When you dive into the world of buying and selling, you will find yourself searching for reference books to help identify what you have and help put a price on it. There are plenty out there, and there’s a book that covers just about every aspect of anything vintage.
When I first started to buy and sell antiques, “Schroder’s Antiques Price Guide” and “Kovel’s Antiques And Collectibles Price List” always seemed to be brought along when I headed out to an auction. Another book that I never leave with is “A Guide Book of United States Coins” (also known as “The Red Book”) whenever I head out to coin shows.
What reference books do you find yourself constantly reading?
Is it “The Collector’s Encyclopedia Of Fiesta” by Bob And Sharon Huxford or “McCoy Pottery” by Bob And Sharon Huxford? Do you read “Collectible Glassware from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s” by Gene Florence if you love glass?
What are some of your favorite titles?
When I first started to sell online, there were three things that I found out very quickly. Here is what I learned:
#1 The price of the item itself needs to be considered. When I list an item to sell online, what I try to do is to make double on what I paid for the item. This way I can have a little wiggle room if something happens like paying a little more than expected on something like shipping.
#2 You will be charged listing fees on items you put on selling sites. On a site like Etsy, they charge a small fee to renew a listing after the item is on the website after a certain amount of time (there is also a fee when you are listing the item for the first time). You need to watch this like a hawk—this can add up pretty fast and eat into your profits. After one or two renewals, you need to think about adjusting the price or doing something else like taking better pictures.
#3 Packing costs also need to be considered. The packing costs will include tape, packing peanuts, and potentially the box itself (if you don’t get free boxes from places like the Post Office). If you do not watch this area very closely, you can completely wipe out any profits if you are not careful.
What have you learned when you started to sell things online?
When I first began to sell items online several years ago, I quickly learned two lessons that helped me sell an item. The first was pretty obvious: a clear picture can go a very, very long way.
It can actually act as a second description for the item. Not only that, you can reference the picture for to see what that seller is talking about in the description that they wrote.
The second thing that I found out, I actually stumbled into. What is in the background of the photo can say as much as what’s in the foreground. Having a simple background can also actually be helpful–it can show off the piece (and even the colors of the piece for that matter) and even show if there’s any flaws in it.
Two items that I use a ton is a piece of construction paper and even a side table that I use for decoration in a front hallway (which can be seen above). I have several colors of construction paper, and I have even used the brick flooring in several pictures as well (which can also be seen in the pictures above).
Another item that I use is the weathered back deck of my house–the amount of backdrops that you can use is countless.
So, taking a moment to set up a good picture can help you out, and it can cost you very little to nothing. What kinds of backdrops have you used?