Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Ebay "Specials" Won't Raise the Sinking Ship

Contact Lists of Collectors and What Items They Want to Buy

eBay has sent out several e-mails to their customers announcing "specials" they are running. I believe the time for that is long gone. Now, it's time for them to come clean and raise their sinking ship. If they don't, their next quarter earnings are going to really shock their stockholders.

Up to this point, the market has been wonderful to the eBay stockholders and their buyers and sellers. However, the bulk of eBay's business is the middle to lower priced merchandise, and now the ability to make enough profit on these items is seriously in question. The game is over when the expense of doing business becomes so great that a merchant no longer has the incentive to do business. That's what is happening to eBay users today.

In my opinion, it isn't the commissions that are going to do the damage. It's the number of customers they won't retain. I'm guessing they won't be able to continue to add new customers as fast as the old customers high tail it out.

For the members of our 31 Club, I will be watching new developments in the market place. I know that a few "specials" offered won't stop the impending strike that's been planned by merchants, nor will it defer the competition from eating away at their customer base. eBay will either have to change their business model, or the results could prove disastrous for them. We would all lose if this happens.

As all this disorder takes place, believe it or not, listing your items in the local newspapers or trade magazines such as Antique Trader, Antique Week and Maine Antique Digest might be coming back as an effective way of merchandising. Also, private websites such as ours (www.31corp.com) are coming into vogue again, so you might want to check it out. We provide a great place to list your paintings and other items at a low fee with no buyers premiums to discourage your buyers. Private sites like ours have the ability to link to hundreds of other sites where your items will be seen.

Other resources that help you locate collectors for your particular items are right in the back of antique and collectible magazines. They often will have an ad in the classifieds and will list the items they're looking for. This is a quick way of finding a new buyer you haven't dealt with before.

There are books on the market that list collectors and what items they collect. One that I like and have used is Trash or Treasure Guide to the Best Buyers: How and Where to Easily Sell Collectibles, Antiques & Other Treasures by Tony Hyman. This book has contact listings of collectors and what they collect.

Some of these suggestions will eliminate the commissions all together and enhance your profits tremendously.

One of the most overlooked ways of making a sale is to go back to a person who has purchased from you before. This is the easiest sale you'll ever make, because they have already done business with you and know that you're honest and truthful. These sales represent over 50% of my business. I've got no advertising costs or commissions to pay. What could be better than that?

Don't worry too much if eBay doesn't wake up and smell the coffee soon. There are a lot of ways to turn a profit with antiques, collectibles and fine arts. Maybe soon they'll realize the world does not revolve around them. There has always been a market, and there always will be.

Learn about Antiques & Collectibles and Learn How to Invest in Antiques & Collectibles. We use a wealth building plan to get the most out of buying and selling that will help you accumulate enough wealth to last a lifetime. Join the 31 Club. When you join today, you'll receive my 200 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, FREE.

"...I spent about 15 years in the antiques and collectible field
and I can tell you this is one of the best books you will ever
read about making money with art, antiques and collectibles."

-Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resources & EBay Powerweller

"It has been a great pleasure knowing Daryle for more than
10 years. I share his excitement in releasing this book. He is
a man of his word."
Riley Humler, Cincinnati Art Galleries
Consultant, Antique RoadShow

Want to read more about the 31 Club? Read an article here.

If you haven't yet had a chance to see what we've got listed in the
31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We've got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you'd like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us.

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