The advantages to shopping online for antique collectibles include: * Variety. No single antique shop or even antique mall can compete with the variety that's offered through online auctions. With sellers coming from all over the world, it's a little easier to find just what you may be looking for by checking out these sites rather than running from antique store to antique store. * Pricing. Since prices are at auction, buyers can sometimes get great pieces at a real steal. Not all sellers know the "value" of what they're offering either, so some great high-end pieces might be found for next to nothing. * Ease. There's no reason to run from store to store when shopping online is quick and convenient.
With the advantages, of course, come some disadvantages, too: When shopping online, watch out for these things: * Broken items. Most sellers want to keep on selling, so they will be very clear about imperfections in their auction ads. It's up to potential buyers, however, to read the item descriptions all the way through. If it's chipped and the ad says so, your disappointment is your own fault. * Fraud. This doesn't happen very often and sometimes it takes place because a seller simply doesn't know what he or she has. A piece of Sandwich Glass represented as such might be Anchor Hocking, but if the seller doesn't know any better, it's the collector's fault in this case for not asking the right questions. * Bid battles. This is also half the fun of shopping at auction, but if you really want a set piece, these can get a little hair-raising.
When shopping online for antiques, be certain to ask questions, read the ads all the way through and look at the pictures closely. If you know a particular piece of glass should be marked with a set maker's signature, ask to see a picture of the marking. Don't be afraid to check out sellers and avoid getting into price battles you can't afford to get into.
If you do these things, you'll find shopping for antique collectibles online can be an absolute blast that nets buys that cannot be had anywhere else.