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Auctioning Advice – Other Things To Sell On eBay

I’ve been buying and selling on eBay a long time – since 1998 in fact. Suffice to say, I’ve sold a significant number of items and been astounded numerous times when the price a seemingly worthless item goes beyond my wildest expatiation.

I’ve got a few regrets too. I came across some old shipping invoices the other day for some SNES RPG’s I sold in the late 90’s. Made me weep. Sold for pennies compared what they are worth now.

Anyways, in the last decade I’ve discovered a lot of things to keep my eyes open for when at yard sales, thrift stores and while sorting through classified ads. These things have always allowed me to earn a decent side income and help fuel my own collecting habits.

Some of my favorite sales?

The best one by far, was a western pulp magazine. Pulp magazines (often referred to as “the pulps”) are inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. Typically, they were seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges. This book was in a lot of vintage magazines (1950’s and earlier) a neighbour found in their attic and sold to me for $50. Now, in that box alone their were at least forty magazines that I sold anywhere from $10 – $30. Plus a couple of Men’s Magazines (not those) with Pinups (again, not those) that sold for around $100 each. The real gem though, was a western pulp that I considered not listing. The back cover was gone, it was dog eared, it was dirty and it looked like crap. The condition was absolutely horrid. I listed it though, and the bids came rolling it. When it hit $100 on the first day I was floored. When it closed at $500+ a week lately, I could not constrain myself. I cannot remember if it was desired due to a story by a specific author, or if the artwork was by a certain artist, but even at the time I could have cared less. The buyer, (whose name happened to be western-pulp or something similar) paid instantly and was only too happy to do so.

Another favourite is a vintage (kerosine) oil lamp I had. I actually had five of these, all which had been sitting in my shed until a couple years ago when I decided to see if they were worth anything. They had come from my Grandparents house and had no sentimental value, so sat in the “sell one of these days” pile for years. When I looked them it, I really couldn’t find anything. I know so sold for big money, but figured these would fall into the cheaper range if they sold at all. I managed to find a few keywords to make sure were in my auction after a bit of research, and listed all five of them. Three garnered a couple bids and went for prices I was happy to live with, $40 – $60. The other two? Well, those were a different story. One sold for $300 and the other for an insane $1500. Everything was paid for, and while I was extremely nervous during shipping, they all arrived at their new homes and went into the collection of people who were only too glad to get them.

Do you have any favourite stories about items you’ve sold that blew your expectations out of the water? Please share them in the comments, I’d love to hear.

Anyways, this brings us to my new site I’d love for you to check out: Auctioning Advice.

Basically, once a week I’m going to explore a niche and show you an item that has a brisk collector market. Things that you can keep an eye out for when you’re hunting for games. Things that sell quickly, and for a good profit to boot.

Let’s face it, a lot of people would never believe that old video games sell for such huge figures. And they do! So what other collectibles are we passing by every day? Check out the site and see some of them. I’ve only got my first post up so far, and it’s about Lego, another market that’s close to my heart.

8 Comments

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  1. i worked 9 years at a video game store and now manage a major chain thrift store and have gained many things over the years that i’m sure are valuable. my issue is that my old ebay account was disabled for trying to sell one of my many nfr pokemon distribution cartridges and my new account has a total of 4 feedback. i can’t figure out the best items to sell to get feedback without losing too much in their value. any tips?

    • go buy a bunch of dollar post cards and baseball cards. ask for fast feeback from the various sellers. take the post cards and baseball cards and toss them in the trash. you need the feedback not them. once your upto roughly 25 feedback you don’t really suffer much suspicion from buyers.

  2. My father collects and sells John Deere memorabilia (yes, the tractors). He once purchased a stuffed green deer for a price that I thought was ridiculous (I’m guessing around $50) and then sold it for three times that on eBay. However, he says the market is not as good for those items as it once was, so he’s mostly on the collector side now.

  3. Great post! I’ve been doing garage/estate sales for about 12 years hunting for games and quick flips. I’ve had luck selling Plasticville kits, Case pocketknives, older Fossil watches and my favorite recent sell was a chromed out steering wheel I found in the garbage. Sold it for $150!

    With games I’ve had good luck lately with old Atari stuff. Old meaning the 400, 800 and 1200 models.

  4. I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR GRAMMAR. I must first applaud you Link, for your new Website. I think it is a great Idea and I am already looking forward to it.

    I got into Ebay by accident after Garage sailing one weekend looking for an exercise bike. I bought 2 things that weekend, the bike and a sealed 6million dollar man doll (Oscar Goldman). I spent $80 and made $1000 in 3 days (Doll sold for $200+, Bike sold for $800 on Craiglist). I never am amazed at what kind of stuff you find at Garage Sales. MY BIGGEST ADVICE is to ask at every sale “DO YOU HAVE ANY?”…even if you don’t see what you are looking for, ASK, you are already there and it has paid off several times.

    I have came across 2 Awesome finds. The best was going to a garage sale from a former VIDEO GAME MARKETING employee who works for 20 years at 3 of the most popular and well known companies in the U.S. They amount of Prom-Items and Not-released to the public items I found kept me in the black for 6+months. All because I asked DO YOU HAVE ANY VIDEO GAME STUFF?

    The other interesting recent one was coming across a Storage Locker Buyer who was a reseller and had 300+ Computer games boxed or cased from 3.5″Floppies to CD-Roms. He had this stuff for years and never tried to do anything with it. He new it came from the locker of a former SUN CEO, and had original AMEX receipts to prove it. I bought everything for $40 (4 boxes of game) on a gamble I thought as I never considered computer games to have that much value. After going through the box and finding 30+ games that went for $20-$40 each, I came across WASTELAND on 3.5/5.25” Floppy complete. It went for $410 and everything else sold within 3 weeks for a total profit of $1,800.

    Sometimes you don’t know about certain items but if it is a collection of almost anything and is in good condition, and you can get it in bulk for real cheap then it is always worth the gamble. Worst case is you can always get your money back.

  5. I’ve been selling my collectibles and other old belongings on eBay for about 10 months now. I’ve had some ups and downs while trying to learn the market and how to best conduct auctions on eBay. Certain items have brought me nice prices, while with others I wept all the way to the post office. It’s definitely a learning experience but I’ve enjoyed it so far and want to keep at it.

    The BIGGEST shock I received when selling an item was for a Super Mario Bros Luigi plush I had lying around. It was in pretty bad shape- the L on his hat was fading and peeling off, he had some discoloration on him. He was generally an ugly design in my opinion. I can’t even remember when or where I got him from. It’s like it just appeared one day. I had a much nicer looking Luigi plush and I figured I didn’t need both. So I listed the not-so-nice one at $0.99, not expecting much more than that if anything at all for him. At the end of the auction the bids had shot up to nearly $100. Needless to say, mind was blown. I tried to research the particular plush but didn’t find much information as to why it was so desirable. A Mario plush from the same manufacturer sold for hardly anything in comparison. It haunts me to this day, but at the time I was happy.

    I’ll definitely be checking out your auctioning website for tips on my learning journey into auctioning!

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