Mail Boxes Etc. UK & Ireland's blog


Delivering a world of antiques

If you had to think of the perfect website address for an antiques marketplace, you’d be hard pushed to do better than antiques.co.uk. Forward-thinking art and antiques expert Iain Brunt acquired the URL back in 1996, when the internet was just a baby. Now the site has been established for over 20 years and is the UK’s leading online marketplace connecting sellers and buyers.

Iain cut his teeth in the art and antiques sector 40 years ago, when he worked for Daniel Wildenstein, one of the 20th Century’s greatest art dealers, eventually going on to work in Wildenstein’s galleries in New York, Paris and London before setting up his own London gallery.

Since then, Iain has seen many changes in the way art and antiques are bought and sold, the latest and most important one being the shift towards buying online. This has given the consumer much more power. “With the growth of the internet, and more recently the fact that Covid-19 sent even more people online to do their shopping, it is becoming the norm for private collectors to buy from auction houses and from sites like ours,” he says. “Covid made the world realise that we could carry on shopping globally and easily from the comfort of our own homes.”

Carry on shopping

Antiques.co.uk is a fixed-price site, not an auction site. “All our sellers are verified and have to comply with our strict terms and conditions,” continues Iain. “Buyers have time to choose, to do their research, and they don’t have to compete in a bidding war. Our buyers are from all over the world.”

The UK is a key market for art and antiques, but a major barrier for international buyers has always been how to get the items home. Now, though, thanks to a partnership with Mail Boxes Etc.’s MBE Auction Logistics service, “our website instantly pairs the items listed to the seller’s nearest MBE Auction Logistics centre, taking potential buyers to an online form where they can obtain a quotation for the item to be collected, packed, protected and delivered anywhere in the world.

“Instant quotations give anyone a door-to-door price, which means the buyer knows the final cost without any surprises. This means our customers can buy with complete confidence and offers sellers the reassurance that they are reaching a worldwide audience that understands how easy it is to buy and own any item listed on our site.

“We are the only antiques website that has partnered with a dedicated shipper, offering stress-free worldwide shipping on thousands of items on antiques.co.uk. We’re making it even easier to buy online, wherever you are in the world.”

White-glove service

MBE Auction Logistics was set up in 2015 by international pack and ship experts, Mail Boxes Etc. as a white-glove delivery service tailored to the auction, art and antiques market. The service is offered by more than 150 MBE centres throughout the UK and Ireland, where franchisees and their teams offer expert collect, pack and ship services.

“MBE’s franchisees are uniquely positioned to fulfil the needs of each seller, whether they are an antique dealer, art gallery or private seller, continues Iain Brunt. “They work with all the leading shippers but the MBE Auction Logistics service takes antiques shipping to the next level, thanks to its sector expertise, certified custom packing and worldwide shipping know-how. We’re really excited to be partnering with MBE Auction Logistics to offer our sellers a solution that will help them secure sales and buyers a service that will help them find and own the finest antiques, wherever they are in the world.”

Iain’s advice to anyone wanting to start buying antiques online is to do their own research. “Ask your friends, ask the seller, talk to other experts. Use our valuation service and compare prices with those on other sites. On antiques.co.uk you can browse through our 250,000 sold items too, to see what’s selling and how much people are paying. Then just go ahead and buy the things you love!”


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