Antiques, Collectibles And eBay
Probably some of the most profitable categories on eBay are the antiques and collectibles categories.
People collect some incredibly strange stuff! Anything from antique toasters and meat grinders (yuk!) to mermaids and fossils. The antiques category and collectible category are literal goldmines for the treasure hunters of today.
Don’t think this is true? Google the Top 10 Rare Items Sold On eBay in 2011. $24,000 for an inflatable football helmet? Really?? I guess you never really know what you have until you put it up on eBay.
The key to antiques and collectibles is the research. If you already know about antiques and collectibles its quite a bit easier. If you don’t you have to use your research tools. We compared two of the main players on our site.
Imagine the fun you’re going to have on your treasure hunts. You can go to local auctions, estate sales, thrift shops, garage sales, etc. Find something that looks totally off the wall and whip out your iPhone. Fire up your Terapeak research tool (they have a mobile app that’s why I love ’em). Do a quick Terapeak Price Report and see if that old Spider Man comic is worth the $10 price tag. SHAZAM!! Look at that. Terapeak shows the value at $1200! You buy it. List is. Sell it. Take the family on that weekend trip to Disney. Thank you Terapeak!
The antiques and collectibles categories are probably the only categories you can really pull off home runs like these. That’s what makes them so popular. Buying used sports equipment or electronics is easy and a lot of people do it. The problem is, the prices are limited. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll buy and sell iPods all day long if I can make a buck. But selling 100 iPods to make a few hundred bucks just ain’t the same as selling some ugly old vase and making $1000.
If you do begin to play with the antiques and collectibles market, do some homework and learn to id fakes. If it looks old, it may be brand new. Trust me on this one. I sold antique reproductions from China for years. Those guys can make it look old before the paint has even dried!
Its very important because if you plan on selling something and claiming its old, it had better be old. If I’m paying you $700 for an antique iron mechanical bank, I better not get an “antique looking” mechanical bank. This is a loser for both parties. You probably paid waaaay too much for the reproduction thinking it was antique and that mistake was just magnified when your buyer paid $700!
Picking items up at garage sales or thrift stores is great. You’re usually dealing with honest people which can give you some history on the item or just know nothing about it. Either way, its usually an honest answer.
Antique shows, antique dealers and auction houses (especially the traveling kind) BEWARE. While many of them are legit and honest business people, many are just the opposite. I can’t tell you the amount of dealers and auctioneers I met over the years that could make up “legal” ways to claim a fake was authentic. For example: “folks this pool table was rumored to have been owned by ______fill in the blank”. It looks old, people are bidding so it MUST be real!
Remember what somebody said back in the day, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Don’t be that sucker. Go make some money kid.