Selling Items Using eBay Trading AssistantsNote: This article is about finding and using an eBay Trading assistant. Here's an article on being a trading assistant.
I get questions from people who want to sell their antiques and collectibles, but don't want to list them on eBay themselves. eBay has a program called eBay Trading Assistants to help people find sellers to help them.
The eBay trading assistant program is designed to help people find eBayer's who will sell for them. It's an easy way to find a seller who does consignments.
Here's some helpful advice about eBay trading assistants.
Finding An eBay Trading Assistant Near You.
There is a geographic look up tool on the eBay website. With the tool, you can find a trading assistant close to your zip code. Here's the look up link.
Hopefully you will have a few eBay trading assistants to choose from. You should always look for more than someone in your area. You should consider what they have sold in the past, and what the trading assistant specializes in. You will always do better with a seller who has sold items similar to yours. This is very important.
Unless the trading assistant knows enough about the specific antiques or collectibles she will be selling for you, she won't get the highest prices at auction. Basic common sense says this.
Here's an example. In my Making Money with eBay Arbitrage article, I talk about buying items on eBay for resale. In the past year, a large portion of the items I have bought on eBay to resell were purchased from consignment sellers. I am not saying all consignment sellers do a poor job, but for many types of collectibles some knowledge and experience really helps.
Even I use trading assistants to sell some of the items I find. For example, I don't sell old record albums myself. I have a trading assistant who specializes in records do it for me. He knows more about albums and the basic grading standards. I might be able to get similar amounts selling them myself, but I don't want to spend the time, and don't have the basic knowledge.
I don't want to scare you away from using eBay trading assistants to convert your unwanted items into cash, but try to find someone knowledgeable about your items. You want to find a specialist rather than someone who sells anything.
Also find someone who is trustworthy. You will have to turn your items over to the assistant, and then get paid a few weeks later. You want reports from the trading assistant showing what your items sold for, you want a legal consignment contract stating exactly what services the assistant provides and how you will get paid. The contract or a separate inventory sheet should list all your items.
You also should examine past auctions and get references. Look at the seller's past auctions - you can do this by clicking on the see auctions link on the eBay trading assistants look up page.
If you are unsure about the trading assistant, give him just a few items to auction for you as a test. After selling a few items, you can decide to continue or find another trading assistant. If you test a trading assistant this way, you should select the items to be sold during the test not the assistant.
What Kind Of Fees Do eBay Trading Assistants Charge?
Basically, you can expect to pay fees between 15 and 35 percent of the final selling price. Some trading assistants will charge higher fees, some will charge lower fees.
I have an article on setting eBay Consignment Fees. While the article is designed for sellers, it will provide you with some information about how trading assistants set fees for their auctions.
What Types Of Things Will A Trading Assistant Sell?
Almost anything. When I take auction consignments I look for items that will sell for at least 30 dollars. Some trading assistants will take lower priced items, some assistants will only take higher priced items.
eBay provides a list of typical auction items sold by trading assistants. You can look at the list, but you are better off contacting a few assistants directly. Here's the list.
Have fun and pay attention. A little attention will prevent a lot of problems.
PS. I recommend you auction your items yourself. It's not really that hard. See the Getting Started Selling On eBay, and Learn How To Sell On eBay.
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.