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Buying and Selling Antiques on eBay


Online auctions have opened the door as never before for more people to buy and sell jewelry and antiques.

Whether it’s an antique auction that caught your eye, or a jewelry auction with a pretty little bracelet, there are common denominators to selling or buying these items that you should keep in mind.

The main thing is know what you are selling or buying!

Antique guides, appraisers and jewelers are invaluable when it comes to researching your item.

Read on to learn more about buying (or selling) antique items on eBay!

If you are selling, you need to put all pertinent information in your auction listing, and include clear photographs of maker’s marks, distinguishing features, flaws, and the piece as a whole.

When dealing with antique auctions, you need to learn the distinguishing marks that are common in such pieces.

With furniture, sharp edges and corners can mean it was made more recently. Wear marks are to be expected on seats of chairs and legs of chairs and tables. Handmade dovetails are large and uneven, while machine-made dovetails are even.

With Silver pieces, anything marked “sterling” was made post 1860, while earlier pieces have a makers mark or initials- finding pieces such as these are quite rare! If you are selling an antique of any kind, you should have it professionally appraised and do as much research on the piece as possible. This will build confidence from your buyers, and make a better auction listing when you can provide such detailed information.

With Jewelry auctions, you are largely at the seller’s word of what it is. You should always ask if you can have a copy of the appraisal before you purchase. This will let you know whether the piece is genuine or man made, and what the carat weight is of the stone and setting. It will also let you know whether the setting has any “fillers”, which can detract from the value of the piece.

If you buy a piece of jewelry, take it to a jeweler to have it appraised when you receive it. This way, if there is any discrepancy over the material you have a professional’s certification of the item for your dispute, should the seller not be cooperative in handling a return or exchange.

If you are selling a piece of jewelry, you should have it appraised and have it available for prospective buyers. Use a light box (instructions to make one are easily found online) so you get a good, clear photo. Take photos from several angles, and make sure you include carat weight and relevant quality information.

When shipping this treasure, make sure it is insured for its full value and get tracking information for the package. If it is a large piece of furniture, it may be in your best interest to have it professionally packaged.

When you purchase an antique or a piece of jewelry on an auction site (or anything, for that matter), pay with Paypal through a credit card. This way, if something happens, you can get your money back if necessary.

With a little bit of research and a good appraiser nearby, buying or selling your jewelry or antique can be en enjoyable experience for everyone involved!


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