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.
Price your items reasonably: Pricing is important but should not be overestimated. There are times that an item, if priced very low, creates suspicions, like something may be wrong with it. In this competitive market, it is unusual that an online Seller cannot find comparable items to value an item. The good-old days of bargains due to lack of knowledge by the seller are extremely rare or perhaps limited to a genuine Flea-Market, but even there, this is less and less of an option nowadays. Instead, if the market is depressed, try to offer a price that is just slightly less than the competition, but do not overdo it. Pricing is truly a balancing act and you must treat it as such. There are several great sites such as www.Values4Antiques.com, online Appraisers and good-ole eBay.
4) Use sharp and inviting photos: I am sure that I am not alone in having had the experience of finding an Antique or Collectible for sale online that is described exactly as what I’m looking for, but the photos are blurry or
out-of-focus. Another issue is when there is only one very generic photo with no close-ups to highlight the item’s features, such as the hand-painted decoration on a Porcelain Urn or Vase, or the minute details that exemplify
the workmanship on a Porcelain Figurine such as the hands, face etc. The same goes for Silver or Jewelry, which often have exceptional details that literally “sell” the item. Also, do not forget that when you edit your
photos, make sure that the color that shows up is true to the original. It is also useful to include a close up of any maker’s marks as these indicate authenticity. Use a good camera and a popular or proven Photo Editor, such
as Adobe etc.
5) Be “polite” - not suspicious: For most people, it is a turn-off when a listing on eBay or other online venue, has a couple of lines of dry and generic information on the item and about 5 paragraphs on what will happen to me if I don’t pay quickly or am dissatisfied with the item or how patient I need to be on receiving it. Tone it down! I agree that there is a 5% of people out there that do not follow up on their obligations after bidding, perhaps more so in this unpredictable economy. But I assure you, the vast majority of Buyers are good people. If necessary, include this information on your checkout message, do not overemphasize your previous bad experiences with the very few when you should spend more time describing your item and compel the Buyer why this is THE item for them. Find sellers on eBay that have a successful track record and good feedback and borrow some of these “presentation” techniques. Make it pleasant!
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