Estate Sale Prospecting for Fun and Profit with Craig's List and eBay [Secure eReader]
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eBook by John Landahl
eBook Category: Business
eBook Description: Craig's List and eBay have created exciting new electronic venues for locating and reselling obscure but valuable estate sale items, making it easier to be a successful estate sale "prospector" today than ever before. But with so many items to choose from at a typical estate sale, as well as other buyers to contend with, how can you quickly choose a few inexpensive items that you can resell at a significant profit, either as an interesting hobby or as an income-producing small business? What will you need to plan for before you start? And how do you use Craig's List and eBay to the greatest advantage? This book will help you get started!
eBook Publisher: InfoStrategist.com/InfoStrategist.com
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007
craigslist and eBay have created exciting new electronic venues for locating and reselling obscure but valuable estate sale items, making it easier to be a successful estate sale "prospector" today than ever before.
But with so many items to choose from at a typical estate sale, as well as other buyers to contend with, how can you quickly choose a few inexpensive items that you can resell at a significant profit, either as an interesting hobby or as an income-producing small business?
What will you need to plan for before you start? And how do you use craigslist and eBay to the greatest advantage? This book will help you get started!
craigslist is a registered trademark of craigslist, inc. eBay is a registered trademark of eBay Corp. PayPal is a registered trademark of PayPal Corp. "I Sold It" is a registered trademark of iSold It Corp. Amazon.com and Amazon Marketplace are registered trademarks of Amazon.com.
Antique Road Show and You
Everyone has seen Antique Road Show episodes, where ordinary people are astounded to discover that a dusty and seemingly mundane lamp or dish they've recently discovered in their attic is actually a valuable but obscure antique worth thousands of dollars to the right collector! Do such items also turn up at estate sales, yard sales, and garage sales, sometimes for only a dollar or two? You bet they do, along with a great many more items of much lesser but still significant value!
But if you're not a knowledgeable, experienced antique dealer, how can you recognize them, and even if you could, how can you find that elusive collector to whom they have value? This book will give you some ideas for "prospecting" at estate sales (and garage sales, yard sales, and even in your own attic or basement) using the new tools provided craigslist and eBay.
The Lessons of Antique Road Show
The radio airwaves (and probably your e-mail inbox as well!) are full of schemes and testimonials that promise ways to quickly make enormous amounts of money from home in your spare time using the Internet and your own computer. Often these schemes invoke the familiar name "eBay", although the fine print may mention that eBay itself is not by any stretch of the imagination a sponsor of them.
You don't have to watch Antique Road Show for long to realize that making lots of money quickly and easily is unlikely to happen in the field of estate sale prospecting, even bringing the magic name of eBay into the picture. Overlooked antiques and works of art worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars are few and far between, and for items in these categories there are many pitfalls, including replicas, fakes, and frauds. It takes careful examination, sometimes with special techniques or equipment, as well as expert knowledge, to assess the value of an antique or work of art with any degree of assurance. On Antique Road Show, the resident antique expert will usually show display an impressive knowledge of obscure facts concerning the object presented for appraisal and point out subtle features or defects that increase or detract from its value.
Historical documents are particularly difficult to authenticate and may require expensive analysis of the composition of their paper and ink to establish the time period from which they date. Authors' and artists' signatures are all too susceptible to forgery.
Established antique dealers may be given early private access to estate sales or asked to appraise items of particular interest, but when the most enticing sales open to the public, they're frequently crowded and decisions on which items to purchase must often be made very quickly. This is especially true because the first customers in the door are often antique dealers and serious collectors who know exactly what they are looking for and will snap up valuable items they recognize, particularly jewelry and rare books.
As the popularity of Antique Road Show attests, in addition to dealers and collectors, there's no shortage of members of the general public who are also aware that antique items can be of considerable value, and no doubt many of the viewing audience make a point of going to estate sales (not to mention yard sales and garage sales) to look for them. Though they lack the expertise of dealers and serious collectors, amateurs will often immediately recognize certain widely-collected types of antiques, which they may snap up immediately. The excitement seen on Antique Road Show can definitely carry over to estate sales, and one hears stories of aggressively rude behavior, even to the point of someone snatching a particularly desirable item out of someone else's hand while they're looking at it!
When the estate sale includes collectibles, it's not uncommon to see one or two people familiar with the value of certain types of collectibles buying up quantities of a certain kind or sorting through sets to select the rarest and most valuable pieces. However, it's clear that among the widely-recognized items that disappear so quickly there are often also numerous obscure vintage items and collectibles of moderate value (say, $10 to $50) to a small collector.
These easily-overlooked items are typically "vintage" one-of-a-kind items, sometimes still in the original box, that have not been collected but simply squirreled away, and are often priced at between $1 and $10 at estate sales. You're not likely to see people fighting over these items at an estate sale because they're borderline "junk" as opposed to unmistakable antiques, and most people will be looking at them mainly to see if they are something they have a personal use for. Such borderline items are also generally not of sufficient value that establishing authenticity is a major issue, although there are certainly exceptions.
A quick glance at the catalog of a public library or the shelves of a major bookstore will confirm that there are a great many books available for those interested in antiques and collectibles. Today much of this information has now also been made conveniently available and searchable on the Internet.
Copyright © 2006 John Landahl.