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Foreign Antique Purchases

Always remember the old saying,

"If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"


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Foreign Antique PurchasesForeign Antique Purchases-Buyer Beware!

Travelers Beware
I recently had a client request a personal property appraisal for a porcelain vase that he purchased while traveling in the Far East. The client was so excited describing the incredible deal he had brokered, it was difficult for me to break the news to him that the “antique” vase he had purchased was actually a reproduction, a fake.

When you’re vacationing in any foreign country, be aware that many of the items that are sold as antiques are simply reproductions. The Far East, China in particular, is quite notorious for coaxing naive foreigners to part with large sums of money for “antiques” that are nothing more than mass produced replicas. The reproductions and forged collectibles market is big business. It is really difficult to tell the difference between the real antiques and the reproductions, as the counterfeiters have become masters at producing authentic-looking replicas. It really takes a skilled appraiser with an experienced eye to make the determination whether an item is authentic. One of the earmarks of fraud is urgency to make the sale; an extremely pushy salesperson should raise suspicion.

Remember, when traveling, the best thing you can do is to be cautious in your buying, and do your research before you travel – learn what the most commonly reproduced items are in the country you are traveling to. Many of these will be sold as authentic antiques, but may not be. Buying an expensive antique item on impulse is extremely risky. Before traveling, be sure to read trip reports from other visitors or collectors - find out what areas they recommend, and what areas they say to stay away from. In addition, be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws and customs regulations of the country you are traveling to, in order to protect yourself from any potential legal consequences regarding banned items and export laws.
Always remember the old saying, "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"

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