Selling Your Antiques at Internet Auctions

With the right preparation anyone can have success selling antiques at an internet auction. There are many websites available that enables anyone with Internet access to set up a virtual store and begin selling items from their home with the click of button. But before you go hunting through the neighborhood yard and estate sales in search of hidden gems, let’s go over how to get up and running on with your virtual antique store.  

Set Up an Account

When you decide to set up an account with an online auction site there are a number of features you will want to look at to determine the best fit for your business. Most auction sites are free, but there are a handful that charge a registration fee. You will also want to compare each site’s user base. If a site doesn’t have much auction activity, it’s a sign that not many people are visiting the site. You should compare fees associated with the cost of listing an item for sell. This includes adding more pictures of an item and upgraded marketing features. These expenses all add up over time, and once you have established your business on a specific site you don’t want to have to make a change due to excessive fees. 

Research the Demand for Your Antique

It’s important to know what people are looking to buy, so you won’t go spinning your wheels marketing an item no one wants. Fortunately, your auction site offers research tools to find out what’s currently hot in the auction market. You can search items that have sold recently, how many of the same items were auctioned off, how many bids were put on the item and the sold price. Gather all this information and you can begin selecting the items you think will have success in selling. Knowing the market will also help in developing your marketing strategy. 

Listing Your Item

Once you have selected the antiques you want to auction, you will need to create a listing for your item. The following items are the basic details of your listing:

  • Opening Bid Price: Your opening bid price can either attract or detract potential bidders for your item. A $ .99 opening bid will attract more attention to your listing than a minimum bid of $10. If you don’t want to risk underselling your item with a low opening bid, you can set a reserve price on your item which is hidden from the bidders. If none of the bids reach your reserve price, the auction can be canceled.
  • Methods of Payment: Your auction site will allow you to choose which methods of payment you are willing to accept for the purchase of your antique. The most common methods available are Paypal, credit card, personal check or money order. Some sellers opt not to include personal check or money order since it’s takes longer to receive the money. As a seller you will have to decide if eliminating a check paying bidders is best for your business.
  • Shipping Options: This detail allows bidders to know how much is being charged for shipping and is automatically calculated based on the weight and size of your item. You can also specify if you are willing to ship your item international.
  • Post a Photo and Description: A clear photo of your item can significantly increase traffic to your listing. The description of your item should be very accurate and detail any flaws. This can save you if a buyer files a dispute claiming misrepresentation.   

Select when you want your auction to end, and you have just completed listing your antique.

Deliver on Customer Service

After you have posted your first listing, keep track of any activity on the listing. Respond to inquiries regarding your item. As soon as a buyer has made payment, package your item properly.  If you state all purchased items will be shipped within 1 business day of receipt of payment, follow through on your word. It’s also good to include a return policy in your listing, which lets a buyer know you are honest in your business dealings.