you’ll get an invoice that clearly states what you’re buying and a certificate of authenticity. Smith gets a certificate when he pays more than $1,000 for an item. “If I decide to resell it, ” he says, “my buyer will want some proof of its importance.”
If a dealer cannot guarantee an item, you should be given a disclaimer. It’s wise to get the item appraised. In addition to careful examination of the piece, appraisers will conduct research to give you an idea of the item’s worth.
Keep in mind that investing in antiques requires the same savvy approach as investing in the stock market.
It may take time to build your collection, but the pursuit is half the fun.
Start your quest on the Net with information sites such as Antiques and the Arts Weekly (www.thebee.com) and Antiques & Collectibles Guide (www.tias.com/amdir/ info.html). Antiques World Bookstore (www.antiquesworld.com) provides content, price and ordering information on books that can be bought online. Two books to consider are Kovels’ Guide to Selling, Buying, and Fixing Your Antiques and Collectibles by Ralph M. Kovel and Terry H. Kovel (Crown, $18) and The Basic Book of Antiques & Collectibles by George Michael (Chilton Book Co., $17.95).