Selling Antiques Online

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Selling antiques online has never been easier. There are a few things you must do before exploring the online sales venues. First, you must have enough stock to get started. Access to a computer and a digital camera will be a must for listing your items. You can make a spreadsheet for record keeping and find a good place to store your items. Other physical items may be old boxes and packing supplies.

You will need a way to report your income, which most people do on a Schedule C as additional income (if you already have a primary income.) Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to apply for licenses or file for a tax ID number based on your state requirements. If you are unsure what you need, call your local tax office.

Exploring online venues is simple, as there are only four major outlets and here I will discuss them and their pros and cons.

eBay has been a popular online market place since the early 1990’s. This online venue has a huge antiques and collectibles area. Selling on eBay is easy and you have the option of opening an online store. There are small fees for listing items, adding more photos, or making your item stand out. There are also final auction fees associated with your item’s revenue. The pros of eBay is that you have wide exposure and it’s a very popular site. You may choose to list your item for a set price, or allow them to bid. People may get into a bidding war over your item and it may sell for record prices. It’s also easy to use with directions walking you though every step of the listing process. Stores have many different levels and price options. The cons are that the market is saturated with many items just like yours, so you run the risk your item not selling for as much as you’d like. A major complaint from sellers is that the small fees do add up. Add that to electronic payment fees from PayPal and you could be paying almost thirty percent or more in total fees depending on what options you’ve chosen.

Etsy has evolved in only a few years to a large handmade marketplace. Sellers are also allowed to sell vintage items or supplies, that are at least twenty years old or more. Selling on Etsy is easy and unlike its other competetors, there is a small fee to list and a small selling fee. You don’t have to pay extra for photos, they give you five per item. Stores don’t have a fee, they are free. Pros are that it’s economical and easy to use. The community is helpful and there are “team forums” where you can obtain a slew of free help and advice from your peers. Cons are that the site has grown rapidly in only a few years and getting used to the ways of Etsy may take some time. It may take some time for your store to catch on, so promoting your store outside of Etsy is a must.

Speciality online malls such as RubyLane, Tace, or Cyberattic just to name a few, are also venues that are online antique malls. These offer the user a store or booth in the online antique marketplace. Each is different and have their own fees. For instance, with RubyLane, pros are there is no back end commissions and the site is highly visible due to a large marketing campaign. Many sellers have found a permanent home there to sell their antiques. Cons are that you do pay a store set up fee, per item listing fee, and monthly per item maintenance fee. There is also a fee for advertising. The pros are that the items are very visible, As with all of the above mentioned sites, each will be a bit different. Tace offers buying and selling, but also exchanging. When exploring the different specialty online antique malls, make sure to make a list of the pros and cons and cost of each before jumping in.

Having your own online store can be another option. Many of these users started selling at the above outlets, but quickly found that they could set up shop themselves. There are two store formats. One is a start to finish shop with shopping carts and check out options. The pros are many. Not only is it a start to finish shop but open twenty four hours! There are no listing or selling fees since you own it. The cons are that obtaining a developer to set up your own store will most likely be costly, and difficult at first to get used to using and maintaining. There may be monthly hosting fees or support fees. Additionally, you must consider the fact of how people are going to find your store or shop? You must be willing to market yourself so that your shop is visible.

The second type of store is more of a list of items for sale, with photos. You can do this on most website (make sure you are allowed first to use it for commercial use).. You can make a page for kitchen items, one for jewelry and so on and so forth. You can have your PayPal address listed and the buyers to check out by sending payment to you via PayPal. Pros are this is simple formatted and easy to use with no monthly fees, unless you are paying one to your web hosting company. Cons are it doesn’t look as professional as an online store, and will need promoting to get it noticed.

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