Are you fond of collecting antiques? What types of antiques do you collect, and how far do you go to get your hands on them? Finding antiques should not require too much effort; however, if you have your heart and your eyes set on specific antiques that are rare and, therefore, hard to get, then you may find yourself having to go the extra mile – literally and figuratively! – to get them and add them to your antique collection. But how can you get your hands on some rare antiques, anyway?

The internet definitely caused a lot of changes in how people do business and live their lives. For antique collectors, for instance, finding an item no longer needs physically stepping out of their doors. Just one click and they can purchase that antique oil lamp or this Ming Dynasty vase. There are now a lot of websites that specialize in selling antiques and, if you browse through their shops, you will most probably find rare antiques. If you join communities and forums of antique collectors, you will also be able to communicate with kindred spirits and maybe even do some swaps or trades. You can even put in a query and they are most likely to help you find the rare antiques you are looking for. One great advantage of online shopping for rare antiques collectors is how one could cast a wider net, so to speak, in their search. A collector in America can now have easier access to Chinese antiques, thanks to the internet.

Of course, there is a downside to procuring rare antiques online. Most of the time, you would have to rely only on the photographs of the items uploaded on the website. That Ming Dynasty vase featured on the website may not resemble the actual item you’ve purchased once it reaches your doorstep. It takes a trained eye to assess the authenticity of an item through photographs alone. You could directly inquire with the online sellers for more information, but there are some online sellers that would tell you anything you want to hear just to make a sale. A lot of care and caution should be exercised when you take this route.

Many rare antiques collectors also find that the thrill of the whole experience is the actual hunt. They enjoy going through various shops and flea markets to look for rare items. There are now novelty shops that sell purely antiques. However, there are other places where you could locate rare antiques. For example, there are charity shops where people donate stuff to be sold, and the proceeds would be for a certain cause. There are many people who have no idea that they are disposing antiques, and it takes a devoted antique collector to recognize a treasure when he or she sees it.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for garage sales in your neighborhood or in other places. Many collectors scored rare antiques through these means, particularly when the owners of the house are moving away and “everything must go”.

If you have a lot of money stashed away to fund your antique collecting, you could also head to museums and art galleries. Often, these places hold auctions and most of the time they will have ancient artifacts and rare antiques being auctioned off. This tends to be an expensive route, but if you have money to spare and you are keen on one or two of the items available for bidding, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put in a bid for yourself.

Whatever your chosen method of procuring rare antiques is, you should make sure you know what distinguishes rare antiques from usual items. Naturally, you should also be aware of the risks involved when you try purchasing them online or even through the charity shops and garage sales.

So the best advice is learn what you are looking for, there are many age signs and other ways to recognize real antiques or modern fakes, look for those signs whenever you wish to purchase antiques.