Many people who decide to make a living selling collectibles on eBay soon fail. I meet them in the line at the post office. They tell me they just quit their job in order to sell things full time on eBay.
I ask them, "What are you doing to find more items to sell?"
Only the people who can answer this question last more than a few weeks. The others soon run out of things to sell and just give up.
I got started buying trains and toys when I was in grade school.
My dad and I collected toy trains and we built up quite a collection over the years. We didn't have a lot of money so we ran ads, put signs up, handed out cards, networked and tried all kinds of methods to get people to sell us their trains to us.
We bought lots of trains and kept what we wanted then sold the rest in order to keep the cash moving.
Over the past 23 years we have refined a system that constantly generates calls. Here's a short list of ways to find and buy antiques and collectibles. These 10 strategies will get you thinking about ways to get sellers to call you.
Remember, you are always better off making someone call you rather than competing with everyone else to call a seller. My system is all about getting your phone to ring with sellers on the line.
When you go to yard sales, auctions and antique malls, you are in a race against all the other collectors and dealers. When people call you it is because you have made them think about converting their unwanted items into cash by selling them to you. You are in control.
Sure, you can go to yard sales and rely on luck. But if you are serious about selling on eBay you need to have a steady stream of collectibles coming in. You can't rely on blind luck or getting there before the other dealers.
You need a system to get a constant stream of new items coming to you to sell.
Here are 10 quick ways to get people to sell you their antiques and collectibles. These will get you thinking about ways to make your phone ring. I buy and sell toy trains, but so you can better focus on what you specialize in, I have substituted the word widget for toy trains.
1. Develop a marketing plan outlining exactly how you are going to make your phone ring.
2. Have a strategy that will make the seller want to take your offer. This is the psychology of buying and creating a win-win situations. Nobody wants to lose. Make every seller feel like they are getting a good deal and they'll bring you more business.
3. Ask the person in line behind you at the post office, bank, and supermarket if they have any widgets for sale. Being shy doesn't make you money!
4. Show off the widgets you have. There are MANY ways to do this. Let people enjoy the widgets you have and your phone will ring with others wanting to sell widgets to you.
5. Run ads that say "Top Dollar Paid For Widgets."
6. Send a letter to local real estate agents telling them you pay cash for unwanted widgets. They often encounter people anxious to sell.
7. Tell other widget dealers you will buy any widgets they don't want.
8. Pay others to find widgets for you by offering a finders fee to anyone that helps you buy widgets.
9. Send Thank You letters to everyone you've bought widgets from in the past, and remind them you pay cash when they get their friends and neighbors to sell you widgets.
10. Network, network, network. It's not as hard as you might think it is to spread the word in a community that you are the person to call when someone has a widget to sell.
Terry Gibbs is a collector/dealer of old toys and trains, and teaches others how to buy and sell antiques and collectibles. Gibbs is the author of two best selling eBay books "The Auction Revolution," and "The Complete Guide To eBay Consignment Sales." He has also written numerous other books about buying and selling antiques and collectibles. Learn more at his website: http://www.news.iwantcollectibles.com
Copyright 2005 IWantCollectibles LLC used with permission.