Selling Antiques Online Has Advantages, Pitfalls
SAN FRANCISCO, September 9 RubyLane.com
Selling antiques and collectibles on the Internet can often be less costly than opening a retail location and offers access to far more buyers than any brick and mortar ever could. Yet if you’re new to the process, there can be pitfalls to selling such items online. To help increase your chances of success, the following is a list of tips from Ruby Lane on what to look for when choosing a site from which to sell your items, plus some pitfalls to avoid:
- A good site is fast and reliable. It is ALWAYS up and running, and downloads quickly. When a site takes a long time to download or sometimes isn’t up when you dial in, beware of poor management in other areas.
- Of course you’ll want to choose a site that is well-designed and easy to navigate around. This may seem obvious, but all to frequently bells and whistles take the place of solid content - leaving shoppers frustrated, lost, and even angry.
- Make sure the site has a good search engine. You can tell the effectiveness of a site’s search engine by how many items come up during a search, as well as how closely they match what you are actually look for. Some search engines will guide shoppers in entering in the right keywords. Be aware that some of the larger search engines do not update fast enough to keep up with changing inventories.
- Be sure to look for a site that has good positioning with the major search engines. You can find this out yourself by typing in a domain name, and see how many pages come up from that site.
- A good web site has lots of links back to it. Go to any major search engine and type in the site’s domain name. The search engine will tell you how many links there are to that site.
- Look for signs of responsive customer service. Unanswered emails or phone calls during initial contact are indicators that you may be on your own if you have a question or problem with the site later.
- Be sure to include many good, clear photographs of each item you are selling. The
better the photo quality, the better your chances of selling the item. Don’t be penny-
wise and pound foolish. Some sites will host the pictures for you; some at no additional charge.
- Make sure to describe each item you are selling in accurate detail, using words and phrases shoppers are most likely to use on search engines. Include measurements, description of any flaws, condition and finish, as well as the history of the piece. The more detail you provide, the fewer email questions you’ll get, and the more your customer is likely to trust you– and to buy from you again.
- Make sure that the items you’re selling are shippable, and will be properly packaged. Choose a shipping service that offers delivery confirmation, and insurance for more valuable items.
- State a clear return policy on each piece for sale. If you have an online shop, state the policy on each page where it’s easy to see.
- Wait until personal checks clear before shipping items or use an online payment service like PayPal. PayPal lets shops accept credit card payments without the need or expense of regular credit card merchant accounts (usually 2.5% of sales or more, plus monthly fees). With an online payment service, there is not need to wait for checks to clear, money orders to be received, etc.
If you’d like to more information on successfully buying or selling antiques and collectibles online, visit Ruby Lane at www.rubylane.com.
About Ruby Lane
The Ruby Lane site is home to over 500 online shops from all over the world, as well as an easy to use reference of the top 40 antique and collectible auctions and mall sites on the Internet. Using its Global Search Engine, the site indexes an inventory of over 1 million items, in 2,000 categories. Listings include collectible vintage clothing and jewelry, dolls, heirloom linens, decorative accessories, furniture and antique trains, allowing Ruby Lane’s visitors to quickly and easily find, buy or sell a comprehensive selection of antiques and collectibles on the web. With thousands of visitors daily, dealers are invited to showcase their items by opening a shop right on their site.
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