eBay reconsidered: Three sellers say they make $5 million a yr


A uncommon nineteenth-century Chinese language enamel silver scepter offered for $80,000. Chamberlain Antiques

Rick Russack. By

Right this moment’s eBay, because the saying goes, will not be your father’s eBay. Good sellers and educated collectors are profiting from this. It is not shocking to be taught that some sellers are making their residing on eBay, and three of them not too long ago mentioned how they do it. Antiques and the Arts Weekly, Methods range: some promote with most fixed-price eBay shops; Some run ten-day auctions, with all gadgets beginning at 99 cents, no matter their worth; Some have every part they promote and a few combine consignment gadgets with what they’ve. They agree that gadgets within the $1,000 to $5,000 worth vary carry out nicely, at ranges that patrons discover consolation in. Every has offered gadgets for greater than $5,000 and every believes that eBay, with its one hundred pc money-back assure, provides patrons a secure market.

Some matters run via in his feedback. First, they agree on the necessity for distinctive customer support and the significance of offering the absolute best images – one consists of Black Gentle Photographs. All three agree that no different market comes near offering the variety of clients that eBay does. Every is transferring in direction of promoting prime quality antiques, indicating that there are various patrons demanding high quality supplies. And though every is a family-run enterprise, salaried workers are important because the enterprise grows.

In the event you surprise in regards to the high quality of the choices, check out a number of the costs discovered within the gadgets featured on these pages. Rob Hunter, Editor ceramics in america, a collector of early ceramics, a seller and marketing consultant to a number of museums. He’s additionally lively on eBay. “I spend numerous time each week looking out eBay,” he stated. Antiques and the Arts Weekly, “I not often get ‘stolen’, however I’ve offered a few of my latest ceramics to American museums. Generally, I’ve had nice experiences with transactions. I take advantage of eBay to analysis in preparation. additionally use ceramics in america, I could search a selected ceramic producer or sample to seek out parallel examples or typically fully new discoveries.

Josh Chamberlain, proprietor of Chamberlain Antiques. Amherst, NH

Chamberlain Antiques, specializing in Asian antiques, runs a ten-day public sale each six to eight weeks with roughly 250 unreserved gadgets, all with a beginning bid of 99 cents. The agency stated it generates greater than $1 million yearly with 4 workers. Josh Chamberlain is 36 years outdated and has been promoting on eBay since 1999. He started promoting baseball playing cards from his dorm room on the College of New Hampshire, whereas in faculty. His curiosity in Asian antiques developed when he purchased a desk lot at an public sale that included three items of Rose Medallion. “I did not know something about it, however I appreciated it and wished to know extra.” He clearly discovered nicely and now serves as an advisor to different auctioneers.

The agency has accomplished over 10,000 gross sales, and has over 7,000 feedbacks with a satisfaction ranking of one hundred pc. Among the many many five-figure gross sales, the highest one is a nineteenth-century Chinese language enamel silver scepter, valued at $80,000, adopted by an eighteenth-century Chinese language cloisonne vase, inset with clock, which offered for $50,000.

Chamberlain stated, “The bread and butter of our enterprise are gadgets that promote within the $1,000-$5,000 vary and most Asian components promote to patrons in China. Round 2010 there was a big inflow of Chinese language patrons. Of their historical past They’ve a eager curiosity and so they actually need to hint their historical past again to China. In fact having all of our auctions beginning at 99 cents provides us the potential to promote issues for what we paid for, and so forth. If we use the precise key phrases in our listings, sufficient patrons will discover our listings, so our danger is proscribed.

“Patrons know that eBay is a really secure place for them to buy. The whole lot has a one hundred pc money-back assure and patrons can return gadgets for any cause. We have now one other website on eBay.” that sells superb arts and different non-Asian gadgets. This can be a fixed-price website and we use it after we’re involved in regards to the variety of bidders discovering that merchandise. The whole lot we promote He owns it, nothing is on the consignment, and with our public sale schedule, we hold altering the stock. We often hold the products for about two months.”

Most of Chamberlain’s listings embrace a couple of dozen high-quality, detailed images. Chamberlain stated, “Individuals use images to make their shopping for choices. They must be as clear and detailed as potential.

“On-line gross sales have gotten a serious a part of the antiques enterprise with dozens of web sites, and people websites competing for sellers. We have now been advised by many different websites to depart eBay and swap our enterprise to their websites. However none of these websites can generate the variety of ‘eyeballs’ eBay delivers. With that one hundred pc assure, it is a very buyer-friendly website. What number of different locations provide antiques patrons that kind of factor? present safety?”

Chamberlain’s web site — www.chamberlainantiques.com — comprises hyperlinks to its eBay listings.

[place photo above subhead:]    Steve Young Sr., left, Coast to Coast Antiques, Newport, NH, with wife Sherry and son Steve Jr.

Steve Younger Sr., left, Coast to Coast Antiques, Newport, NH, Daughter in Legislation with Mitchell and Son Steve Jr.

Coast to Coast Antiques is primarily a father-son operation that generates greater than $500,000 a yr on eBay, based on the agency. Steve Younger Sr. began the antiques enterprise on the age of seven along with his father by digging bottles. By the point he was in fourth grade, he was doing enterprise with different children in his class. Whereas nonetheless too younger to drive, he hitchhiked to a close-by flea market and got here again with no matter he had purchased. Typically he would rapidly promote his finds to an vintage seller on the town after which he would return to the flea market and reinvest his income. He developed a love for historical past, which continues to this present day. His son, Steve Jr., now works within the enterprise full-time.

They use eBay’s fixed-price, “purchase now” format and usually checklist round 1,500 gadgets, including a mean of 50-60 gadgets per week. He started utilizing eBay in 1998 and is estimated to have made about $6 million in on-line gross sales since then. Their whole variety of feedbacks exceeds 12,000, and displays an almost one hundred pc buyer satisfaction rating.

The number of gadgets listed displays the wide selection of objects that curiosity them and are educated about: Chinese language antiques, early English and different ceramics, European artwork glass, American flasks and bottles, jewellery, silver , e.t.c. His sale features a Silver Presentation Fireman’s Trumpet offered for $15,500 and he at present has an distinctive piece of Russian enamel listed for $27,995. Younger agrees that gadgets within the $1,000 to $3,000 worth vary carry out nicely. They don’t settle for consignments and so they personal every part they promote. In addition they stress the significance of top quality images.

Father and son agree that they’re refining the standard of their listings, lowering and ultimately eliminating gadgets within the $200-$300 worth vary. In addition they agree that they’re typically in a position to purchase on eBay and later resell at a better worth however a lot of the gadgets they promote have been purchased at New England auctions. Steve Sr. stated, “At any time when I’m at an public sale, I attempt to purchase one of the best merchandise, no matter class. The most effective stuff is at all times the simplest to promote.” Social media is changing into an vital software, Which is helpful for bringing potential patrons to their web site. They use the “Speaking Antiques” group on Fb, which has over 35,000 members, to draw patrons.

Coast to Coast Antiques is one in all 24 shops that eBay has chosen to take part in its not too long ago established curated website, eBay Collective, which provides gadgets that give buyers a selection of extraordinary gadgets, discoverable in ways in which Which isn’t the principle eBay website. The agency’s web site is www.coasttocoastantiques.com and hyperlinks to its eBay retailer.

RI team cropped

Invoice Wolstenholm, Rhode Island Web Consignment Gross sales, along with his spouse, Wendy.

Invoice Wolstenholme has been promoting antiques on eBay for 17 years. The web platform not too long ago gave his firm the coveted Shine Award within the Household Enterprise class, the primary eBay retailer for antiques and collectibles. Apparently, Wolstenholm’s firm makes use of eBay’s rewards in its web site and promoting. The enterprise is a full-time job for Invoice, his spouse, two daughters, a son-in-law and eight workers. They’ve over 47,000 feedbacks and a satisfaction ranking of one hundred pc. Product sales exceeded $3.5 million in 2015, Wolstenholm stated. They personal a number of the materials they promote and a few are shipped by a bunch of pickers that Wolstenholm has identified and traded with “for years”.

Enterprise listings embrace Advantageous Arts, Antiques, Asian Antiques, Maritime Antiques, Promoting Objects, Jewellery & Toys and extra. All gadgets are offered with out reserve in a ten-day public sale with opening bids of 99 cents. Statistics from eBay present that greater than 4,000 completely different patrons view the agency’s listings every day. At any given time, there are about 250 gadgets listed, with about 30-35 recent gadgets added every day.

Wolstenholme began within the antiques enterprise 43 years in the past as a picker. An “old school” seller, he had no real interest in utilizing computer systems to promote. That modified in 1999. “I had purchased a field stuffed with outdated toys and was able to name our vintage toy clients. My daughter Lisa, who was 11 on the time, stated, ‘Why do not we put these toys on eBay? We’ll borrow a digital camera and I will take photos and do all of the eBay work. You inform me what to say.’ I lastly agreed and was amazed on the outcomes. Individuals had been typically paying twice what I requested for. On the backside of the toybox was a Pez container. The sale worth, $360, was a shock to me and the shopper left from Connecticut to choose it up. I noticed that eBay made it potential for me to achieve collectors, the place prior to now, as a picker, I solely offered to sellers.

At first, Wolstenholm used reserves unwilling to run the chance of promoting one thing for lower than he paid for it. Consequently, some gadgets didn’t promote and that was a disappointment to the senders. In 2001, with the encouragement of his two daughters working with him after faculty, he determined to promote all his enterprise on eBay, promoting with out reserve. Though he has offered gadgets for over $50,000, his common gross sales are round $400 and he’s working to extend that to $500 by promoting higher supplies.

Requested which class is one of the best, he replied: “Clearly, it is portray. We promote loads, and that is as a result of we take nice care in describing the situation, whether or not it is a portray, tear, restore or injury to the body. We publish many closeup images and we embrace images taken in black mild. This permits the bidders to get an correct thought of ​​the situation of the portray. We may also publish black mild images when the pottery or ceramics has been repaired. Correct particulars hold our clients coming again and plenty of have bookmarked our listings. We have now round 10,000 followers and this offers us an incredible benefit. Most are individuals who have purchased from us and belief our particulars. And each single one of many listings emphasizes that every one gadgets are one hundred pc assured and may be returned for a full refund. Some gadgets are returned. ,

Wolstenholme’s web site — www.riicsinc.com — comprises a hyperlink to the agency’s eBay itemizing.

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