5 Red Flags When Buying Vintage Jewelry

There is tons of vintage jewelry for sale online and it can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes very disappointing. Here are 5 Red Flags to watch for that can help you be a rockstar when buying vintage jewelry.

Pictures are poor quality or blurry

When photos are of poor quality and are blurry one has to assume that there is something the seller does not want you to see. It certainly tells you that they have not taken the time nor do they care enough to do good photographs. They are 'flipping' jewelry as fast and as hard as they can....period.  

Do not expect them to have their facts straight, if they provide any at all. Poor photos can hide things such as chips or cracks to enamel, darkened or missing rhinestones, low quality stones, and broken clasps, among a host of other lurking problems.

No description

No description should mean No Sale. More and more people are putting up photographs with no description at all. This tells you a couple of things.

  • They know nothing about what they are selling so you had better know your stuff
  • They have done no research
  • In some cases the items is not actually theirs to sell...they are selling on speculation.  In other words, once they have a sale and are paid for the item, they will purchase it from somewhere else and ship to you once they receive it.

The photos are part of their description

When you see a listing with little to no description and with the words 'photos are part of the description'...Run!  Basically they are hoping that you miss something in the photos.  If you miss it and order the item and then try to return it because there is something wrong with it, they will be able to turn around and offer up photographs that show the problem that you missed.

You might be able to get your money back but it is not worth the hassle.

    If they have more than one of an item

    If they have more than one available for sale, most likely it is not vintage.  It is very rare for a seller to have more than one of an individual item.  The exception would be if they bought a lot of New Old Stock. 

    It helps to look at their other listings.  Do they have the same piece listed more than once? Well, if that is the case you can bet your bottom dollar that it is new and not vintage at all.

    The word 'Vintage'  does not mean that it is

    the word 'vintage' is used very loosely. Anything that someone thinks looks vintage is listed as such.  Know your stuff and buy from sellers that are knowledgeable and professional.

    It’s a dangerous world out there when buying vintage jewelry. The water is full of sharks and they will take advantage…in a heartbeat.  What you can do is to learn more about vintage jewelry and also understanding the ways you can be deceived by unethical sellers. Your best defense is to buy from a respected dealer.

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    Daye is an avid collector and researcher of all things vintage.

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