Most babyboomers grew up with going to the old fashioned farm or household auctions which were held because the owners died or were moving. Do you remember the excitement of raising your hand to place a bid and the ultimate excitement of the auctioneer’s hammer hitting the desk and “SOLD” it was yours. Well the same feeling can be recaptured for all generations to enjoy on the online auction sites. Placing a bid on something you have just got to have and waiting for the gavel to go down and you now own it or you will as soon as you pay and the seller sends it to you.
EBay and other sites started out with this same level of excitement over a decade ago and having been a buyer back in 1998 on eBay I spent hours watching (many of the auction did not even have photos) for the auctions to end to see if I got it. Unfortunately Ebay ahs chosen to go to the fixed price model and is looking to emulate the success of Amazon.com and uBid.com. This selling philosophy entails selling many of the same new merchandise at a fixed price. Yes many of the items will be cheaper than what can be found in the “brick and mortar” marketplace however by the time you add shipping the final price is quite comparable. The auction on the other hand is the only way that antique and vintage merchandise should be sold as the marketplace sets the value and in most cases it may be at a higher price than expected, plus the need to act immediately to get it or it may never be seen again is quite persuasive to encourage bidding.
I am what is called a boutique seller and have sold on eBay for over eight years.About 99% of the auctions I listed were antique and vintage costume jewelry and have always done quite well having gross receipts of up to $10,000. month on no more than 800 (some are relists) auction up during the same month. My average percent to total of auctions sold was between 50-65%. I never sold with a buy-it-now or fixed price and found that many of my auctions got very high bids within the last few minutes and even seconds of the auction end. This is because the items are one if kind and harder to find and the buyers do not want to possibly miss out on getting it. If however the same merchandise had been set up as Buy It Nows or at a fixed price within an eBay store probably my monthly gross receipts would not have been over $5,000. and with only a 15-25% of the total auctions would have sold.
All in all if you are selling one of a kind antique and vintage merchandise and am interested in making money and having quick turnover with the ability to keep your merchandise fresh, the answer lies in the auction format. Oh yes you can make more money on the fixed price model per item but the percentage of successfully ended auctions will be quite low thus making your store or listings seem stale and interesting to the average avid buyer.
Now why would eBay want to go primarily fixed price format??? For many reasons as outlined below. Earlier this year eBay made arrangements with bid.com (which sells 100+ of the same merchandise at a fixed price per unit) to give them FREE or at least lower preferential treatment as to their listing fees. Bid.com has over 2.5 million pieces to sell on eBay (this by the way will force all of the one of the kind pieces way down in the sort when searched). and eBay sees that one fixed price listing of more than one unit and since more than one of the same item may sell and since final valuation fees have been raised, eBay will make more money. Also having fewer auction listings on the site because of the multiple unit listings, eBay can lower their server and customer service costs. It is a very smart move for an aristocratic company such as eBay to make. The small boutique seller and even the buyer loses in this arrangement.
I started an auction venue this past month called Vintage Gems Emporium with the sole purpose of giving the boutique seller and buyer an exclusive multi-seller auction (fixed price and buy it nows are also to be found) venue for Antique, Vintage and New Costume and Fine Jewelry. This is the first of its kind and sp far so good. The response has been extremely favorable and the results have been impressive. It is just a start up and even with in mind it has surpassed its original projected marketing plans. Vintage Gems Emporium was founded on three basic philosophies. The first is to provide an “AUCTION BOUTIQUE” for one of kind jewelry pieces in an environment that is of the character and quality of “Just Jewelry”. The second is to provide unprecedented customer appreciation and service and not forgetting who will make the site great. And the third, is to have the lowest fees of any other auction or fixed price site on the internet.
The Auction Boutique is accomplished by the fact that there is only JEWELRY being sold… and within the next month the appearance of Vintage Gems Emporium will have the look of a fine Beverly Hills Antique and Vintage Jewelry Shop using colors, graphics, images and more to be custom and special for a Just Jewelry Boutique.
Unprecedented customer appreciation and service is provided in many ways and include many levels of service either through email, Live Chat, toll free phone numbers to real people and eventually being able to help customers make changes by actually assisting the customer online from our computers to the customers. Equal feedback is key and allows everyone whether a buyer or seller an opportunity to be treated fairly and all feedback from other sites will be moved to the VGE venue. Also much like eBay’s power seller program, VGE has both BRILLIANT SELLERS and BRILLIANT BUYERS designations to identify which sellers and buyers have a positive and productive history on the site.
Lowest fees of any online auction or fixed price site. Vintage Gems Emporium has NO Final Valuation Fees and in comparison to eBay that is up to an 8.75% savings of the final sale price. VGE has many free listing options including no need for a subtitile since the auction title line is invariably unlimited as to how many characters can be used. No cost for buy-it-now and delayed start auctions. Very low cost to add bells and whistles such as BOLD, HIGHLIGHT, CATEGORY FEATURE, HOMEPAGE FEATURE and RESERVE PRICE. Also Virtual Gems Emporium
has the ability for a cost to actually load a movie to showcase your auction listing.
All in all, Vintage Gems Emporium is working day and night to be all that you could possibly want from an online worldwide auction venue and the perfect opportunity to make some money and also to find what you have been looking for at a fair price. Come see us at www.vintagegemsemporium.com, registration is free and no financial information is exchanged so you have nothing to lose. See you there!!!