search  current discussion  categories  business - sales & marketing 

selling on ebay

updated thu 24 nov 05

 

Gary Navarre on sun 16 may 04


Hay Gang, Iron Mountain Library got a new book "The Absolute Beginners
Guide to Selling on Ebay". I'll bet other librarys can get it. I just
breezed through and returned it since I have enough to study for now, but
I'll probably use Ebay when I'm ready to start selling again, seems a lot
easyer than packing-unpacking-packing for "art fairs" where selling
elephant ears and cotton candy and roasted tofu would be more profitable.
Gary Navarre
Navarre Pottery
Norway, Michigan

Anne Webb on tue 22 mar 05


Hey Iben...

I've some success on ebay. Mostly sold raku and other art pots, ..higher end
stuff. Never did have much luck with functional ware on ebay though, or at
least getting a price that made it worthwhile for me. I have also sold
some work of some other local artist friends of mine, but have been very
selective so as to not jeopardize reputation/rating as a seller. Needless
to say I have only taken on a couple of people and I know I can count on
them to present quality pieces. (Charles Smith - pottery, Mobile, AL and Val
Webb, 2D - Fairhope AL).

Ebay, like everywhere else unfortunately, seems to have slowed down what
with the economy the way it is. Unfortunately, the quality of work listed
(pottery that I have seen anyway) doesnt seem to be as good either, which
has probably adversely affected the number of lookers/buyers as well.

I cant say that I care for the mentality of just cranking out whatever and
slapping it up there to just give it away, but people do it. Its very
short-sighted. Buyers arent fools. If you present quality work, your
customers will appreciate it and keep coming back. If you are able to list
regularly on an ongoing basis it will certainly work in your favour in
developing a good client base. Its no different than selling work anywhere
else.

Reasons for not listing on ebay? Well ebay like anywhere else is a crap
shoot. Its a matter of the right person finding your work.... and getting
them to come back again. If you post a few auctions and they dont close
successfully, it doesnt mean that ebay wont work, it just means that either
right person didnt find you or you need to revamp your auction (more and
better pictures, better text/title, better spelling, listing in the right
category, etc..). It really does take patience and persistence if you
want to make a go of it. If you look and act professional it really goes a
long way.

Best of luck!
Anne Webb
(Sorry, I dont have anything listed at the moment, but you can search
"completed auctions")

>From: Iben Vedel
>Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 09:19:23 +0000
>

>
>I was reading about a painter Jeff Cohen, who has a
>lot of succes selling his art on ebay.
>Is anyone here selling on ebay, and if so what is your
>experience?
>And what would be the reasons not to sell on ebay?
>
>Iben
>
>
>*Brussels_where the Pots do their fire dance and the glazes run Wild*
>ivedel@yahoo.com

_________________________________________________________________
Donít just search. Find. Check out the new MSN Search!
http://search.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200636ave/direct/01/

Kate Johnson on tue 22 mar 05


> Ebay, like everywhere else unfortunately, seems to have slowed down what
> with the economy the way it is. Unfortunately, the quality of work listed
> (pottery that I have seen anyway) doesnt seem to be as good either, which
> has probably adversely affected the number of lookers/buyers as well.

This is true, Anne...I sell on eBay, for the past nearly 5 years, and
bidding wars are very rare these days. A lot of auctions go without selling
at all, other sellers tell me (I belong to an eBay selling consortium,
too...)

There is a bargain mentality to eBay--I admit to it myself. I go there when
I want to find something both very specific, and affordable. If it goes
over my budget, I don't bid again--unless it's something I really want.
There's always another auction...

There are MANY more sellers now, in many of my usual categories (books,
antiques, collectibles, self-representing artist, original art, jewelry,
militaria). Needing to find the proper keywords, having good photos, making
your auction as appealing as possible, using their gallery option--you're
right, it's all part of the successful selling process. (I don't even OPEN
auction searches that don't include the gallery photo, usually, there are
ust too many to take time to visit a complete pig in a poke.)

I recently won an auction for a very very low price on something that had
LOUSY photos. If people could actually have seen it, I know I would have
had competition, but...I took the chance, and won for a pittance.
>
> I cant say that I care for the mentality of just cranking out whatever and
> slapping it up there to just give it away, but people do it. Its very
> short-sighted.

I know a lot of artists who start their auctions at ONE DOLLAR. It makes me
want to cry. This isn't bad work, even, it's just desperation and
hope...often the artist doesn't even make back the cost of supplies. I
can't do it...

There are a lot of art auctions that start at 4.99, and 9.99, too...that's
pretty sad, for original work. Because often, that's all you're going to
get.

Buyers arent fools. If you present quality work, your
> customers will appreciate it and keep coming back.

That's true. My handmade 18th c. style jewelry has found a niche, and does
fine. I offer variety and quality, and buyers know that.

If you are able to list
> regularly on an ongoing basis it will certainly work in your favour in
> developing a good client base. Its no different than selling work anywhere
> else.

THAT is true. I've seen it work for people.
>
> Reasons for not listing on ebay? Well ebay like anywhere else is a crap
> shoot. Its a matter of the right person finding your work.... and getting
> them to come back again. If you post a few auctions and they dont close
> successfully, it doesnt mean that ebay wont work, it just means that
> either
> right person didnt find you or you need to revamp your auction (more and
> better pictures, better text/title, better spelling, listing in the right
> category, etc..).

Yes. And be PERSISTENT--don't get discouraged, and don't take it
personally. I've listed things that didn't sell for a couple of weeks, and
the third week not only sold but had a small bidding war.

It really does take patience and persistence if you
> want to make a go of it. If you look and act professional it really goes a
> long way.

Amen.

I haven't listed my redware on eBay yet...in part because I'm not "there"
yet--I'm doing passable stuff but it doesn't approach 18th C. redware
closely enough for me as yet. The other reason is that I've done searches
on redware, and found the winning prices so low as to make me want to kick
something, even for antique stuff. Ack!!!
>
> Best of luck!
> Anne Webb
> (Sorry, I dont have anything listed at the moment, but you can search
> "completed auctions")

Did you get decent prices, Anne? When I look at the prices redware and
other handmade pottery usually sells for (there was a little Bonnie Staffel
pot recently that I am KICKING myself for not trying for! Went for FAR too
low!!!), I've not wanted to accept so little for so many hours of work.

Ebay's really tricky...I'd be glad to hear how other potters do there.

And by the way, my eBay ID is katestreasures, if you should want to go
look.

Best--
Kate Johnson
http://www.cathyjohnson.info/

Art, History, Nature and More-- http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson/
Graphics/Fine Arts Press-- http://www.epsi.net/graphic/

bonnie staffel on wed 23 mar 05


This thread about eBay listings strikes home. I check it out almost every
day to see if there are any of my old pots being offered by typing in
Staffel. There is one seller who finds my work in estate sales. She goes
to great lengths to show published pictures of me working and my record for
the sake of collectors. She gets nice money for my old work. There are
times when the seller asks me to authenticate a piece. It is a fun trip for
me. Other sellers who just offer one of my objects usually start at the
$9.99 price and they don't go any further into looking for my history. I
will sometimes write to the seller to suggest they check out my web site.
One time a piece was offered for a low price so I bid on it myself as I felt
I could sell it privately for twice as much or more. That was accomplished
and sold it myself a week after it arrived. Successful bidders often write
to me about their "find." Another time a "bird object" was offered with my
name as the maker. I notified the seller that it was not mine so she
withdrew it from the sale. Another time I came across a famous auction
house in New York that listed Staffel as one of their offerings. They
attributed it to Rudy but pictured two of my pots. I wrote to them about
the error. Don't know if they notified the buyer or not.

I have storage boxes full of my pots that I wanted to keep for some reason
or another. Maybe when I get old I should put them on eBay. The part I
don't like is the packing and shipping.

The category on eBay where I often look is "Studio Pottery." There I find a
lot of contemporary pots by "name" potters and they are listed at a nice
high price. I have in my collections a number of pieces I purchased during
the early careers of now famous potters. They may pay me not to put them on
eBay. I know I have sold some doozies in my early growth period. Then
again, I feel I am still growing with the pit firing. What a blast!!!

By the way, I think my niece was the lucky bidder for that little pot. She
inherited the "garage sale" collecting bug from her mother, my late sister,
and sells what she finds on eBay. She even teaches private classes on how
to successfully sell on eBay.

Anyway, thanks for lovely memories.

Warm regards,

Bonnie Staffel
http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/
http://vasefinder.com/bstaffelgallery1.html
Charter Member Potters Council

Lynn Barnwell on thu 24 mar 05


I have never sold on ebay but I have an interesting story of my pots being
sold on ebay.



A short time ago I was contacted by one of my newly wed customers that
received their dinnerware as bridal gifts. They had it stored until their
new house was finished. They went to retrieve all of their items (including
our pottery) and found their storage unit had been burglarized. I itemized
all the pieces we made for them for insurance purposes.



A few weeks later I received a lovely email from a lady several thousand
miles away along with a picture of some pottery. She was interested in
purchasing some pieces to fill out the dinnerware she had just purchased on
ebay. Guess what she had? The bridal set that had been stolen. The only
way she found us was searching our name which was carved into the bottom of
each piece.



After talking with her and telling her what I suspected she had (but not
trying to take from her) she immediately offered her help in solving the
mystery of the missing pots. She forwarded all info on the ebay acct and
copies of shipping labels and email correspondence which was turned over to
the proper law enforcement agency. She also sent pictures of everything she
could find that the ebay seller had put of for auction which produced
several more items from our unlucky couple.



After search warrants were issued a sizable portion of their possessions
have been found including 3,000' of hardwood flooring.



It goes to show you it pays big time to have your name on your pieces. Ours
are all marked Hinkle Creek Pottery. If they are special pieces it will
have Rebecca or Lynn on them also.



The lady has forwarded the dinnerware back to the newlyweds. They paid her
all she was out plus shipping. She would not keep it after she found out
where it came from and that the couple had helped to design it. We have a
special

surprise going out to her as a thank you.



I guess I could tell you what the dinnerware went for..$8 plus $12.01
freight for 4 dinner plates, 3 mugs, 3 bowls, and a salt & pepper set (The
entire set for 8 was not in the same box) Talk about selling for cheap!!



Just another day making pots.



Lynn

Hinkle Creek Pottery

Bonnie Staffel on mon 21 nov 05


Hi Clayarters,

This weekend I was introduced to the wild world of selling on Ebay by my
niece and her husband visiting from Perrysburg, OH. They recently
opened their shop to put objects on Ebay for those who do not have a
computer but want to sell their things in that venue. They encouraged
me to try Ebay for a sales resource, so am testing the waters by putting
up one of my birds for auction. If you are curious, just type Staffel
in the Ebay search window. They then surprised me with a gift of one of
those cubes including lights and tripod so that I can photograph my
pots. How fortunate can one get?

Warm regards,

Bonnie Staffel

http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/
DVD Throwing with Coils and Slabs
DVD Beginning Processes
Charter Member Potters Council

steve graber on mon 21 nov 05


post an update when you have something more on the topic.

i've dropped by ebay to search pottery to review if it's worth selling or buying there. the issues i see are if one was to search for "pottery" you get a billion items to come up, many which are cheap import castware - not what i was searching for. (is that crap?).

i looked several times for things like "woodfired stoneware pottery" or "raku" or "hand thrown" and get a few hits. certainly whoever posts the items adds the searching keywords. and do you use pottery terms that consumers don't already know?

the problem i see with ebay is having good search words with your work. i wish there was a more formal searching scheme to separate the product offerings better.

~ and small pictures to convey what you're buying or selling is hard to work with.

see ya

steve



Bonnie Staffel wrote: Hi Clayarters,

This weekend I was introduced to the wild world of selling on Ebay by my
niece and her husband visiting from Perrysburg, OH. They recently
opened their shop to put objects on Ebay for those who do not have a
computer but want to sell their things in that venue. They encouraged
me to try Ebay for a sales resource, so am testing the waters by putting
up one of my birds for auction. If you are curious, just type Staffel
in the Ebay search window. They then surprised me with a gift of one of
those cubes including lights and tripod so that I can photograph my
pots. How fortunate can one get?

Warm regards,

Bonnie Staffel

http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/
DVD Throwing with Coils and Slabs
DVD Beginning Processes
Charter Member Potters Council

______________________________________________________________________________
Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.




---------------------------------
Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

Brian Gracia on mon 21 nov 05


Bonnie,

I am happy for you, but keep this in mind. Some states now have or are thinking about requiring a seller to have an auctioneers license to sell on eBay. Check with your state/local, about needing a license to sell on eBay. Also, some might require you to collect taxes for their state.

Brian G.

Bonnie Staffel on tue 22 nov 05


Brian, that is a very good suggestion. I have a vendor's license. Is
that sufficient? Also I have the blurb that Michigan residents must pay
Michigan Sales Tax in the conditions area.

Regards,

Bonnie Staffel

http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/
DVD Throwing with Coils and Slabs
DVD Beginning Processes
Charter Member Potters Council



>Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 15:29:42 -0500
From: Brian Gracia
Subject: Re: Selling on Ebay

Bonnie,

I am happy for you, but keep this in mind. Some states now have or are
thinking about requiring a seller to have an auctioneers license to sell
on eBay. Check with your state/local, about needing a license to sell
on eBay. Also, some might require you to collect taxes for their state.

Brian G.

Brian Gracia on tue 22 nov 05


Check with your state/county business office. They will know if your
state requires an auctioneers license. A vendor license, sounds like
you have a general business license to sell from your location.

Brian G.


--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.13.5/178 - Release Date: 11/22/2005

Bonnie Staffel on wed 23 nov 05


Steve,

To respond to this line, I listed my work in these categories:: Pottery
& Glass, Pottery & China, Art Pottery, American Art



I would have liked to add looking for the category of Studio Pottery
would give you at least more contemporary pottery of all kinds, both to
your own taste and some not. I may have been limited as to the number
of categories I could list under. This was my initial work with this
venue. There is much to learn. Writing about yourself is also

difficult. I just put myself in my selling mode that I used when I

had my shop and wrote from that experience.



If I ever put any of my old (and I mean old) pots on eBay, I would
probably use the categories of Collectibles and Antiques as my studio is
listed in some such books under those titles and there are many

collectors of my work during my career as a potter.



After you see a thumbnail in the list of an object that you would like
to learn more of, click on it or the information to the right in blue,
and it will show you a larger picture on the site. If you click then on
the Larger Picture just below the photo, you will see even a larger
picture yet. .Surfing eBay is quite a sport and you get used to
skipping past all those entries. I look for familiar names of potters I
have heard of in the 20th century listing. If you are looking for
someone in particular, then you put that into the Search space. You can
also ask eBay to let you know if an item you are looking for comes up.
There are many services available, you just have to learn the ropes and

be patient and discerning.



When I am searching for my own work being sold by a collector, I enter
my last name and hit the All Categories button. I find most of mine
listed with the German Stoneware Factory in Germany, or also Rudolph
Staffel's work has appeared in this listing. Then there are collectors
of the Staffel items of Hitler's Schutzstaffel (sp.?) things. (I heard
that Staffel means "step" in German and refers to Hitler's troops that
had that familiar high step march.)



If you are new to the eBay listings, just jump in and learn the ropes.
You will soon find what you are looking for much easier as experience
kicks in.



Warm Regards,



Bonnie Staffel



http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/

DVD Throwing with Coils and Slabs

DVD Beginning Processes

Charter Member Potters Council

http://webpages.charter.net/bstaffel/
DVD Throwing with Coils and Slabs
DVD Beginning Processes
Charter Member Potters Council