Your search for an antique basin should start with a determination of what kind of basin you are looking for. The materials used to construct basins throughout the centuries have varied significantly, from wood to metal, as well as porcelain and even glass. Do a bit of research to find out which antique basin will work best for your purposes; some people use basins simply for decorative purposes, while others want a basin to create a functional sink in a kitchen or bathroom. Base your choice on what condition the basin is in and how well it will suit your purposes.
It will also be helpful to determine a budget for purchasing an antique basin. The cost of a basin can vary significantly according to the materials used, the age of the piece, the condition of the basin, the origin of the antique basin, and a variety of other considerations. Antiques can be quite expensive, but doing a bit of research beforehand can help ensure you get a fair price for the basin when you visit an antiques dealer or auction. You should do a fair amount of research into materials, styles, and types of basins to ensure you can recognize a true antique. You will need to be able to spot reproductions as well to avoid getting ripped off or cheated into buying a reproduction passed off as an original antique.
A visual inspection of an antique basin is an important step in the purchase process, though this is not always possible, especially if the antique is being shipped from another country or from a long distance. If you have an opportunity to do a visual inspection, be sure to look for any damage or wear on the piece. The presence of damage or wear should not necessarily discount the piece from purchase consideration, but you will need to consider any refurbishing costs or problems with the functionality of the piece before offering to pay for it. If a visual inspection is not possible, be sure to obtain a detailed description of the piece, including descriptions and photos of any damage present on the antique basin.
Whenever possible, buy from a reputable antiques dealer who has sufficient knowledge of antique basins. Try to get recommendations for a good dealer through the internet, by word of mouth, or from antiques clubs or events held locally. Be sure the dealer offers a fair price as well as a return policy or warranty whenever applicable.