Sell This, Not That: Everything About Chinese Antiques Authentication, Appraisals, and Valuations

Are you thinking about getting into the Chinese antiques industry? There are many people who make a good amount of money buying and selling Chinese antiques, but you have to be invested. You don’t simply become a Chinese porcelain buyer overnight. You need to understand what to sell to truly make money, plus you need to know how to value your collection and where to find out if it’s authentic.

There Are a lot of Fakes

You can walk into just about any home décor store and see shelves of Chinese porcelain vases. These vases probably retail for $29.99 or so, and that’s really all they’re worth. With so many vases out there, figuring out which ones came from a department store and which are actually from Chinese can be difficult. Even some experts can be fooled. The first thing you want to do as a Chinese antiques dealer is find yourself an appraiser who is knowledgeable about Chinese pieces. Take your time and really vet the appraiser. This person is going to be your go-to expert to determine the value of your pieces, so you want them to be experienced and professional.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion

If you take a piece to several Chinese antique buyers and they all turn it down, it’s possible even your expert fell for a scam. It happens. Take the piece to another appraiser and ask for a second opinion. Make sure you get detailed appraisal reports from both experts to compare.

Do Your Own Homework

If you’re going to get into selling Chinese antiques, you need to learn as much as you can about them. You can find a lot of information online about how to properly identify true antique pieces (those that are more than 100 years old). While you may not feel confident appraising your own items, you can at least learn enough to be able to weed out the obvious fakes and cheaper items from the valuable ones.

A person doing an online search for antiques

Know Your Audience

If you’re looking for where to sell Chinese antique items, you want to make sure you’re selling to people who understand Chinese art and know what they want. Selling at a general antique auction or to a general dealer is likely to get you less money. You want to find buyers who want specifically what you have. Sell to the market where the demand is—you’ll get more money that way.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Dont be afraid to say no

When it comes to deciding what to sell, don’t be afraid to say no to offers you feel are particularly low. There’s no need to get into a hurry to sell items. In fact, many people who have made a killing selling Chinese antiques did so years after they bought the items. Many never really intended to sell, but later decided they needed to downside or had too much clutter. That’s when they learned that their Chinese antiques were worth a lot of money. It’s okay to hold on to antique items for several years. They’re not going to lose any value.

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