How the Internet has Impacted Antique Collecting

Many people enjoy going to antique stores. For some people, it is a way to get a glimpse into the past. For others, it is fun to compare the differences in items used years ago with items used today. With the advent of the Internet, antique collecting has gone to a whole new level. There are positive and negative aspects to using the Internet for viewing and purchasing antiques. Here are of few examples of both:

Positive:

*With the ability to search online, there is no need to spend time and money traveling. For many collectors, after spending money traveling around to find stores, they can’t afford to buy the antiques.

*Use of the Internet allows collectors the ability to shop all over the world. Paying for the item plus shipping is cheaper than traveling to a foreign country. The Internet allows people to search for specific items without having to go store to store, town to town.

*Avoiding crowds can be a plus when antiquing. Use of the Internet can eliminate the pressure of having to make snap decisions on what to buy. When at a antique store, there is always the chance that someone else may be looking to buy the same item you are. Browsing online is quiet and there is little stress involved.

Negative:

*Use of the Internet takes some of the fun out of “the hunt”. Some people enjoy walking around antique stores, looking at all that is offered. Sometimes, a piece can jump out at you. A piece you were not looking for, or even knew existed, can be found while browsing a store in person.  

*It takes the face to face contact out of the equation. When antiques are purchased online, there is no chance to talk with the seller in person. Few interesting facts and trivia can be conveyed over the Internet like they can be in person. Reading about a piece is not as much fun as hearing someone tell about it. People add flare and emotion when speaking. You can come across very interesting people at antique shops.

*Travel. For some antique collectors, part of the fun is in the trip to antique stores. When going on a trip, it can be interesting how many shops are out there. You can stumble across shops that don’t advertise at all. Most small towns have at least one antique shop tucked away somewhere. It is in these shops that a person has the chance of finding some hidden treasure.

The Internet has had a large impact on antique collecting in general. It is a good thing in many ways. If nothing else, one can search for the location of shops in the area where they live, or where they are going on vacation.