Collectibles have been around for a long time, much longer than the internet, but the online shopping and auction trends have completely changed the world of collecting in many ways. In the past, collectibles and antiques were sold at fairs and auctions, but today just about anyone can sell just about anything to just about anyone, just about anywhere. That connects collectors with sellers they may not have met otherwise, providing them with a more effective and efficient way to find they items that they are looking for.
Collectors used to have to spend years tracking down items they can now find instantly from the comfort of their own home. So whether you collect baseball cards, holiday collectibles, stamps, coins, dolls, figurines, antiques, memorabilia, pottery, vintage clothing, photographs or something else, you’ll be sure to find items for your collection online, quickly and easily.
Not only has the internet allowed collectors to find what they’re looking for more easily, but it has also provided them with a place to research trends and values. In fact, there are many collector clubs, collector forums, and even collector groups online where collectors can connect with each other, find up to date information through forums, bulletin boards, publications and more. These websites are often venues for buying and selling as well. Facebook has become an important place for collectors to communicate with each other. If you are a collector, it is very likely that there is a Facebook group for the item you collect.
Tips for Collectors shopping online
The best advice for any collector is to only buy the stuff you actually like and know about. The amount of items available on the internet can be overwhelming and exciting, so try to stick to what you love and know only. That way you won’t overspend, or get ripped off because you weren’t as informed about how much something was worth. Remember, you can find just about anything online, but that doesn’t mean its something you want or need.
Another good tip is to try to be unique as a collector. If you notice that some items are widely available, then don’t bid on them. Try to find items that aren’t as common for your collection, or find a new niche within your collection to explore.
When you are ready to buy an item or bid on one, make sure you read the description very carefully, and feel free to ask the seller any questions you may have about the item. Also, make sure you research the value of the item before participating in an auction so that you know exactly how much you’re willing to bid or pay outright for the collectible item.
To make sure you don’t get ripped off, get proof of delivery for the merchandise you have purchased online, especially if it is valuable. Also, try to avoid online auction scams so you don’t get ripped off. There are several websites that have an online auction watch where you can inform yourself on sites or sellers to watch out for and avoid.
Tips for sellers
If you want to sell some of your collectibles online, there are some things you should have in mind to make sure you are successful and have a good profit. First of all, the item you are selling or auctioning off should be presented well with a high-quality photograph and complete and accurate description. In the description you should also make sure you include the right vocabulary and keywords of the type of collectible you’re selling, as well as posting it in the the right category. It will be hard to sell you’re item if collectors can’t find it easily. If the item has any defects, this should definitely be mentioned in the description and there should be a close-up photograph of the defect. Also, make sure you promptly to any questions from potential buyers.
In general, if you have more than one collectible to sell from the same collection, it is usually financially smarter to sell the items separately rather than all of them together as a collection. This will usually yield a higher profit, however it will probably take more time and effort than if you sold them all together, so you’ll need to consider which option is right for you. So, if you have the time sell the items separately so you can earn more from their sale.
If you’re going to put the items up for auction (this is usually the best option because even if you have researched prices and values, some collector’s may be willing to pay above value for certain items), start with a lower bid. Research has shown that people prefer to start bidding low and work up to the real price they are wiling to pay, instead of starting bidding with the amount they are really willing to spend from the get-go. Look at some recent auctions of a similar item to determine what bid to start out the auction with. While you’re researching past auctions, take a moment to research other sellers that auction collectibles successfully to see if there are any strategies or techniques you can adapt from them. Read their feedback, look at the photos they take of their items, read their descriptions, and adapt your strategies and systems accordingly.
Get involved with the community and let them know about your collectibles for sale or upcoming auction by joining Facebook groups, forums, and even any relevant fan websites where you may find potential buyers for your items. This will take time and energy, but the more people you get involved in your auction, the more likely it is that the final bid price will be higher.
Finally, factor in any necessary shipping and handling costs to the online sale, and make sure the buyer knows about these costs upfront. Some collectible items are very fragile and valuable, so you’ll need to make sure they are safely shipped to the buyer.
If you are a collector, then you probably use the internet to buy items to add to your collection. You may even sell items from time to time to make a few bucks (or hundreds, or thousands). Online shopping has completely changed the world of collecting, and for the better. Make sure to check out About.com’s guide on buying/selling collectibles, here is the link: http://collectibles.about.com/od/auctionsandshopping1/u/buyingselling.htm