Which of Your Unwanted Items Will Sell Best on eBay?
Are you in the midst of decluttering your home in order to get ready to sell in the spring? You may be asking yourself where to get rid of your unwanted stuff. One option is to sell these items on eBay. If you go this route, you want to choose items to sell that other people would be interested in buying. What sells well on eBay and what does not?
On a recent segment of Eric’s radio show, he spoke with Mike Haddad, owner of iSold It on eBay in Gaithersburg, MD, a top performing store in the iSold It nationwide franchise network. Mike discusses how they help individuals, businesses, and nonprofits get top dollar by selling merchandise online and which types of items yield the most value.
Eric: I've been up to your place over the years. You've got a nice store. It's interesting. The store itself is kind of a receiving place more than anything. Then, a photo studio. Explain to me what's your basic premise, what it is you do to help people unlock the equity in their stuff.
Mike: Sure. The store is called iSold It on eBay. Although we're in a retail center, we don't sell things out of the store. It is a drop-off store. People bring items in and we will look at the value of their items by seeing what similar things have sold for on eBay recently. Assuming that we're looking at something that might sell again for $50 or more, we'll check it in and provide the customer with a receipt. We do a full set of digital photos, write up the ad copy, and launch a seven day auction. We monitor the auction, answer questions from potential buyers, collect payment from the winning bidder, and then pack and ship the item out. One of the neat things is the seller gets an e-mail with a link to the posting as soon as it goes live on eBay. People really like to watch their items and the bidding process.
It's a very visible process and at the end they [the sellers] see a sale. A couple weeks after we ship to the winning bidder, they get a check in the mail. It's a very easy process for our customers, which really comprise individuals/busy homeowners as well as small business owners that want to get rid of inventory. Then a third group that we serve are nonprofits or fundraising organizations that want their members or constituents to drop items off here, but then get the benefit of the seller check that goes to the nonprofit.
Eric: Very good. Now, let's take an example of, say, three different items that you might see someone coming in the door with. If you don't mind, give us something that would surprise us on the one had that really does have value, something that we would expect has value, and something that we would expect has value, but has very little value.
Mike: Taking the last thing first, when I first opened the store I brought in all my classic rock vinyl records, which I thought would have a lot of value. We find that vinyl LP's really sell for next to nothing on eBay. It's one of the very few items that we turn down without really getting to know the details of the individual titles. A lot of designer handbags come in the store. There's certain brands like Louis Vuitton or Chanel that we know have value, that we know we can put a low start price on them and they're always going to sell well. Those things typically go as expected.
An example of something that might surprise us, usually it's a collectible. It's something where there's not a lot of sales history for it. We'll take a chance on it and then we'll just find there's a passion for that type of an item out in the international buying community. Things get run up. We sold a chess set a number of years back that ran up from a $10 start price to over $19,000. It was a rare chess set made by a German company that created only a few of them during World War II. Every once in a while you get surprised by neat things like that.
Eric: I want to go back to the record albums because recently places like Brookstone are selling record tables so people can play vinyl. Now people are buying old vinyl and it's a collectible that way…That kind of thing now, you're saying, you can't get much money for those at all in spite of the fact there's been a resurgence in demand?
Mike: Yeah, you're right. We are seeing a little bit of a resurgence for high end turn tables, even ones that are quite old. It's possible that the values of the vinyl LPs will eventually go up as that resurgence keeps spreading. Right now, it's just a matter of supply and demand. The supply on e-commerce sites like eBay greatly exceeds the demand. Part of it, too, is our business model of working with things that have a value of above a certain level. You'll find hundreds of thousands of vinyl LPs on eBay, but many of them are selling for fifty cents or a dollar or they just don't sell at all. That could change in the future for sure.
Eric: Okay. Let's cover some of the more traditional items that people hope have value. There's something called carnival glass.
Mike: Yeah. carnival glass and depression glass, those are things that there's a pretty strong collector's community out there for it.
Eric: Okay. What about china, really high-end china?
Mike: We actually do a lot of china here, Eric. There are a lot of patterns that are valuable, and there's a lot that are not. We end up gently turning away much of it that comes in. We always have high-end china on eBay because people are looking to fill in place settings or individual pieces. Some of it is very collectible.
Eric: Okay. Then, do you get high-end pieces of art or posters or things like that?
Mike: We do. eBay's got a big art category. We find what goes well is either original art or signed limited edition prints by artists that have a secondary marketplace following on eBay. eBay is all about the brand name. For art, that brand name, of course, is the artist's name. If the artist is having their stuff bought and sold on eBay, oftentimes we can do very well with it.
Eric: Fascinating. To get more information, what's the best way for folks to get in touch with you?
Mike: They can give us a call, 301-990-2040. The website has a lot of good information. It's www.isolditmd.com. Just stop by. No appointment necessary. We're here from 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday. Our address is 12101 Darnestown Road in Gaithersburg. We're in the Shops of Potomac Valley.
Eric: Great. Again, that telephone number is 301-990-2040. If you're thinking about getting ready to sell, this is the time, folks. This is decluttering time right now as you're getting ready for the spring market of 2016. It's a great time for you to get your stuff together and get it organized. If you need a plan of action on how to get it organized, of course, download our free Rightsizing Guide, which will give you the tools, the questions to ask yourself, and even give you guidance. If you've got stuff you want to sell, you can go to Mike Hadad at iSold It on eBay. Mike's number one more time is 309-990-2040. Thanks, Mike. Have a great day!
For more information on buying and selling and everything in between, listen to The Eric Stewart Show every Sunday from 7am – 8am on WMAL AM 630 or 105.9 FM. If you miss a show, don’t fret! You can access the archived shows here.
About Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart started his real estate career in 1987 and each year he and his group sell over 150 homes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The Eric Stewart Group has completed more than 3,000 real estate transactions, placing Eric in the top 1% of Realtors® in the nation. With a comprehensive approach to marketing and a knack for negotiation, the Eric Stewart Group has built a reputation of trust and tireless persistence throughout the area.