If you’re like most antique collectors, you look at antique auctions online and wonder if you’ll ever buy from them. It’s not that the prices aren’t good; they are often better than what you can find at local tag sales and antique auctions. It’s not that the quality of the products is in doubt – many online dealers have excellent reputations and guarantee what they sell.
However, the one thing that is missing for some of us who love antiques is the hunt – where’s the fun of discovery when you simply look for things online? Well, we’re here to tell you the hunt is still very much alive, especially when you use a live online antique auction.
The Problem with Traditional Online Auctions
If you’ve considered buying from antiques auctions online in the past, odds are you’ve looked at eBay or one of the many copycats, perhaps some of those that specialize in antiques. However, all of these are, in essence, silent auctions and they lose a little something for many of us who collect antiques. Much of the love is lost because there is no thrill of discovery and even the thrill of winning out in feverish bidding is often snatched away from us because so many people use bid sniping services which swoop in during the last 10 seconds of an auction and place a bid that no one else can outdo just in order to discourage competition.
The Hunt is On
Live online auctions are a different animal entirely though. Unlike the eBay stores that we know will always have the ancient coins or the antique silver because they are run by galleries who specialize in those things, when you look at a live auction online, you are in essence seeing a tag sale ported entirely to the Internet.
Nothing is ever the same because these companies deal primarily with estate sales, clearing out someone’s home when they pass away, or clearing out a business office when it closes down. Therefore, there is always something new and unique to discover each week when another auction is held and the hunt is definitely very much back on.
Bidding is the Same
But what of the bidding? That too is just like the real experience. First of all, when you go to a live auction, there is a real, live auctioneer who holds a local state license to operate an auction. You are not dealing with someone working from their home who knows little or nothing about the object.
Second, you are guaranteed the same kind of real and fair bidding that you see at a live auction since no one can swoop in and place a last second bid which steals an object away from you. In essence, live antique auctions online are, as we said, is an exact replica of the physical experience, just on the Internet.
Same Guarantees as Traditional Auctions
Finally, just like a traditional auction house, an online auction house does some research on the objects they will be presenting and they usually prepare a catalog (albeit an online catalog as opposed to a printed one). If they state that an object is a genuine 19th century antique and it later turns out to be a fake, they will take it back and give you a refund, just like a real auction house.