FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ANTIQUES DIVA TOURS AND SERVICES
Q: Can I afford a tour? How much does it cost?
A: Tours run as low as 250 Euro per person based upon a 2 person tour in Paris. That gives you an 8-hour custom tour with a private, one-on-one guide who meets you at your hotel and returns you at the end of the day. When shopping, your guide will ask your budget for purchases and take you to the area of the market most geared toward your price point.
Q: I need to purchase antiques for my store but cannot take a trip abroad. Do you offer buying service?
A: Yes! A major part of what we do is offer customized Buying Services to private individuals, antique dealers, and interior designers. For more details on this time-saving service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does it matter how much I spend on tour? What if I just want to window shop?
A: In French the expression for window shopping is lécher une fenêtre or “licking the windows” – they use this expression because you’re literally drooling over the divine design inspiration. Half the fun of shopping abroad is in seeking inspiration. You pay a fee for your guide’s time on tour. You pay that same fee for their time whether you spend 100 Euro or 100,000 Euro. If additional post tour follow-up is needed additional fees will apply.
Q: How much do clients typically spend on tour?
A: It varies from clients who book an antique buying tour simply for the experience and end up spending a couple of hundred Euro to clients who are stocking stores and spend hundreds of thousands of euros on tour. We’ve had clients buy nothing and we’ve had clients spend over a million euro on tour. Our goal is to give both clients equal service. When booking a tour, you pay for the amount of time your guide needs to spend to help you shop abroad.
Q: Why should I book an Antiques Diva® Tour?
A: By custom planning a tour to your specific needs and desires, we are saving you time. When you tell us the type of products you’re interested in, we can then take you to specific dealers who specialize in that product/style. We also will help negotiate the best trade price possible for your purchases. When we walk in the door, we bring the buying power of not one client but rather all our clients. Vendors recognize our buying power and as such tend to give us best pricing.
Q: How do I ship my purchases home?
A: We provide white glove fine art and antiques shipping and storages services, and will also work with your preferred international shipping company. We will then help liaise you with your chosen shipper to help get all of your purchases home safe and sound. Before your tour we can secure the necessary documents for your tour and/or buying services – this includes purchase orders, tickets and labels. On tour we fill out your purchase orders, scan and/or mail documents to the shippers on your behalf and help label each purchase.
We ask each client to photograph all purchases so they have their own photo record of purchases. If using an outside shipper, after the shipper receives your purchases orders if you have not already paid the vendors direct, the shipper will pay the vendors on your behalf by whichever method you have agreed in advance. After receiving your purchase orders, your shipper will advise you of any extra arrangements that need to be put in place for your shipment, e.g., extra crating for fragile objects or documentation required for items that fall under CITES regulations, etc. At this point, after handing over the purchase orders, our shipping liaison responsibility officially ends. Typically this process takes up to 7 days to complete from tour end date.
Q: I am traveling alone. Can I book a tour for just one person?
A: Absolutely! Our tours are priced a la carte! You book 1 person for 1 day or 10 people for 14 days! The size of your tour party depends upon the number of people in your party. We do not pair groups of strangers together – however we will fulfill group tours if you have a group of friends you’d like to travel with. We’re also ideal for solo travelers – traveling with your diva guide is sort of like having a best friend in Europe who also just so happens to have the best little black book on the continent.
Q: Do you offer group tours?
A: All our antiques buying tours are private tours customized to your needs – the size of your party depends upon the number of people you book on tour. If you are a single person you have a private, one-on-one tour. If you are traveling with 5 people we provide a group tour for your group size. We never pair strangers on tour together. We do, however, fulfill white labeled group tours – behind the scenes the Antiques Diva & Co provides many of our competitors’ group tours as their ground service.
Q: What does it cost to fill a container?
A: That’s a difficult question because it depends upon the price point you’re buying at and the size of the items you’re purchasing. In general you can equate a 20-foot container to around 40 pieces of medium-sized furniture (i.e., chest of drawers size). We’ve had clients fill a container for 30,000 Euro while others spend 100,000 Euro.
One key point to remember is that in order to ship overseas you do not necessarily need to fill a container – there are always options for shipping one-off pieces or consolidated containers.
Q: What if I only want to purchase a few items?
A: That is completely fine! Whether you purchase one item or a container full of items, the cost of your tour is based on the amount of time you book with your guide. For purposes of shipping we can organize individual items, partial consolidated containers or entire container loads.
Q: Can I book multiple countries on one tour?
A: Absolutely! Clients often choose to book more than one country on a tour while they are already in Europe. It saves money on travel and can be a great way to get the most value from your trip. A typical combination of countries might be France & England, France & Italy or Belgium & England! While we do not book your travel arrangements we can advise on best routes to take between countries (whether planes, trains or automobiles) and help organize your multi-country tour so it takes the most advantage of your time on the road.
Q: What’s the best time of year to shop abroad?
A: The best way to answer this question is to say when the worst time of year to shop abroad is – avoid mid-July through end August as vendors tend to be on holiday. With holidays in mind be aware that holidays often mean vendors take time off work to spend time with their family so if you travel on Easter or any of the May Catholic holidays in Europe you risk fewer vendors being open. We suggest clients travel off season when possible. February – June tend to be our high season, and then also September to November is another good time to shop.
Q: Do you offer antiques shopping tours for tourists?
A: Yes! For example, if you are already in Paris on holiday and want to book a 1-day tour of the Paris Flea Market, we can certainly accommodate you! In any of our tour countries you can book a private tour giving you access to shop as if you were a dealer for a day!
Q: Do you offer tours for the trade?
A: Absolutely! More than 75% of our business is trade driven – whether that’s antique dealers stocking their stores, new vendors seeking to gain a network of sources in Europe, or established dealers who recognize that we save them time and money. Designers tend to travel with us both privately as well as taking their clients on tour along with us. Design showrooms often book inspiration tours.
Q: What if I am an Antiques Dealer and want to keep my sources secret?
A: We never reveal our client’s names – unless the client has offered to go on the record for a testimonial or on our social media channels. With every client we are happy to sign a confidentiality agreement that says we will not reveal our client names nor sources where our clients shop. Your secret is safe with us!
Q: Do you book our hotel and airfare?
A: While we’re happy to make suggestions on where to stay en route, you are responsible for booking your own hotel and airfare.
Q: What if I have to cancel my tour last minute?
A: The Antiques Diva® & Co Tours requires payment in full at time of booking. If a tour booking is canceled, 75% is refundable if cancellation is made up to 2 weeks in advance. However, this deposit may be reapplied if the tour is rescheduled. Additionally, if the client cancels at the last minute or does not show up for another reason, it is up to the discretion of The Antiques Diva® & Co Tours to give back part of the full payment. The Antiques Diva® & Co Tours appreciates the understanding of our clients regarding the above policies, due to the unique nature of the planning involved in these tours.
Do you have more questions about AD&CO services?
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