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Ideas for Money: Selling Opportunities for Collectors

It used to be garage sales and yard sales. Today, many sell from online auction sites.

Are you a collector?  Do you browse antique shops and flea markets for rare treasures?  Have you collected more than you can store?  Have your tastes changed?  There are a million reasons for deciding to sell.  Best of all, it’s never been easier to sell whether it’s mementos, antiques, furniture or cars. 

The online auction market for collectibles is thriving.  But, it’s not just collectors who are selling online.  Many hobbyists have found an added source of income by selling their creations through online auction houses.  

For a few years, eBay.com was the only online auction choice.  Today online auction firms crowd the field and include WebStore.com, eBid.net and OnlineAuction.com.  Before deciding on which online auction house, there’s much to consider.

What can I sell? Will I make money? 

Online auction websites allow the sale of just about any kind of item.  Some sites have specialties – some are technical, some are high-end.  Most online houses, however, feature a broad range of items for sale.  The seller can put one or more items up for auction and allow online shoppers to bid for the items.  The seller can set minimum bids and time limits for the auction. 

Pricing your item(s) for sale on an online auction site can be something of an art.  Add to that the fact that your items may not sell immediately – or ever.  Prepare yourself with information.  Scrutinize the auction sites.  See what is selling and what is not selling.  Decide whether the “going price” is right for you.

Begin by comparison shopping for the types of items you plan to sell.  Look for similar items.  Is the pricing acceptable to you?  Are similar items actually selling at that price?  What is the high-low range of prices? 

Consider your competition.  Are many items similar to yours?  Are those items selling or are they simply sitting there unsold?

Online auction sales come with costs

Don’t forget that you will incur costs.  Online auction websites may differ in many ways.  One way they don’t differ is the fact that they expect to earn money from the business you do from their site.  There are a range of fees and costs.  Be certain you fully understand the costs to sell through an online auction site.

Selling through an online auction house can save you time or the expense of a garage sale or a separate website.  On the other hand, if you have a large collection or several collections, you may decide to open your own store or set-up your own website. 

A Few Words of Caution

As with all internet commercial agreements, use care.  Always be aware.  Always protect yourself. 

  • Do not expose your personal information.  This is a maxim for all internet exchanges. 
  • Payment processing is of particular importance.  PayPal (paypal.com) is the leading online payment processor for vendors, auction sites and other commercial users.   As an alternative, consider PayPal competitor GoogleCheckout (checkout.google.com).  Both provide a secure payment wall between you and buyers. 
  • Before making a commitment with an online auction firm, look at the alternatives, compare price, value, reliability and security. 

The online auction business is so hot, there is now a website that compares the top fourteen auction sites.  TopTenReview.com researches the buying options for many kinds of products. Their Online Auction Sites is but one of those product categories.  Their goal is to help you make smart purchases.