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How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Collectors

As a collector, you’re always on the lookout for new and exciting pieces to add to your collection. But beware! There are unscrupulous people out there who will try to take advantage of your love of collecting. Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid getting scammed by collectors.

Do your research

Before handing over any money, make sure you do your research on the piece you’re interested in. Check eBay and other auction websites to see if similar items have sold recently, and for how much. This will give you a good idea of what the piece is worth and help you determine if the price being asked is fair.

Get an expert opinion

If you’re unsure about an item, consult with an expert in the field before making a purchase. A qualified appraiser will be able to tell you if an item is authentic and give you an estimate of its value. 

Never pay upfront

A common scam is for someone to claim they have a rare item that they’re willing to sell, but only if you pay them upfront. Unfortunately, once you’ve paid, you’ll never hear from them again and you’ll be out of luck (and money). Always insist on seeing the item before paying for it. If the person refuses, walk away. 

Be cautious of too-good-to-be-true deals

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re being offered a rare item at an unrealistically low price, there’s a good chance it’s a fake or a scam. Proceed with caution and make sure you do your research before making any decisions. 

Check for BBB alerts

The Better Business Bureau issues an alert when it becomes aware of companies that may be engaged in fraudulent or deceptive business practices. Before doing business with any company, check the BBB website to see if there are any active alerts against them. 

Use common sense! 

If something feels off, trust your gut and walk away from the deal. There’s no shame in being cautious—your hard-earned money is at stake, after all!—and better safe than sorry when it comes to avoiding scams altogether.


The best way to avoid getting scammed as a collector is to use common sense and stay alert. By following these tips from the Better Business Bureau, you can rest assured that you won’t get taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.

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