Part 3: What it is, What it’s worth, and How to Sell it!

Continued Part 3….

We have previously covered 3 Steps to Figuring Out What it is and What it’s worth. Continue reading below to Figure Out How to Sell It-

How to sell it?

Congratulations! Once you have made it to step 3, you should know what the item(s) is and what it is worth and have formulated some type of description for the item so you can sell it……you will also need to take some photos of your item(s) as a photo really is worth $$$ when selling the item online.

You need to decide how you plan to sell your item. Will you sell it at a garage sale, estate sale, consignment shop, eBay, Etsy, Online Mall, Amazon, Newspaper, Craigslist, etc. as each method yields different results. Hopefully when you spent all that time performing research on your item you were able to determine what the demand for your item is and if it is considered a “hot” collectible or something that is“not currently in demand”.

Selling at a Garage Sale:
Okay, first things first, you are ready for your garage sale! We will assume you have already researched the ordinances in your community and city and know the rules pertaining to having a garage sale and placing signage around town and your street advertising the garage sale. You have probably also placed ads online and in your local newspaper too. NOTE: After your garage sale has ended, remember to take your signs down and pick them up from all the places you put them. Since you have researched the ordinances in your area you already know if fines apply to leaving your signs up.

Loose all emotional connection you have with the item(s) as people shopping your garage sale will not treat your item(s) as lovingly as you have as they are not emotionally attached to it and will negotiate the pricing.

Alright, let’s get to the main point here and it is PRICING. How do you price your items for a Garage sale – is the question? A good method to determine pricing is the item should be priced “at a third of what it would cost if buying it brand new”. And if your item has damage then pricing it much lower will help sell it. Be prepared, as no matter how fair you have priced your items, someone will always want to negotiate for a lower price.

TIP: If you are selling electronics or appliances then have an electric cord and electric outlet nearby so potential buyers can test the item(s) out and they will ask if they can test it out to ensure they are operating.

If you are selling clothing, then be prepared for folks to negotiate as they will say they are not able to try the item(s) on so they should get a discount.

Be sure that you are selling items that are clean (no major grime, bugs, dirt, food stains). Items that are not too damaged (you can always have a “free” pile). Selling items that are not in the worst condition will encourage buyers to shop your garage sale and not run away!

If you have attended garage sales and yard sales you know that things priced in the .25, .50, $2.00 range are what sells. Garage sales are not the place for your high-end collectibles as buyers are looking for bargains. But, if you do decide to sell your more expensive item(s) that (appear in books, magazines, or catalogs, or online web pages) because it is a very collectible item, a tactic you may try is printing out the information and photo of the item from that book or online website or wherever you have the information and attach it to your item at the sale, you may have a better chance of getting the price you are asking as individuals will see it is an “in-demand” item. Good luck!

Selling Online:
In this portion we will discuss the three most popular online venues for sellers- eBay, Etsy, Online Malls.

The appeal of selling online whether it is on eBay, Etsy, Amazon etc… is very appealing because you automatically have access to millions of eyeballs looking at your item(s)! You do not need to maintain a storefront. Sounds good right? But, hold on a moment because you are not the only seller this format appeals to so that means you will have a lot of competition but do not let this get you down because you have done your research remember, so your title, description, and photos add that much more to your advantage.

Online Listing Tips:

1.    Title is EXTREMELY Important When Selling Online and You Must Include as Many of The Following as Possible:
a.    What item is (vase, figurine, plate, chair, book)
b.    Color or Colors of the Item
c.    Maker Name
d.    Era Made(1940s, 50s, Vintage, Antique, Mid-Century Modern)
e.    Is it NIB (New In Box), MIB (Mint In Box) Limited Edition, etc…

2.    Your Description is the next most important part. Your description should answer ALL possible questions that a potential buyer may have. Include the following:
a.    You will need to include ALL the information from above step 1 for title.
b.    Size: Measure the item by height, width, length, circumference etc.
c.    Condition. What condition is the item in? Does it have chips, cracks, nicks, dings, flea bites, tears, scratches, odors etc.
d.    Give the potential buyer a little history of the item if you are able to.
e.    Describe how the item might be used
f.    Describe the colors, design, material, etc.

Give as much relative information as possible in your description as you are trying to answer any question a buyer may have and create a sense of desire so they buy your item. If your item does have some damage you MUST say so. Buyers do not like it when they buy an item and it is not exactly as described and will usually demand a refund and leave you a negative rating (oh yes, eBay and Etsy allow buyers to give their experience with you a rating from Positive, Negative, and Neutral that is viewable to ALL) and maintaining Positive ratings is KEY if you plan to earn a living or make some extra money selling online.

Photos are the very next thing you need to sell your item(s):
Okay, in doing all your research, you have probably seen a lot of photos and have an idea of the type of photos you need to sell your item.

3.    You will need a digital camera for Pictures.
a.    Snapping photos in natural light is best
b.    Setup an area that you can easily access for taking the photos. Have your camera handy and all charged up, have a neutral background, and do not include photos that contain clothing or a mess in the background as this will not make a good impression so you may need to clean up your photos and searching online will give you information on taking great photos for online selling.
c.    Make sure you get photos of the front, back, sides, bottom, top etc. of the item and include any maker’s names and labels.

Selling on eBay:

All the time you spent researching your item(s) will begin to pay off here as you should have an idea of what your item is worth and how much demand there is for it. Because selling online has fees associated with it, you will want to make sure the platform you choose (eBay, Etsy, etc..) is the appropriate platform for your items as (many online sites do limit what you can sell and what type of descriptive terms you can use) and the fees will not wipeout any potential profit. eBay for example has fees for listing an item, fees for every photo you post for the item, fees for the dollar amount you charge for the item and the fee varies depending on if you list your item at “Auction” or for “Buy It Now” and of course fees for selling your item and eBay takes a percentage of the what the sale amount was for and if your item does not sell you still pay fees (for purposes of providing basic general information here, we will not discuss the various selling formats in great details and which is better vs. another in this article). eBay has made many changes recently that have upset many sellers in regards to fees and their feedback rating system but we encourage you to explore all your options before settling on one. We sell on eBay and despite their many changes for sellers, still have a good experience.

Selling on Etsy:

Selling on Etsy for example is picking up a lot of eyeballs tools as this marketplace is fascinating! Etsy is an online site that is NOT an auction place so it is very different than eBay. Etsy specializes in “hand made in the USA goods” and individuals open their own “stores”. Etsy is a great outlet for the many crafters and artists who create their wares and offers a great selling outlet for these folks. Also recently, Etsy allows you to list collectibles that are 20 years old or older and are considered “vintage”. Etsy’s fees seem much lower then eBay’s fees as there seems to be a small standard fee for listing items in your Etsy store and you are able to upload many photos for no additional fees and nothing sells your items better than a good title, description and photos! The items sold on Etsy are a bit different then the items sold on eBay so visit both websites to determine which one better fits your item(s) or, list on both like we do. We have been selling on Etsy for a little while and have had a really good experience. Also, eBay and Etsy tend to do well with search engines as many of our items come up right away when individuals search on Google.

Online Mall Selling:

There are a slew of online malls, just do a search and you will get many results! A couple popular ones are Tias and Rubylane. Online malls will draw many eyeballs too as each vendor can setup their own store or booth and is a good venue for selling antiques and collectibles and items tend to do well with getting picked up by search engines but fees can be high as each has their own fees too but, you have more freedom with items you list and descriptions and there is no Feedback area so you could be a great seller and no one know or you could be a terrible seller and no one would know. Again, look at all options before deciding.

We hope this article has been informative and we encourage all your questions should you have any. We look forward to hearing from you!

Good Luck!