Ask A Baltimore Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

August 19, 2014 8:00 AM

credit: Sturgis Antiques & Collectables Facebook page

Brick and mortar stores are struggling more and more in this modern era of internet shopping. Some brilliant retailers have responded to the situation by opening online stores to complement their physical locations. Now shoppers can order items on Amazon, E-Bay, Craigslist or personalized websites, and then pick their items up at a physical location. One Baltimore shop owner gives out advice on how to find the best deals when shopping online.

credit: Sturgis Antiques & Collectables Facebook page

credit: Sturgis Antiques & Collectables Facebook page

Christian Sturgis
Sturgis Antiques
3554 Roland Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21211
(410) 262-5383

Located in Baltimore for almost 14 years, Christian Sturgis deals primarily with private estates and has acquired extensive expertise in early 20th century art, decorative arts and historical items. He has developed lasting relationships with his estates and aims to give every client personal attention and help with selling and evaluating objects, art and furniture.

His Baltimore location focuses on items and objects of historical importance and catalogs previously sold pieces for museums, institutions and personal reference. If you have a particular item you are looking for or need an item evaluated, please contact Sturgis. Here is his advice on how to find the best deals when shopping online.

Get To Know The Person You Are Buying From

As much as brick and mortar allow you conversation and confidence in buying items such as antiques and other collectable items, a good online store will answer any and all questions as well. Conversation leads to trust from the buyer and seller and also a working relationship that leads to repeat business.

Look Closely At The Online Pictures

When buying antiques and collectibles, makes sure the pictures provided are clear and give a good visual description. It’s easy to get burned by assuming that the single image at a poor resolution represents a pristine item. Retailers who are confident of the quality of their item will have no problem providing detailed pictures that show off its worth.

Make Sure Shipping Costs Are Realistic And Not Inflated

A trick used by a variety of online retailers is to sell an item at what looks like a reasonable cost, and then burn the buyer on the shipping costs. This presents an easy bait-and-switch tactic, as items typically do not have the shipping costs listed clearly, and many people do not pay attention to it when buying. If necessary, put the item in your shopping cart, and then check out the shipping costs before you check out and pay.

Related: Best Shops To Buy Affordable Art In Baltimore

Pay Attention To Where The Item Ships From

Realize where the item ships from, as an item coming from the West Coast or outside of the US will increase the cost. If necessary, contact the seller directly in order to get detailed shipping information.

Know What You Want To Buy Before Searching The Internet

Impulse buying can have some unpleasant consequences at a physical store, but can be disastrous when shopping online. The hassle of trying to return an item online (and many online sales are final with no returns offered) is nothing compared to the crippling angst of buyer’s regret. For this reason, it is important to identify your desire or need, then begin your online shopping. Self-control when shopping online is a must.

Related: Best Shops For Antiques & Collectibles In Baltimore

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.

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