The Art of the Deal

We have been involved with internet selling for over seven years.  During this period we have primarily been selling on eBay, but have also developed a network of alternate outlets, as over time, eBay has become more difficult to work within.

We have had auctions expire with no bids only to have an e-mail arrive within a short time explaining “that I missed the ending” would you take X dollars for the piece.  Why they did not make a high bid prior to expiration is beyond comprehension, but usually we are able to make more by negotiating a price.  Often we come upon a piece that may be prohibited from sale by eBay.  World War II items with German markings come to mind.  We have found collectors who will pay top dollar for such items.  The number of pictures needed to be sent, the telephone calls and e-mails are numbing, sometimes taking place over a period of hours but we have been very successful with finalizing the sale, realizing the highest prices for our clients!

To facilitate future transactions, we maintain lists of people and institutions with whom we have dealt with over the years.  This list may include experts in a variety of fields (sports, WWI & II, ceramic collectibles, etc.) and collectors of the unique and esoteric.  We have even contacted various major auction houses to help determine value and also to sell some items.  This is what separates “joedawolf” from the other wan-a-bees, the ability to go that extra mile and get results.

We have found that the “experts” we contact are usually very willing to help with any questions we may have, and to boot, communicate without our having to pay a fee.  A great story comes to mind related to a collection of personal letters/poetry that a long time client found in the back of his dresser drawer.  He told us to sell it for whatever price we could fetch, five dollars would be great.  Well, Judy discovered that one of the letters was written by a poet from the 60’s and Kent State University (Ohio) was archiving his works in their library.  A phone call got us to the curator, who was bubbling with joy over the prospect of owning this letter.  She referred us to the owner of a bookstore in Berkeley who buys and sells writings of certain poets and authors.  Several phone calls and fax’s later, he bought all eight letters for over three hundred dollars…a little bit better than the five my client mentioned.

Finding the right buyer is both challenging and loads of fun.  The rewards financially are, more often than not, greater than if we had sold it on eBay.  As with most internet transactions,  the process from identifying the item, to locating interested parties, negotiating a price and closing can take quite a bit of time, sometimes days, but as previously stated, the rewards, both financial and emotional are great.

We have come to realize that there is almost nothing that we cannot sell.  It is just a matter of obtaining sufficient goods, doing a first class job and when the time is right, “closing the deal”.

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 8:15 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We would appreciate if other eBay sellers would submit comments on their experiences with eBay in particular and the Net in general.

  2. The work that goes on behind the scenes certainly needs to be told. Maybe people will understand it’s not as easy as it looks. Great Job…..

  3. Richie & Judy, Hello from back east. It was a pleasure to speak to you today. Looks like you have this TA thing down to a science. Keep up the great work and look forward to working with you in the future. Your clients are lucky to have found you. Love the blog. Look forward to getting out to visit some day! Your friend on ebay & the net, Michael @ CharmLinda

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