Three Tips for Antique and Vintage Online Auctions

Present circumstances (a global pandemic and being a Mom to an infant who hates her carseat) has me at home these days and less at my favorite antique shops. But I like to think of myself as a resourceful antique and vintage collector, so I’ve switched gears a bit and gotten full on into the world of online auctions. It all started for me with stumbling upon, the world’s largest online marketplace for art, antiques and collectibles. From here, I can bid on auctions all over the world or search past auctions which is helpful in my research. If you aren’t already hooked yet, prepare yourself! Browsing through Limoges on a Saturday night, a glass of wine in hand, I admit it can be thrilling! Here are a few tips to get you going:

Three Tips for Antique and Vintage Online Auctions

  1. Consider Shipping Costs: After you’ve decided what you are willing to spend on an item, but before you bid, take a moment to consider that pesky shipping cost. Larger and heavier items are obviously going to be more expensive to ship. Don’t wait until after you have won an item to get a sense of shipping costs. Most auction houses will have a list of local shipping companies who regularly ship items for the auction house. Contact them before you bid and submit your address and item weight and dimensions to get an accurate quote on shipping. I learned this the hard way when I bid on and won a beautiful antique kimono mounted in a custom lucite case. The kimono and case were a bargain, but shipping this exceptionally large and  heavy item proved to be more expensive than the actual item. For me, it was a “must have” purchase, but in the future I keep shipping costs in mind.
  1. Ask Questions: Most auction houses will provide a thorough description of an item in the condition report. They’ll note weight, dimensions and any damage. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I have asked for additional details and more photos showing damage on items, and I have asked detailed questions about color. Sometimes it is difficult to convey exact color, even through good professional photographs.
  1. Make An Offer: After an auction has ended, you can scan through the items that have not sold and see if the auction house allows you to make an offer. If you are using, you will see a “Make an Offer” option. Even if you don’t see this option available, it can’t hurt to contact the auction house and ask if they are willing to entertain your offer. After all, the only bad question is the one left unasked.

About the Outfit

I found this pink 1950s cashmere sweater at The Antique Center of Red Bank, in Red Bank, NJ. When the weather grows a bit cooler here in Florida, I’ll add some light sweaters in bright colors to keep that cheerful Florida vibe that I love. For a similar look, try J. Mclaughlin’s scalloped sweaters.

Henri Sweater 

#antiqueauctions #vintageauctions #auctiontips #vintagefashion #vintagestyle #vintagefashionblogger #grandmillenial

Alison Hetherington

For the modern girl who loves everything vintage.

Leave a Reply