Learn to buy and sell antiques and collectibles

How To Sell Quantities Of Items On eBay

Years ago I found a case of oil cans from the 1950s. Small household oil like 3-in-One. I listed them on eBay one at a time over a few months. The first few brought prices over $100 each. By the time I sold the last one, they were only bringing about $15 each.

This happened because I killed the market. The people who wanted one badly got one when I first listed them, by the time I reached the end of the case, the buyers were expecting more, and were willing to wait.

That sucks.

a better way to sell quantities of items

There had to be a better way to sell quantities of items without causing the price to drop so I started testing different methods whenever I had quantities of items to sell.

The first thing I tested was waiting longer between listing each item. I didn't do buy-it-now auctions or fixed price listings because I wanted the bidders to fight over the items. By waiting weeks between listings, I made the items seem scarcer. Potential buyers didn't know I had lots of them.

This worked OK at first, but after a while, the prices realized started dropping fast. I tried changing eBay selling accounts and making the auctions look different, but that only slowed the decline.

Another problem with listing items infrequently was it takes longer to get the money back out.

About six months ago I bought a case of out of print books. These books sell on eBay for $60-80 each. I knew listing one every week would kill the price.

For the books I listed one every few weeks, and then did second chance offers to everyone who bid more than $60.00. By doing the second chance offers, buyers don't see quantities. Even better I was able to sell 3 or 4 books every time I listed one.

This method is the best one I've found to clear out multiple items while still getting higher prices. The one that ended last week brought the highest price of all of them.

The last book brought $122! Proving I didn't kill the price.

While this does prove keeping the sales hidden helps preserve the selling prices, the real reason this one went so high is I had a lot of the items shown in the book on eBay at the same time.

I was able to capture the attention of more bidders, and I also referred to the book in the descriptions of some of my other items. Basically I explained how the book had confirmed a controversy surrounding one of the items I had for sale.

Now you don't want to do this if you are selling commodities. Socks and underwear are examples of commodities. Things that aren't rare and are constantly available on eBay.

You want to use this when you sell items that are not constantly available on eBay. Such as the out of print reference books I used as an example.

James Jones uses a similar method to sell public domain items. How James does this is explained in "Selling Public Domain Items On eBay".

Terry


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

Ted at his desk.

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