. From Italian leather, to French pastries, to Turkish textiles, the world and all its treasures are literally at your fingertips, just waiting to be added to your cart. Of course, shopping online takes a certain amount of trust and expertise, especially when it comes to making major purchases like furniture. You want to make sure that you’ll be getting a product that meets your expectations before you click that “checkout” button. As both buyers and sellers of high-end antiques online, we’ve learned a thing or two about what to look for. Below, we’re sharing our expertise.

1. Know exactly what you’re getting. The more research you can do on a piece, the better. If you find something you like, Google the product style or manufacturer to see what other information you can find out about its quality, history, or construction, and compare prices to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. It’s also important to pay attention to the photos- if a piece looks blue in a wide shot, and black in the detail images, you’ll want to get some clarification before you make an assumption (and a purchase you’ll potentially regret). Which brings us to our second point …

2. Reach out. If you’d like more information about a product–where it originated, better detail shots, a description of materials, or clarification about color or material–don’t be afraid to reach out to the seller or a shop’s customer service department directly. Most antiques and furnishing dealers expect this from their customers and should be prepared to answer your questions.

3. Measure twice, buy once. This is home decorating 101, but it’s especially important when making a large purchase online, since if that sofa doesn’t fit, it’s going to be a real pain (in both your @$$ and your wallet) to send it back.

4. Consider reputation. A seller’s reputation is important, whether you’re purchasing from a e-commerce store or eBay. It pays to read Yelp or website reviews of the shop or person you’re intending to purchase from to see if past customers have been satisfied with service, shipping, and the quality of their purchase.

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