Yes, in Antiques & Collectibles, too: It is the economy, stupid! Contrary to conventional wisdom, the business of selling Antiques & Collectibles online, is as much vulnerable to economic swings as any other financial practice.
News-Antique.com - Feb 06,2008 - San Francisco, California – February 7, 2008 – Marks4antique.com releases info on surviving an economic downturn if your business is selling antiques and collectibles. It is often said that the business of Antiques & Collectibles is economy-proof. This is based on the conventional wisdom that when people are in a financial bind they sell their stuff quickly and cheaply, which creates opportunities for Dealers (“Buyers Market”). On the reverse, when money is abundant, people buy more and are willing to pay higher prices (“Sellers Market”). If you are a Dealer or an Auctioneer, and are involved in both sides of this equation, either swing in the economy is good news for you.
However, this does not translate very well to online Sales. Online sellers on eBay, RubyLane etc, when there is a downturn in the economy, find themselves holding Inventory for longer periods of time and often have to
lower prices to compete with other sellers. This is particularly true for items that are not absolutely unique, such as a one-of signed Baseball or a numbered Bronze. In fact, most items sold online are Ceramics, Pottery,
Silver, Decorative Porcelain Figurines, China or Dinnerware Sets, Jewelry etc. Most of these are usually manufactured in large numbers, which creates heavy competition amongst Sellers and tends to drive prices down, especially in a bad economy.
Therefore, it is important that a Seller uses all possible means to prop-up an item when selling online. Here are some useful tips that are effective when selling Antiques & Collectibles online:
1) Add a personal dimension to your item: For example, if a Dinner Set you are selling online was previously used by a prestigious family, let’s say the Governor of a US State or Country, make sure you mention it in the
description. This is called “provenance” and it appeals to many Collectors. If an item is of such high caliber that a similar one is on display at some well-known Museum or some famous Public or Private Collection, include this
information to give it an “endorsement”. You can find some of this information by searching on Google or your favorite search engine. The same is true if this item was inherited from a distinguished relative, like “This
[item] was handed down to my family from my grandfather who was an Admiral in the US Navy ca 1880s – 1930”. This shows that the item has good “pedigree”.
2) Describe your item with accuracy: This is super important. Most items sold online are found by a prospective Buyer searching on Google or eBay and other such sites. Most of these searches use “keywords” like the specific maker or its style. If your item is described accurately and includes the maker, style, and period, buyers are more likely to find it and bid or purchase it online. If you do not know, use resources like books or online
websites that provide such information. For example, an easy and quick online identification guide is available at www.Marks4Antiques.com