You may see a photograph of the item, however bear in mind that this will be taken from the very best angle possible. If you are buying anything particularly valuable and expensive then it is worthwhile paying a visit to take a look at the item in question before parting with your cash. This way you can be sure of the condition. All second hand items for sale, especially very old pre owned collectibles will have some wear and tear.
Vases can look mint from one angle, but the other side of the vase could be chipped or damaged. The same is true for guitars. A guitar can be made to look amazing but if it can't play a note in tune then it might not be worth buying. Ideally look for sellers which put up a lot of photos all around the item so you can see everything.
Do some homework and research the seller in question. Quite a few of the sellers online are professional traders. There is nothing wrong with this but they will be trying to make a profit so make sure you are paying the correct price for the item. Read the reviews to make sure that the antiques and collectibles they sell are of the best quality.
Fake Collectible Items
It's essential that you are very careful to make sure you only buy genuine collectible items. In some categories on auction sites, quite a few of the items listed as reconditioned or refurbished are actually modern reproductions. These still have a value but just make sure you don't pay over the odds.
Don't get Conned
There are plenty of scammers on the internet just after your money. To avoid this being a problem try to stay as safe as possible. Use a credit or debit card registered with a major UK bank to benefit from buyer protection. This will allow you to charge back the cost of the item if it never arrives or isn't as sold. When buying from large auction sites you also get protection through these.
The Internet really is a great way to track down even the rarest collectible. You can buy from anywhere in the world. Just be careful and make sure you will be happy with your purchase.