Back in the days of the Internet pilgrims, treasure hunters would find smoking deals on eBay that would be talked about for days! Certain Pez dispensers were selling for outrageous money, Beanie Babies were not even conceived yet, and fortunes were being made by the minute! Or so it all seemed.
What eBay really did, and did well, was to introduce the auction method to the world. Many of us new eBayers were already pickers, antiques dealers and auctioneers who had been in the auction game for many years. When we found eBay, we instantly realized what it meant. With eBay we could get our curiosities and oddities in front of a world-wide market of collectors and other dealers and eliminate anywhere from one to dozens of "middlemen". It changed the marketplace for antique/vintage/used items in an explosive way.
But back then, eBay was a much different machine than it is now. Many of the pickers and antiques dealers who feel responsible for eBay's success have left the site due to it's new department store feel. Indeed, the “old eBay” put the emphasis on unique, usually antique or collectible items. Of those the pages generally showed the auctions closing soonest. Now we all know that this is no longer the case.
Do not despair!
There's no reason to take a high dive off of that Hoosier cabinet. You CAN still find great deals of unique items on eBay, and you CAN still get good money for your antiques & collectibles. You've just got to tweak things a bit.
Here's how I've done it.
I've built a custom search engine, (using tools found on eBay Partner Network) to search and find exactly the kinds of things I'm looking for on eBay – unique, valuable items in the pure auction format. My criteria: No Reserves – Low Starts – Relevant Items to Your Search Terms – Auctions Ending Soonest. Those are the only things I look for in an eBay auction, and from what I've heard from pickers it's what most of them want too. It'll take some time but you can build your own eBay search.
However, if you don't want to re-invent the wheel, feel free to use mine here.
Thanks for reading! I've been in the auction business for 30+ years now and am always happy to help others learn how to buy. I hope you'll subscribe to my Examiner.com articles and learn with us.
I have an antiques appraisal archive that has thousands of full antiques appraisals at www.auctionwally.com Use the search box on this site for free to see if I've appraised an antique or collectible you may have.
I am also an active, licensed auctioneer in Gloucester, MA (lic#2621). If you'd like to know more about that, you can find me at www.capeannauction.com
Search eBay the old way!