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Looking for damage and repair on pottery or porcelain:
Run your fingertips over the edge of a plate while looking for chips but closing your eyes as you do this. It's amazing how well your fingers can see.
Bring a magnifying glass with you.
Examine a piece in daylight. Repairs are more likely to show up better in true light.
Tap lightly with your nail or pen over edges or spouts etc. A dull thunk instead of a clink will reveal a crack or repair.
Don't assume the seller will be aware of repairs. Check yourself to be sure.