The “Silver Lining”
“Lemons into lemonade” - the old phrase still works. Our shop, in the Thompson’s Antique Center of Texas located in Northwest Mall, is encircled by mountains of dirt and concrete. Yes, you read it correctly. The highway construction enlarging the highway and overpass system around our mall nearly isolates us. Customers knowing where we’re located have difficulty getting to us, and highway traffic around us can’t see us.
Shouldn’t take too long to figure out what’s happening. Lower foot traffic through the mall results in fewer sales. The rent and expenses continue, though. It’s a no-brainer to figure out what’s gonna happen - rent and expenses will quickly exceed profit from sales! DING! DING! DING! Along comes the eBay train and we jump on it.
Long ago in the dark ages of the late 1990’s we listed and sold on eBay. The time required to list was more than the time we had, so we discontinued. So when we decided to start selling again on eBay, the learning curve began. So much to learn since the 1990’s. More common items are listed all the time and competition results in selling prices that are ridiculous for the seller, but great for the buyer.
The learning curve has about flattened out for us - stumbles and mistakes for sure, but we’re going well now. It’s taken a while for us to determine a more profitable niche. The different, the esoteric and the truly scarce item will sell on it’s own. But the acquisition of those items isn’t consistent, so I’ve searched for another niche. List something under the money and it’ll always sell - think $100 bill - list it for $80 and it’ll always sell! BUT, you have to have an acquisition cost of less than $80 in order to make a profit. Fortunately we’ve enough experience in the antique world that we can do such - so the run is on!
It takes a lot of time to sell on eBay. An account must be established and linked to a payment method - bank account and charge card. A PayPal account must be established the same way, and the two must be linked. An item must be determined. It must be photographed in many angles, the photos must be downloaded to a computer. A very descriptive title for the listing is necessary. The item must be accurately and carefully described to its best. An eBay category must be determined, a price must be determined (auction or But-It-Now?), the length of the auction, calculation of weight and shipping costs, how soon the item will be shipped, method of payment, domestic or international selling, return policy, and then uploading to the eBay site.
If and when an item sells, payment must be received, shipping labels generated, and then packing begins. Think heavy duty packing - the USPS can sometimes be like an elephant stomping on your package! Then you haul the package(s) to the post office ...
Yes, eBay must make a profit as well. There’s a fee for listing an auction item, a final value fee if the item sells. Using on-line shipping postage via eBay generates a fee, using PayPal for payment generates a fee. Basically, when the dust settles, the fees run 10-20% of the selling price. So items must be carefully chosen to generate the profit margin necessary to make a profit. THEN, most times the item doesn’t sell (if it does sell) the first time it’s listed - so sometimes an item must be re-listed multiple times.
Yep, you’ve got it! This is a blatant method of getting you to view our eBay listings. It’s really quite easy. Sign onto eBay. On the opening page where you can search for an item, the word “SEARCH” appears on the upper right. Don’t click it, but the “advanced” word to the right of “Search”. When the screen changes, on the left side, click onto “by seller”. The screen will change and then you enter our eBay name “antiquejunker” . Then, at the bottom, click “search”, and our listings will appear! Yes, it is that easy! View our listings and hopefully you’ll find something that you didn’t know you needed!
HAPPY HUNTING - and ‘til the next time, take care and enjoy life - it’s the only one we’ll get ...