What are some photography tips for items that you are selling online?

When it comes to the online selling, one of the first things potential customers will notice is the listings photographs.  What are some tips to remember to help you with getting great pictures that could help you sell your items?

Make sure that the item is clean—there have been plenty of times I have put taking photographs on hold to either give the item a dusting or a complete cleaning.

Get close to the item you are taking photos of.  Getting close up shots of marks, tags and any potential defects go a long way to help you sell the item.

Show how small the item is.  Having a good shot of the item that fills the image can be great, but there will be a time when you need to include something like a ruler to show how small the item truly is.  Another item that I use is an apple to help show the scale—people will have a good idea how big common items like apples or even coins are.

This is a small handful of tips when it comes to taking photographs of the items that you are going to sell online.  What other tips have you run across?

What are some places for you to get inventory to sell online?

When you start to sell items online, you will run across a question that could stump you—where can you go to find inventory?  Garage sales, estate sales and even auctions are popular ways to find inventory.  Here are some of the other places that you can go to find inventory:

Church sales are a good place to go because there will be a large amount for you to look at.  Not only that, but there will also be a wide variety of items that you will run across.  This type of sale is usually a fundraiser for something like a mission trip or do raise money to do something at the church, so there is a great chance that the price of the item will be low.

Goodwill is also a great place to go to find inventory.  Not only is there the regular store, but Goodwill also has outlet stores where you can buy it by the pound.  I can’t tell you how many deals I have bought there—it’s one of my favorite places to go.

Moving sales are a lot like going to a garage sale.  The main difference between the two is that a moving sale is where they are getting rid as much as possible so they can move and not take it with them.  There have been moving sales that I have attended where I have seen the seller even give items away.

Going out of business sales are probably overlooked by some.  I have bought everything from tools to sports jerseys and even home decorations at this type of sale, and I have also seen clothing racks, shelves and even light fixtures for sale.  Not only can you get items to sell online, but you can also get what you need to get organized while you sell.

This is a small sample of places that you can go to find inventory to sell online.  What are some of the places that you have gone too to find inventory?

What are a few tips for when you hold your own estate sale?

Whenever you start to buy vintage and collectible items at sales and antique malls, you will eventually come to the point where you will want to sell some of it off.  One of the ways that you can sell some of your items off is with an estate sale.  What are some things to remember when you hold one yourself?

Make sure that you have good traffic flow.  You will want the buyers that come out to look at their own pace, so keep items for sale to both the perimeter and the center of each room.  This way there will be enough room for a couple of people to stand and look at the items without holding up the rest of the shoppers.

Enlist some help.  Have several people at the sale so that they can help with everything from being the cashier to help load the heavy items.  I have seen people bring in some food for the people running the sale to go along with paying them a portion of the sales for them helping out.

Have a plan for the items that did not sell.  This could be donating the items to a local charity or secondhand store that takes donations.  Another thing that you could do is to set them off to the side and you can have items ready in case you have another sale down the road.

This is only a few of the tips for when you have your own estate sale.  What are some others that you have heard of?

What are some tips for the beginning antique dealer?

You have attended auctions and estate sales and have even headed out to flea markets, antique malls and even some garage sales.  Now you have decided to take the plunge and start to sell vintage and collectible items.

What are some things to remember when it comes to selling off some of the deals that you have found along the way?

If you are selling an electronic item like a video game console, see if it is possible to test the item.  If it does, you can get a little more money for it.  Not only that, you can also give any potential customer more confidence about it if they want to buy it.

If you are going to be selling items for a good amount of time, you need to keep an eye open to see what is selling and what’s not.  This way you don’t spend hard earned money on items that have the potential of never selling or taking a long time to do so.

Condition is the biggest hurdle to cross when it comes to making sales.  I have seen people walk away from an item if the item is broken or has missing pieces.

This is a few things to remember when you are beginning to sell items.  What are some of the tips that you have run across?

What are some things to expect when you begin to sell antiques and collectibles?

When you dive into selling antiques and collectibles, you quickly find that there are some expectations when you sell an item.

What are some of the things that you should expect to happen when it comes to selling antiques and collectibles?

You will sell quite a few items that are priced below $100.  I cannot count how many items that I have sold over the years that are below $100.  There are several reasons that can account for this—it could be the shopper wants to decorate with the item or it could be a gift for a friend or loved one.

Another reason is that selling the high-priced items will take a little longer to do.  It’s not that the item has a problem with it or that no one wants it, but rather it might take someone a lot of thinking about in order for them to break out the money and buy it.

You will get an offer on an item that you are selling that you will not be able to take.  I have heard of several reasons when a price is not accepted, but the most common reason is that the offer on the piece for sale is too low.

This is a small handful of things to expect when it comes to buying and selling antiques and collectibles. What others have you run across?

What are some tips to remember when you are buying inventory for your business?

It does not matter if you sell at a swap meet, online or even in a booth in a store—you will eventually have to buy inventory to stock up with.  What are some tips to remember when you are out and about buying items?

When you are beginning to sell, the easiest thing to do is to buy items that you know a good amount about.  When you start to expand your business, you can expand what you know by expanding into other areas (like glassware or even pottery).

When you are buying, keep in mind on where you are going to sell the item.  Heavy items or even items that are large like a 5-foot tall sign will be harder and more expensive to ship if you sell it online—it might sell better in a booth or at a swap meet.

The biggest thing to remember is to know what your budget is.  Things will get out of hand very fast if you don’t know what kind of wiggle room you have in the budget.

This is just a few tips to remember when you are buying inventory.  What other tips do you keep in mind when you are buying inventory?

Online Photos

Have you thought about selling off some of the items that you have around the house?  If the answer is yes, how do you go about getting the photos to the online selling site like eBay or Etsy?

You must have a digital camera.  There are many options on the market, like a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera that has interchangeable lenses) or even a point and shoot digital camera.

Any digital camera will give you the ability to upload photos to a selling site.

The site that you choose for selling your item will have instructions for listing and uploading your pictures.  If you are familiar with uploading pictures to a blog, it’s always a very similar procedure.

Selling sites make all of this very easy.  Don’t be afraid to try your hand at online selling.

My tip to you is this:  your computer has a limited amount of room to store your pictures, and the pictures can be pretty large (especially if they come from a DSLR camera).  If I were you, I would be sure to back up all of them.

What kind of camera do you like to use?

The ever-changing marketplace

Today’s hot buys in the secondhand marketplace might be stone cold by the time you decide to begin unleashing them on the public.  Buyers are very fickle when it comes to what they buy.


Shabby chic could be in one year, then fifties modern the next.  It could be Depression glass even.  Several years ago here in my area, Jadeite was white-hot.  You could not keep it on the shelves, no matter what the piece (or the price) was.  You know what?  Now you can’t give it away, even if you mark it as “FREE.”

As a dealer, you must be willing to change with the times.  You might love kerosene lamps and high-priced graniteware, so you’ve filled your shelves with them.  The guy next to you is unloading advertising signs and designer marked jewelry.

You have to learn to watch.  Then you have to anticipate and move or the crowd in the isle will pass you by.

What kinds of items are selling in your area?

What are some tricks that produce great photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have.  What are some of the tricks that can you use to produce a fantastic photograph?

There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  Make sure to try the settings for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures as well.  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper—the reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass. There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come very close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

Three things to consider when you sell an item online

When I first started to sell online, there were some things that I found out pretty fast.  Here’s a few of them:

The weight of an item matters.  This will be a major factor of how much shipping and handling that you charge for an item.  The weight will be a combination of the box, packing materials and the item itself.  A good rule of thumb is to find a box that is a little bigger than the item to you are shipping, but not too big—it will definitely cost you more.

There are restrictions on what items can be sold.  Each website that you sell on will tell you what you can and CAN NOT sell, and each selling website will tell you when you set up your seller’s account.  If you already have seller’s account, you can find this pretty fast in the HELP section of the website.

Use social media to your benefit.  Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest come in very handy when you want to spread the word that you have listed an item—I usually include a photo when I am on one of these sites so people can also see what’s for sale.

This is just a few of the things to consider when you sell an item online.  What other things have you found out?