Fine jewelry is one of the most heavily marked up products in existence and will generally only sell for about 30% of it's appraised value. But when you have eight ounces of 925 designed by a famous artisan like this "King Baby Studio Sterling Silver Wallet Chain" - you've got a $760 sale.
While most clothing does terrible on eBay (because there is just so much of it and there is always fit and feel concerns) high end name brand outerwear will usually rise to the occasion. This barely worn "Orvis Vanson Horsehide Leather Motorcycle Jacket" looked as good as new and sold for $645. Granted, it was $1200 retail - but that's still not bad!
I spent about two hours trying to decipher the makers mark on this "Franz Witter Dresden Lace Porcelain Figurine". I discovered it was actually a genuine Dresden piece that was rebranded for international sale by a third party in the 1950s. A collector in Russia of all places bought it for $306! Had I not done my research, we wouldn't have gotten twenty bucks for it. Old figurines are very collectable, but brand and condition are everything.
Most old hand-made arts and crafts pieces aren't worth very much unless you can identify them with a culture or give them historical significance. When we learned that these "Antique Native American Indian Folk Art Dolls" were authentic primitives from the Umatilla Tribe, we knew we had something to work with. Not only did the person who bought them thank us profusely, but we grossed $265 making the connection!
Usually dolls are a dime a dozen, but if you find a really nice old piece like this "Antique Max Handwerck German Bisque Head Doll", you've got $332 on your hands. Sadly, this doll was so old and fragile it broke during shipping despite my best packing efforts. Since the insurance rarely pays out on anything, I had to eat this one. We are experts at packing, but still the barbarians at UPS manage to break about 1/200 items we ship.
The joy of smoking is one of the things that has been shared by both the rich and the poor for generations. The craftsmanship of some of the pieces in this "Antique Estate Smoking Tobacco Pipe Collection" was just fantastic. We could have sold them individually, but we offered them as a lot to attract the collectors and got a nice $510 sale!
The market is flooded with cheap 'limited edition' novelties featuring popular personalities. Most of the time, they are worth very little, but if you get a good piece like this "DC Direct Sideshow Wonder Woman Superman Statue" you've got a $393 sale. The new price tag was only $199 - so someone actually made a profit on this!
Old film and music memorabilia is always sought after. This lot of "Vintage Movie Theater Lobby Cards" were from the 1940s 50s & 60s - we first tried selling a couple individually, but they didn't do well or didn't sell at all, so we just grouped the remaining lot together. The group lot probably sold for more than they would have alone as collectors love 'grab-bag' offers. In addition, decorators and restaurants love collections like this!
Here at the Curiosity Warehouse, we like interesting items like this "Antique Pyle National Railroad Locomotive Lantern" that sold for $226. Almost anything to do with transportation history or railroads in general will do well. This particular piece was in decent condition, but it would have been worth even more had it not been repainted.
One of the biggest reasons private parties are reluctant to sell their own items on eBay is because of the packing and shipping aspect of making the sale. How much do you charge? Where do you get boxes? When will you have time to go to the post office or how do you use UPS or FedEx? How do you insure items and what happens if something breaks in transit? Obviously as an eBay drop off store, these are things we already have figured out and the answers to all these questions could comprise an entire college thesis.
Historical items, especially military related pieces have a huge collector following. There are lots of old swords like this "French 1833 Chatellerault Naval Cutlass" to be had but the condition can make it trash or treasure. Since not everyone can afford a priceless collection, fair condition items like this one still do pretty well for someone just looking for a display piece.
Old books are usually a dime a dozen since they are printed by the thousands, but if you have a first printing by an acclaimed author, you have a winner. We had two copies of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1876 First Edition Printing (by) Mark Twain" - one with a beat up cover, the other with some missing pages. Together, they fetched $1281 and the buyer told me he was a professional binder and planned to use them both to make one nice copy which would be worth at least $2000.
Art is among the best and worst performing items we sell. We really weren't expecting much for these "15 Original Vintage Japanese Woodblock Art Prints" but we knew there was a market for Samurai & Geisha themed items and simply gave them the best representation we could. Even though we could not decipher the artist, eBay is full of experts looking for treasures and at least two people felt they were worth over $2,000!
This "Antique TNT Dynamite Blasting Machine" from the 1920s went off with a bang at $618! Most old items that can be identified will always have some value. Especially if they are items tied to industry, history, or culture. While the name-plate on this piece does not carry any special history, this piece would have sold for a lot less without it.
One of our favorite consignors has been collecting Lego building sets for many years. Lego sets are not cheap and it just so happens that they are also very collectable all over the world, which makes eBay the perfect marketplace. This "Lego Star Wars Set 10123 Cloud City" was a fairly limited release - which is why even opened and used, it still sold for $600!
A quality musical instrument will always sell well on eBay. This "2010 Gibson USA Les Paul Special Electric Guitar" sold for $887, which was just a few dollars less than what my consignor paid for it new! The winner of this auction was in Australia and in addition to being the high bidder, he was willing to pay over $100 shipping. Since we offer to ship most items world-wide, this mate was able to own a quality American made Gibson.
The nice thing about antiques is that they keep getting older. My consignor bought this "Antique Japanese Cast Iron Tea Pot" during her trip to Japan in 1970. It came with a piece of documentation stating that it was over 100 years old and that was over 40 years ago! She never expected her twenty-five dollar investment would some day be worth $1,175. One bit of provenance can make all the difference between a $10 item and one worth $1000.
Everyone knows that Rolex is among the best names in luxury time pieces, but do you know how to tell if one is real? We do! With a high-ticket item like this "Rolex Cellini Danaos Gold Watch", our first strategy was the fishing technique. With a retail price of over $8,000, we tried asking $6,500 for this gently used piece. After a month, our best offer was only $4000. We then asked our consignor to trust us and we put it up for auction starting at just $9.99 and it closed at $4,650.