You can use this article and the others in the series to learn what to sell on E-Bay, how much it is worth and how to sell. The focus of examples in these articles is on retro because it is the niche the authors know best and because selling retro items on E-Bay is a proven way to make income. Read the articles and learn not only about how to sell on E-Bay but also about the era of retro ranging from the 1950s to the early 80’s.
The term retro means a fashion reminiscent of the past. Fashion, in the retro sense, includes everything from and era including: clothing, cars, music, furniture, dishes, lamps, radios etc. the term retro these days refers to the 1950s to 70s time period.
A renowned retro designer is Eero Saarinen who was born in 1910. Saaainen is most famous for designing the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO. His design interests went beyond architectural icons as his furniture articles and designs sell for an arm and a leg or two. Saarinen is just one of many designers of the retro era. If you are, or become, interested in retro you will become familiar with names like Eames, Panton, Wright, Nelson, Castigliano etc.
One of the fun aspects of collecting retro is that there were many “knock off” products from that era that may not have the designer name or logo but are collectible and have significant value just because the style is so incredibly fabulous and in demand. As an example, you can find at garage and estate sells, auction and in shops what is described as a starburst wall clock. The clock you find may have a maker or designer name or insignia, or it may not have any of these. You can recognize this style of clock because there are 12 to 18 spokes made of wood or brass, or both, radiating out from the round clock face. Some of these starburst clocks are as big as 2+ feet in diameter. You can find them in battery operated styles as well as electric.
A starburst wall clock, with no maker’s name or designer name that is in good working condition can sell on E-Bay in the range of $50-$75. If there is a name such as Elgin the price hikes up to $100-$200. Add a designer name such as Nelson and the price can go up as far a $350-$500.
A “rule of thumb” to apply when looking to buy a starburst clock, or anything, for sell on E-Bay is to find and buy a starburst clock that will net you at least 3 times your cost. So, if you find a starburst clock that is in good working condition, but no clock maker name or designer name, for under $10.00 grab it up. This clock will more than likely beat the 3 Xs rule of thumb. This kind of find is actually pretty easy to run across as many people sell these clocks not knowing how cool retro has become.
Now say you find a starburst clock that is in good working condition and also has a makers name – like Elgin or Westclox – on it, given the selling ranges identified above you could pay up to $30 for the clock and net at least the 3 Xs profit you want.
It would be a retro collector’s dream to run across a George Nelson starburst clock at a garage or estate sale because more than likely it will be a steal given that people don’t know he is famous and don’t know how what it can bring in a resell .
As you begin to think about selling items from your hobby or collection on E-Bay, it is important that you know the E-Bay value for the items. There is a difference between the E-Bay value and the value the item would bring selling in an antique shop, mall or flea market. Many items sold on E-Bay bring less than they do in a retro shop or antique mall. This is due to the large numbers of similar items that can be found on E-Bay. People around the world have discovered the fun and ease of selling on E-Bay so the market is flooded pushing values down.
You want to be sure you don’t take a loss selling your prized items on E-Bay and this brings us to the first step in the Earn Fast Cash on E-Bay process – develop a list of what you want to sell on E-Bay.
In order to protect yourself from underselling or over paying for an item, develop a list of what you want to sell. If you have a collection or hobby with items on hand, make a list of the items you are willing to sell and pass on to another collector. We suggest you take a sheet of paper and draw 2 vertical lines going from the top of the page to the bottom of the paper making three columns. At the top of the left hand column write, “Things I want to Sell.” Then begin listing one by one the items in your collection that you are ready to sell.
At the top of the middle column write, “Item Information.” Then begin identifying aspects about each item such as the item’s condition, size, maker, date, flaws, what you paid for the items, and what you want to make on it when you sell it.
At the top of the third column write, “E-Bay Information.” The third article in this series explains what will go in this third column. So be patient. You really do need to think about this first step of the process and create a list that includes the recommended information.
Here is a sample of what a list like this could look like.
Things I Want to Sell
1. Vintage fur coat
Long sleeved, full length, black rabbit fur, good condition, no rips, tears, made by Furs Unlimited, Chicago, Size 10
Paid $15 want $45
2. Starburst wall clock
24 ” in diameter, good condition, works, no rust, varnish a bit dull, take 1 “C” battery, Elgin, 1965
Paid $15 want $150
3. Betty Crocker Library of Recipes Box
1971, in good condition, all recipes in place, box measures 10″ x 8″ x 6″
Paid $2.59 want $15
Enid Collins -Singing in the Rain purse
Signed by Enid Collins, all jewels are in place and are brilliant, purse is 12 x 10 x 5
Paid $20 want $75
If you do not have a collection or hobby, but want to make money by selling on E-Bay, you can go through the same process described above but at the top of the right hand column write, “Things I Want to Collect.” Then begin listing items or collectibles that are of interest to you. List as many items as you can dream about collecting ad selling. You will not fill in the other columns yet. You must read Article 3 in order to learn how to take the next step.
This may seem like a lot of work and in a way it is but, if you don’t know what to look for when you start the next step, you can loose yourself a great deal of money when you start to sell on E-Bay. Once you get to know your market and what items are selling for you will not have to go through this process.
Long time or experienced buyers and sellers know intuitively what items they collect sell for on E-Bay . It is important that you develop this intuition as well. You do not want to over pay for items because you are not familiar with what is selling in your area of interest so you have to make it your business to know what you want to sell are selling for.
It is not hard to make your hobby a business if you love what you are doing. The more you are addicted to your hobby the easier this start-up background work will be. You will need to spend hours on E-bay researching what is selling and not selling in your area, but what a cool thing to have an excuse to spend time on E-Bay.
In the past it might have felt like spending too much on E-Bay was a waste of time; after all you should have been doing house cleaning or washing laundry. Right? Now you can justify spending time on E-Bay because you are going to be bringing in extra income. Stay tuned for article 3 – researching the value of your items on E-Bay.