I have a few tips on purchasing antique pottery , porcelain and ceramics to help new collectors.
First of all I would say collect a style of ceramics which you like, do not just follow a name or trend. I you find a piece pleasing other people probably will as well, making your collection sought after.
Many Collectors ask how much to pay for an item. This generally comes with experience, Price guides can help here but prices in them can be somewhat inflated. If you specialise your collection in one area then you will become the expert in that field. If you try and sell a few items as your collection develops this will help you learn the prices.
Do not rule out puchasing antique ceramic pieces with minor damage. You may be limiting your collection to common pieces. Most antique pottery will show some wear and minor damage. Beware of buyers who state everything to be in perfect condition.
One way of finding bargains on Ebay is by finding items which have not been fully identified or described. If you buy an un-named piece of pottery which you later identify, you can then add a reference to a book, on the subject, in your selling page - this will add value to your listing.
Check out the sellers feedback rating. A good seller rating and refund policy are essential for your peace of mind.
Do your research before your purchase if possible. Good Luck with your purchases.