What are some questions to ask when you decide to sell an item?

When you are going to sell an item online or in person, there are going to be times when you will need to ask some questions.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask:

Are there fees that I must pay when I sell my items and how much are they?  This is a good question to ask, especially when you sell an item online.  There are fees when you sell an item online, and I have seen the fees be anywhere from 4% to 16% of the final selling price of the item.

Are there any restrictions on the item that I am about to sell and what are they?  The first two items that I know of that have restrictions on them are ivory and Brazilian Rosewood.  Both have been over harvested to the point where both are almost extinct.  To get a good idea on what else the selling site restricts, visit either the FAQ section or SELLER SECTION of their website.

Will I have to pay rent on a space that I want to set up at a local antique store or swap meet?  Yes, you will.  The rent will depend on the location that you want to be at.  I have seen rent be anywhere from as little as $20 at a local swap meet and around $130 to be the average cost of a booth at an antique store.

This is just a handful of the questions that you will hear when you start to sell items.  What are some of the questions that you have heard?

Simple photography tips for vintage jewelry items

One of the first things that I have learned while selling things online is that taking pictures of the item you are going to sell is one of the most important things to do.  When it comes to photographs of jewelry, simple tips can really help make your piece really stand out.

Here are some tips to remember when you are taking some photographs of jewelry:

When it comes to taking the phot itself, you don’t need the most expensive camera on the market.  There are some really good digital point and shoot cameras out there—if you have access to a DSLR camera you could also use that too.  Another great way to take photos is with your smartphone (you can even list the item while you are at it with the selling app on your phone).

Take the time to steady the camera that you are using.  Putting it on a flat area like a chair or even using a tripod can help keep your photos in focus especially when you are zooming in on the item.

Another thing to remember is that your jewelry should be clean when you take photos of it.  There have been times that I thought I could skip giving the piece a quick polish before I took some photographs.  Boy was I wrong!  The second I looked at the photos that I just took is when I found smudges on the piece of jewelry (and wow, did it look bad!).

Any piece of jewelry will look a million times better if you take some time on how the background looks behind the piece of jewelry.  A ring holder, a piece of colored felt, and even a marble slab will make your jewelry really stand out.

This is a small handful of tips to remember when it comes to taking photographs of jewelry.  What tips have you found that works great?

Where are some of the strange places that you have found inventory to sell?

When it comes to finding inventory, the best rule of thumb is to keep your eyes open.  You never know where you will find something—it could be anywhere from the trunk of a Honda to a Church.

One weird place that I got some inventory was a neighbor’s trash can—a person was throwing away a TOMS countertop wire rack.  Another neighbor down the street from me was going to throw away a movie card that I asked if I could have (and I still have it).

Countless sheds, outbuildings and barns have also had many things that I have bought.  Make sure you even check the rafters of these buildings.

There was also the out of business grocery store.  There was a local auction company that was having a sale there—you could still see that the meat department still stocked with its slicer and tables there.  It was interesting to see all of that when I bought a wood Hayward Wakefield table at the sale.

One of the strangest places that I found a piece to sell is a chicken coup—it had a 4-foot tall by 8-foot-long enamel Coca Cola sign inside.

What was the strangest place that I have ever bought something out of?  It was a haunted house that was on the back of a person’s property.

This is a small handful of strange places that I have bought inventory to sell.  Where are some strange places that you have bought inventory at?

What are some things to think about when you are beginning to sell online?

When you are beginning to sell items online, there is so many things to think about.  Here are a few of them that you will run across pretty fast:

One thing to do is to choose a venue to sell on.  Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane are three of the more popular ones to sell on, but it doesn’t have to be just these.  You could run across a site that works the best for you.

Another thing to think about is what you are going to stock your shop with.  It could be anything from comic books to DVDs to jewelry—it does not matter what it is.

Who pays for the shipping cost of the item need to be figured out before you make your first sale  Free shipping is commonplace now a days, but there will be times that the buyer will need to pick up the cost.

When you get you shop up and running and you have some items listed, you will need to think about how you are going to promote everything.  Will it be by promoting the shop through social media sites or will it be by paying for advertising that is provided through websites like Etsy and eBay?

This is only a handful of items that you need to think about when you sell online, especially when you first start out.  What things have you run across?

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?