Because of the amount of money which is in the world of antiques, and the fact that many of these pieces can only have their authenticity proved by experts, there are a lot of scams and frauds that take place. To the uninitiated, this can mean paying out lats of money on items like antique coins and ancient artwork, when in fact it is completely worthless. You must ensure that you are properly educated on the piece you wish to buy, and that you always check your sources ahead of a purchase. It is better to be aware of the scams that are out there so that you can be on your guard so we spoke to the guys at Sadigh Gallery in New York, to find out some of the common antique scams.
When selling an item you need to be absolutely sure of its relative value, especially in the market which we are in right now. The reason for this is because of the sheer number of crooked dealers who will be happy to undervalue your product to make a large profit. Dealers will try to point out blemishes or faults on your product, or they may even talk about the market and how little demand there is for a piece like yours. Firstly you ought to make sure you have a good idea of what your piece is worth, secondly you need to make sure that you only use trusted dealers.
Replicas Sold As The Real Thing
One of the most common and one of the oldest scams in the antiques world is selling copies or replicas of pricey pieces, and passing them off as the real thing. There is nothing at all wrong with creating copies of ancient pieces, in fact many people make a great living from doing so, what is wrong however, and illegal, is to pass this off as the real thing. You must have a trained eye to spot replicas as some of the copies these days are very accurate. Be on the look out for inconsistencies with the era, material usage, cost of the product and overall quality of the piece. Remember that if you are in any doubt about how genuine the piece is, don’t buy it.
A recent trend which seems to be happening at many small auction houses are bidding rings of antiques dealers. These dealers will attend auctions together and make deals not to bid against each other. One dealer will bid for a piece and when they win it, generally at a low price, they will meet with the rest of the dealers after the auction. Once the dealers get together, they will bid for the piece amongst themselves, and then split any profit made between them all. The best way to avoid a scam like this is to only use reputable auction houses.
Make sure that you know what you are buying, and that you have educated yourself enough to spot the real thing.