eBay and other online auctions are rapidly becoming some of the most popular venues for selling antiques, collectibles, and art. In fact, eBay boasts 600,000 new items listed for auctions every day.With all that traffic, it's easy to imagine how your object might get lost in the crowd.

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Market Notes > Expert Tip: Increasing Online Auction Profits
 


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INCREASING YOUR ONLINE AUCTION PROFITS
 
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eBay and other online auctions are rapidly becoming some of the most popular venues for selling antiques, collectibles, and art. In fact, eBay boasts 600,000 new items listed for auctions every day. With all that traffic, it's easy to imagine how your object might get lost in the crowd.

But there are ways to make your auction stand out. It makes sense to rely on the staples of a good transaction professionalism, courtesy, and honesty. And remember, the difference between effective and disappointing auction results can be as simple as completing your sentences and correcting any spelling errors.

Chatelaine's Antiques, Collectibles & Appraisals has sold more than 1,000 objects online. Here is how we conduct a successful and profitable online auction:
  • Make your title stand out
    Most bidders search for auctions using key words rather than browsing by category. Try to include as many key words "rare" and "unique" for example as possible. Avoid gimmicks: Don't try to attract attention by using "!!!!!!" or "L@@K." No one searches for auctions this way.

    Don't include condition terms, such as "slightly cracked" in the title. This may discourage buyers even though collectors often will buy objects with minor flaws. You want buyers to open the page, look at the images, read the descriptions, and then decide to bid.

  • Include a thorough description
    Take time beforehand to learn all you can about your object. The more information you provide, the higher the buyer is likely to bid. Show the object from several angles, and be especially honest about condition. If you're not sure about something, admit it, but don't try to make up information.

  • Don't use a reserve price
    It's natural to want to protect yourself from losing money. Many auction sites will allow you to set an undisclosed minimum (the reserve price) for your object. However, buyers may be discouraged from bidding if they are unable to hit your reserve price. Instead, simply start the auction at a minimum price that you're willing to accept.

  • Avoid giving negative feedback
    Most auctions sites allow buyers and sellers to make comments on previous transactions. Positive feedback usually applauds behaviors, such as a quick transaction or effective communication. Negative feedback warns others of potential dangers.

    There may be times when you feel justified in giving a bidder negative feedback. Unfortunately, it's better to overlook most buyer's transgressions. Bidders often retaliate with negative feedback of their own, and just one negative comment can damage your chances of selling other objects.

  • Charge actual shipping costs
    Some sellers try to make a few extra dollars by inflating the cost of shipping. This can alienate buyers, who eventually see the actual shipping costs. Avoid embarrassment by charging no more than what you paid.

    If you run several auctions at once, you can save by shipping multiple objects at the same time. Explain that you'll charge bidders less for shipping if they win more than one auction.

 




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