A primer for selling collectibles on eBay

  • Article by: JIM ALLEN , Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)
  • Updated: October 4, 2013 - 1:02 PM

There it is: still boxed after all these years, your mother’s precious Betty Boop doll.

It was her pride and joy. You couldn’t stand it, until you learned that one is fetching $600 on eBay. The same goes for Dad’s old Beatles posters. They’re a bit worn, but going for hundreds of dollars apiece. You need somebody to turn this cache into cash.

Selling on eBay is at once inviting and intimidating. You have to sign up, register a credit card, write a description, take pictures, answer questions, send an invoice to the winner, then wrap the item and hope the buyer is happy. And don’t forget the fees.

More trouble than it’s worth? Not at all, especially for items that beg for a wider audience than you’ll find on your local Craigslist.

Step 1: After you’ve registered as a seller on eBay, get organized. Let’s say you found 20 more Betty Boop dolls in your mother’s basement. Assemble the items and make a list of them, along with a quick description of each, especially any defects. If you need more info, go online, where — wouldn’t you know it? — there’s a website called Bettyboop.com that lists every model. Use it as a reference.

Step 2: Take pictures, at least three or four of each item, with a digital camera. Make sure the pictures are clear and bright. Transfer the images to your computer or laptop.

In the meantime, assemble packing materials, including bubble wrap and appropriate packaging. Also, be sure to check with the Postal Service, or online, to check the rates for the items you’ll be selling. It might be a good idea to invest in a digital scale.

Step 3:  List your items starting with a simple, straightforward title, such as: “BETTY BOOP — black dress — great condition.” Putting the item in all capital letters will help draw attention to it.

Describe your item fairly and honestly, and don’t puff it up. One more thing: Spell it right; if you type “Bettie Boop,” you won’t get nearly the traffic you want.

Let people know upfront what the shipping charges will be. Finally, price it low. That will attract more customers, which tends to drive the price upward. Schedule your items to end in the evenings or on a Sunday, when more people are likely to bid.

Step 4:  Sit back and wait for the bids to come in. Notify the winners, wait for them to pay and then ship the items. Then look for more dolls — there must be more.

  • related content

  • Boomer-era collectibles are booming

    Friday October 4, 2013

    The market for 1950s and ’60s collectibles is hotter than ever, thanks to baby boomers looking to buy back the things they used to own.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close