For the majority of the items we broker, we use a seven or ten day auction format. With over two hundred million users on eBay, there are almost always two or more people interested in and willing to fight over your item. In most cases, our strategy is to take an item that we know is worth - let's say $100 - and start the bidding at $10. I'll create a random example: let's say you have a 'gently used' Coach handbag. Let's say that this purse cost $200 new and it's still in nearly perfect condition. The question is; what is it worth now?
It never ceases to amaze me the broad spectrum of value people can place on any given item. Some people feel that an item they paid $100 for 10 year ago is still worth $95. Others are happy to get $100 for something they paid $1,000 for just last year. Just when I think I have it figured out - what income level or class of people are going to feel which way - I experience a total flip flop. In any case, most people don't want to pay 'top dollar' for anything. When you give us something that is truly rare or hard-to-find, we will try to capitalize on this by fishing.
Recently we sold "24 Rare Vintage N Scale Kadee Brooklyn Locomotive Works Custom Edition Boxcars" for $4,000. Model trains have always been very collectable, but the current collection we are working with has simply been fantastic. Can you believe that these two dozen mostly-plastic cars which are only about 4 or 5" long sold for so much? Our consignor explained to us why they were in fact rare and we used the 'fishing' technique (explained under eBay Essentials) to get the most we possibly could for them.
Think of this section as a crash course for pickers and consignors. We find that a lot of people are curious about what types of items do well on eBay and the amount they bring. I have gone back through nearly two years of our very own auctions and highlighted the various Interesting Items we've had on consignment. We will continue to update this section as often as we can with the best and sometimes the worst picks.
As the owner of a consignment store, I see the full spectrum of buying and selling: There are those people that place too much value on the 'junk' they have and there are buyers who undervalue these same items. Our job is to find the happy medium. I recently sold a hunk of a bronze statue for more than a whole car - a vintage Jaguar coupe in beautiful, running, driving condition! Granted, the car will require maintenance over time, while the sculpture will only require the occasional dusting. But still - that's just not right!
For those with way too much free time, here we will discuss and trade comments on buying and selling. Our goal is to share interesting tidbits about our business, the items we come across, and sometimes simply vent about the frustrations of being the 'middle-man'. We will try to keep the tone professional, but forgive us if we occasionally digress. Feel free to leave comments - praise or even constructive criticism is welcome!