Chicago Antiques Guide

The Chicago Antiques Guide Blog

Before You List It On Ebay

Posted Thursday, October 20 by CAG

Before you list that antique WHATZIT on Ebay there are a number of things you should do. The very first thing you should do is find out what similar items have been selling for.

You bought a 1961 Bing & Grondahl Christmas plate at an estate sale for half price on the second day, only $20. You looked in a current price guide that said the plate sells for $100-$115. So, you figure you'll start it at $45. Then you think about whether you should put a reserve on it. Wait a minute. Let's see what they've been selling for on Ebay.

It is surprising how many people I talk to don't know that they can check the prices of auctions that have ended in the last couple of weeks. Here is how it's done. First search on the item, in this case your 1961 plate. The page that comes up will show you all of the items currently available for bidding. But this doesn't help, because much of the bidding is done in the last few minutes. In the left hand column, you will find first, all of the Categories the item is listed in, any Buying Guides relevant to the search and then a section called Search Options. Below left is the whole left hand column and on the right I have blown up the Search Options section.
Left Col Padded.jpgSearch Options.jpg
Put a check mark in the box next to Completed listings and then click Show Items, below. You may need to sign in or register with Ebay, if you haven't already done that. You will be taken to a page that looks very much like the original search results page, but shows only completed auctions.

Two important things to note are, that only prices shown in green are for items that actually sold, and that the results are sortable. For our 1961 Bing & Grondahl Christmas plate there are 11 listings. Only 6 resulted in sales. The second thing is that you can sort the listings from highest to lowest price or lowest to highest price, and more. Do both unless you only have a small number of listings. In our example you will see that the most any plate sold for was $35.25. The lowest sold for $17.50, less than you paid. Three listings were started between $49.00 and $49.99, none sold. Two started at $30.00 and did not sell. It would be a waste of your time and money to start yours at $40.00.

Many items sell on Ebay for less than the price guides say. Some sell for more. The only way you can tell how yours MAY do, is to check the Completed listings.

There are many other factors that affect selling price, or whether your item will sell at all. We will be covering more topics in coming days.

Leave a comment

Weblog Archives