Sell Antiques Online Quickly
If you need to sell antiques online quickly, you probably should consider selling them on an online antiques auction. Of course the one that comes to mind for most is EBay. In an auction format, unless you set a reserve, you are almost guaranteed a sale, as long as at least one person is willing to meet the starting price. If you are totally unfamiliar with auctions, a reserve price is a price set before the auction, that must be met for the sale to take place. If you set a reserve on the antique oak table of $100 and it only brings $75, it will not sell. But you still will be charged a fee whether the item sells or not. The same holds true if you, or the auction, set a starting bid and no one is willing to pay that much, then again it will not sell.
But EBay is by no means the only online auction. There are many local auction houses that sell online as well as at their auction location. But, unless you have something that is really unusual and in high demand, auctions typically will only bring wholesale prices. But if you need to move the items quickly, this is definitely one way to do it.
My Favorite Place to Sell Antiques Online
As I mentioned before, many antiques dealers have their favorite place to sell antiques online. But since I am writing this article, I will tell you my favorite and why it is my favorite. I will also give you some hints on selling antique online successfully.
My very favorite place to sell antiques online is Ruby Lane. I have sold things online at Ruby Lane for many years. They have great customer service and attract a large amount of traffic. Traffic is the key to selling anything online. So the more sought after your items are, the more likely you are to sell those items. Ruby Lane has hundreds of dealers and many thousands of items. And Ruby Lane, although one of the biggest online antiques sites, is just one of many. So it is a very competitive market. I want to make sure you understand this before I go too much farther in the discussion.
Too many people think they can list ten or fifteen items and sell three or four of them the first month. It would be like setting up a booth in an antique mall and thinking you were going to sell a fourth of your inventory the first month. The more items you have on a site, the better chance you have of selling those items. So if you need to sell your items quickly, reread the first part of this article.
I like Ruby Lane because they set guidelines and stick with them. Before you are even allowed to open your online store, you are required to send them your first ten items all set up correctly and ready to sell. They want to make sure know how to:
Take good photos
Write good, accurate descriptions
List the item in proper category
Point out any faults an item might have
List the shipping correctly
All of the above things help keep the quality and integrity of the site at a high level. This gives the customers who shop on Ruby Lane, confidence to know they will be getting what is listed and described. They don’t want to get a piece of pottery that has a hairline crack that wasn’t shown in the photos and not mentioned in the description.
Everyone usually want to know how much does it cost to sell on Ruby Lane. At the time of this writing, there is a $20 per month advertising fee for every dealer, no matter if you have ten items are two thousand items. And there are dealers with that many items on Ruby Lane. There is a one time setup charge of $75 which will be refunded if you are not approved. Then there is a thirty cent listing fee per item. After an item is listed, starting with the next month on, there is a thirty cent maintenance fee for each item for the first 150 items, then it drops to twenty cents per item for items 151-1000. So if you have 100 items listed in your store, your monthly fee would be $30 for maintenance and $20 for advertising for a total of $50. Ruby Lane does not charge a commission for sales. You must keep a positive balance in your account to list new items. You can check their web site for more details.
I love all of the data that you get from your site. You get the number of visitors to your site, what items were looked at the most, how long the average visitor stayed on your site and how many pages did they see. Even where they lived is shown. I pay the most attention to the number of item views. This helps me to see the kind of items are being seen the most and to try to list more of those kind of items. If a particular item is getting lots of views, but is not selling, I need to make sure the photos and descriptions are clear and the item is priced competitively. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words, so great photos with proper lighting will help you sell more. The same for good descriptions. Look at the dealers that are the most visited. See how they do it and see if you can do it too. Look under “Relax” at the top of the page and then the “Top 50” and it will show the top visited shops in each category. Also look at the last pages of their shops and see what kinds of items they are selling. Be sure to focus on what is selling and what it sold for, rather than just seeing how much something was listed for. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Ruby Lane or no other site can sell something that no one wants or is priced higher than anyone is willing to pay.
One more selling hint. It is better to list 3-5 items a day than to list 15-20 items once a week. Many people tend to look at what is listed new today. If you only list new things once a week, those people will only see your new things once a week rather than possibly seeing them every day. I found this out through trial and error. Once they see your new things, if they see something they like, most likely they will look at more things on your site. I found that you need at least 50 items listed to increase you chances for making sales. And again, the more the better. Like I said there are dealers with over 2,000 items on Ruby Lane. It must be working or they wouldn’t be doing all that work and paying those fees.
I hope I have given you enough information to help you determine the best place to sell antiques online.