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With many potential buyers put off by the endless pages of terms and conditions put up by some enterprises, it is a rare treat to see a business doing something short and simple to help.

This excellent example can be found at www.rareart.com, the online gallery site for the Washington DC based Creighton-Davis Gallery.

As well as the usual features, the site offers a very clearly marked caveat section entitled Warning about buying art on the Internet.

What is so praiseworthy about this section is that it is brief and to the point as well as being accurate and useful.

“Based on conversations with a number of clients as well as our own observations about art offerings on the Internet, we offer these caveats about buying art on the Internet,” the section advises. It then goes on to list six major pieces of advice that a buyer can follow to make sure their purchase is genuine and secure.

Topics covered include warranties, provenance and title, guarantees of authenticity, the standing of Internet companies you may deal with, fakes and forgeries, and credit card payments.

It’s the sort of information that would prove handy on any site and could well boost the confidence of anyone scanning the site with a view to buying.

The Internet is difficult enough to police as it is and may well become increasingly difficult to control as technology becomes ever more sophisticated. But simple ideas such as the warning section on www.rareart.com can go a long way to reducing risk.

I would be interested in any similar innovations by sites that help reduce risk and build consumer confidence.