5 Tips for Buying Antiques Online Latique is the place to buy fine antiques, art, & decorative accessories online. Jeff Garrett of Latique.com (Traditional Antiques & Classic Decor for Contemporary Living) offers his practical advice.
News-Antique.com - Aug 02,2010 - DALLAS. Shopping for antiques online is more like shopping for antiques in a store or at an antiques fair than many buyers may think. That’s the word from Latique.com, the new antiques online site that specializes in traditional style.
With growing numbers of younger home owners looking to antiques for as much of their decorating purchases, online antiques sites are giving retail shops and regional antiques fairs heavy competition. Most sites, especially Latique.com, offer the same opportunities to build relationships with dealers as buyers would have in a shop. Yet some shoppers are still reluctant to purchase large or expensive antiques online.
To help antiques online shoppers gain a comfort level, Jeff Garrett, founder of Latique.com, offers 5 simple rules that will lead to a positive experience.
1. Know who you are dealing with. Always check out a dealer’s reputation. Unless you are shopping an e-commerce site, you can usually speak direct with the dealers. Latique.com also offers a social media component that lets you comment and ask questions before you actually contact dealers directly.
2. If the dealer has only a virtual storefront, do extra homework. Some antiques online sites allow private dealers (dealers that work out of their homes) and e-Bay traders to use their sites as storefronts. If you can’t verify a dealer’s physical location, you may want to check some references before buying from them.
3. Shop only sites that jury their dealers. Some sites accept any and all dealers willing to pay for a virtual presence. Top tier sites like Latique.com have rigorous membership standards. You can feel confident that Latique.com dealers represent their products honestly.
4. Request photos. Ask questions. Think of the images on an antiques online site as the sizzle. Since you are buying the steak, ask to see more pictures. Find out if the hardware is original or if an item has repairs. Both affect value. Reputable dealers are usually willing to accommodate all your requests. The most successful dealers don’t mind sending additional photographs and information.
5. Determine the return policy. Antiques dealers build their businesses on trust. Most will allow you to return an item, provided it is in as-sold condition, after viewing it in your home. Some even offer a “trade up” option when you are ready to sell. Always ask before you purchase.
Another comfort-building feature, Jeff Garrett says, is to shop sites that offer interviews and articles with interior decorators and dealers. When you read what designers like Jesse Carrier, of Carrier and Company— the firm that decorated Anna Wintour’s office and Vogue’s reception area—have to say, you will be inspired. When you hear from dealers, such as Dan Salk of Salk Antiques, you will gain insights about periods and styles.
Both Jesse Carrier and Dan Salk are featured in the July issue of Latique’s online magazine.
Follow these 5 simple steps before you buy and look to Latique.com for inspiration and insight. Your antiques online shopping experience will be rewarding and worry free.