How to use ebay to Appraise your Antiques?
- Posted on 10th June 2015
- in antique appraisal, Antique Auction, Antique Collection, antique dealer, antique dealers and buyers, Antique Estate Sale
- by Alan
Ebay is the world’s largest yard sale that has grown to over 157 million active users over the past 20 years. It’s amazing to me that there is any order to it at all. Despite the massive quantity of transactions that occur each day, it can potentially be a great resource to those looking to get a general appraisal for their antiques.
While there are many factors that play into an accurate appraisal, one of the biggest factors really comes down to the market value of your item. Supply and Demand, if you will. We use Ebay as a starting point for antique appraisals dozens of times every day. If you’re really interested in selling something, it’s not worth anything unless someone is willing to buy it.
Today, I want to quickly show you how you can use Ebay to do a rough appraisal of your antique items by doing a proper search. I’m going to use the example of a Royal Doulton Figurine. In the example below I’ve done a search for “Royal Doulton Figurine Christmas Time.” Royal Doulton Figurine Woman in Red Dress will also work for this example.
You’ll notice that the price listed here is rather high. Whether or not you want to use Ebay to sell your item, or you want to get an idea of it’s value before you take it to a professional antique dealer or auction house – you need to make sure you don’t make this mistake. Many people way over value their items and never hit the target they wanted or attracted such low interest that they sold it for less than they should because they base their prices on what they see here.
What is important to keep in mind, is that these are the ‘asking’ prices.
Look what happens when I check the ‘Sold Listings’ button.
That’s a pretty huge difference. This is what people actually paid.
You’ll notice at the top of the image shown there is a drop down menu called, “Sort”. You can also set this to include the cost of shipping. If you want to go one step further. If you look at the very top right hand corner of the screen, you’ll see a small button called “Advanced” Here you will find many more options, including to list items by location, condition, and Highest Listed Price. Don’t forget to make sure to click the Sold Listings” button here as well for the most accurate prices.
Like I said, Ebay can be an excellent resource for you. But you have to understand what you’re looking at. A professional antique dealer is always the best avenue for selling your items, but if you are interested in giving it a shot yourself, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Check out this article on tips for new Ebay sellers.
Something to remember is that you don’t have to sell if you didn’t fetch your minimum target price. But make sure you set this up properly.
Many people are hoping for HUGE gains. I’m often reminded of the woman who sold a piece of toast that appeared to have the visage of the Virgin Mary burnt into it for something like $12,000. This doesn’t happen every day. It’s important you know the realistic value of what you’re trying to sell, and treat it like a professional, reasonable transaction.
If you think that you have something of significant value, going through a professional dealer will help to insure that your item will attract serious buyers without having to worry about all the details of doing business and will help take some of the mystery out of it.