Research - Your Best Tool for Sales Success

Have you ever listed an item for sale that you just didn't know much about?  Many times I have found an item that is so old or unique that I can't find anything about it anywhere.  I take many photos and give as much detailed information as I can about the item and list it anyway.  But I still feel that I am lacking in being able to provide that bit of information that would help Buyers really know what they are looking at.  Over the years, I have become better and better at researching and in turn have seen a higher percentage in sales.
I have a whole folder of websites that I visit often for information and a small library of trusted books that I use regularly for research.  But there are still items that I find that it just seems there is nothing to reference to in identifying the maker, the origin, the year it was produced, where it came from.  What to do?  I then try to locate an expert in that area whether it is jewelry, antiques, or collectibles.  Experience really counts when you are at this point and there are many avenues that you can choose to locate the information you need. I must add that in dealing with "experts", you must be able to verify that the person truly has the knowledge that you are seeking.  I've been led down the wrong path a time or two and wasted both time and energy.
Antique shops can be a resource for information for many items.  Jewelry shops that are personally owned and that carry estate jewelry can also be a resource.  Libraries and bookstores are a good place as well because the employees often know of someone personally who is an expert.  The key is to talk to people and ask questions.  I often question my mother (who is a senior) about costume jewelry items as she loved and purchased much in the 1930s and 1940s.  I have a neighbor who collects hand carved wood items who is a wealth of information for when I find a trinket that is unusual wood.  I try to glean as much information from the people that I meet who show that they are knowledgeable in a field. 
When I first began selling on the internet, I didn't talk too much to people preferring to dig into things as I imagined where they came from and who had owned them.  But this hindered me in listing my items for sale.  I needed the information to be able to accurately described my items.  I still come across items with markings that no matter how much research I do, I just cannot find out much about it.  And that is when I will issue my plea for anyone knowing more about that item to please contact me.  I love learning more, and oftentimes others are more than willing to share their knowledge and information with me. 
One thing I can assure you of, you will not be disappointed by researching more about your items for sale.  Buyer's will enjoy and respect your shop more if you can provide the information related to that item that they are purchasing.  Boost your sales by providing the information and background on those unusual and unique items.

Kathryn Atkins
Kats Vintage Korner

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