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safety tips for buying antiques online

At The Market

April 3, 2019

the front of the headlines today are about a college student that was abducted by getting into the wrong car that she thought was her uber. friends we live in a scary time and I thought i would share some safety tips about buying antiques safe online. i am constantly scrolling to find treasure on craigslist and facebook marketplace which is awesome. problem? you have to somehow meet up and pick up the items.

Safety Tips for Buying Antiques

i’ve done some stupid things during my time picking. and i’ve been lucky. the worst thing i’ve ever done was meet a guy at a storage unit at night to buy vintage DFV dresses. it was legit. stupid. but legit. hey I was in my early 20’s. but still super stupid. don’t do that. learn from me.

Safety Tips for Buying Antiques

this week i was driving to stop at a house on my way to work to pick up some hazel atlas pink dishes i bought off of facebook marketplace and i went through my usual routine. meet in daylight, meet with a second destination scheduled, leave a paper trail (convo on fb) and text someone the address of where i was. all this seems pretty basic but it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of the hunt.

Safety Tips for Buying Antiques

here are some of my hard and fast rules for being safe while buying online.

  1. if you are buying on facebook, do a profile scan. does this person seem legit? do they have an active fb profile? friends, comments, posts etc. if someone just created a FB account to sell something on marketplace I just avoid.
  2. leave a paper trail. emails and fb messages are traceable in case something happens. get as much details about the pick up location as possible.
  3. know what part of town you are in. are you visiting a high crime area? don’t get me wrong i’ve bought some amazing things from the “worst” part of town. I’m just saying if you are venturing into a place known to have high crime be extra cautious.
  4. take a buddy. if it’s possible, take a friend with you. have them stay in the car while you make the pick up. that way the seller knows you are exercising caution.
  5. meet in a public space if possible. if you are buying something small like a purse meet in a parking lot of a business. otherwise some local police stations have spots specifically designed for this type of activity to keep everyone safe. sometimes it’s not possible (like when you are buying an entire bin of glassware) but if at all possible, meet in a public safe zone.
  6. text someone where you are. i always let someone know where i am when doing a pick up. i usually say if i do not text you by X amount of time call the police. It might seem a bit dramatic but if you ever get in a situation where you can not call for help, you have a back up system. just don’t forget to call when you’re safe.
  7. if you have a bad feeling listen to it. you can always apologize for not showing up. safety first. if something feels off, follow your gut.

keep yourself safe friends. we live in a scary world sometimes and no vintage piece is worth your safety. I don’t care how rare or how good of shape it’s in. stay safe and keep antiquing.

Safety Tips for Buying Antiques

want to see more antique halls?

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  1. Nancy C says:

    So true that you need to be smart & safe. I know police department in DeKalb, IL has spot for exchanges.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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