The antiques and collectibles market is thriving, and unfortunately, that can attract a lot of scam artists. There are many dealers who pass off fake items as antiques, taking in your hard-earned money in exchange for a worthless item.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure the authenticity of antiques before you buy them and avoid being taken by a scam artist:
Get an Appraisal
An appraisal is the best way to ensure that an antique is authentic. An appraisal can give you an approximate date for the item and can tell you whether it was made by the designer or manufacturer that is claimed. You can also learn the approximate value of an item, making sure you are paying the right price.
It’s not always possible to get an appraisal before you buy an item. Instead, you should try to get as much documentation as possible. Look for certificates of authenticity, warranties, bills of sale and any other information that tells you the item is what it claims to be. Inspect the documentation carefully, as this can also be forged.
Shop with a Reputable Dealer
Though there are no guarantees, shopping with a reputable dealer can greatly decrease the risk that you pick up a counterfeit antique. Look for someone who has been in the business awhile and who has earned a reputation for selling quality antiques. Ask for referrals if you don’t know where to start. You can also do your research online. If a dealer has any history of selling questionable items or providing bad service, you will find out about it right away through negative online reviews.
While there are never any guarantees that you won’t buy a counterfeit antique, these simple steps can help you to reduce your risk so that you can feel good about the investment you are making.