All collectors have heard that before, but a newer collector might not heed those words. They should!
Unless you’re buying a very rare piece, classify that as almost impossible to find, the very best condition should be at the top of your checklist. In the case of pottery, chips and cracks can take away quite a bit from the value of an item. And even when you are getting that pottery at a greatly reduced price because of chip or crack, remember that if the time comes when you have to sell or get rid of it, that chip or crack will come back to haunt you.
That being said, do I buy a piece that is damaged? You bet I do — especially if I’ve never seen it for sale or if I know the price is a real bargain.
As an example, in the case of one jar I purchased, I only saw it once before for sale, for about $300. or so. When the chance came to buy a damaged piece for a fraction that price, I did. Then I had it restored. The restoration price brought it up to around the $300. price, but it looked great and even though being restored takes away a bit of the value, it was still worth it.
But in most cases, especially in lower priced pottery, the cost of the restoration is not worth the bargain purchase. And you are stuck with a cracked or broken piece that no one wants, except for many parts later on. And those parts are often not worth half of the whole . . .