How to Unload Your Unwanted Collectibles via the Internet

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How to Unload Your Unwanted Collectibles via the Internet

Trying to rid yourself of that box of old comics? Sick of all the CDs cluttering up your shelf space? While secondhand stores will do for some people, finding one that'll give you a good deal is next to impossible. If you need to unload what your particular hobby produces, whether it be rare books, old records, or baseball cards, the Internet provides the best opportunity for you to reach your market. Granted, selling a large volume of material yourself isn't easy: I discovered this the hard way when I first put my large collection of old CDs up for sale. But with the right preparations, running an e-sale is profitable, fun, and can provide you with contacts that prove useful for future sales.

Step 1: The Sale Setup

Your first concern should be cataloguing your collection. Make a note of each item you want to sell, as well as the price. It'd be a good idea to visit a shop that specializes in selling the collectible secondhand, such as a used bookstore or music store. Since buyers on the Internet usually expect to find a deal better than they could get otherwise, setting the item price slightly (around %10 or so) lower than a thrift shop will prevent them from clicking past you.

Find a notebook, one that pages won't rip out of; this is your sale ledger. Keeping a tangible record of each item, price, buyer, buyer's mailing address, and shipping number in your ledger will prevent mistakes before they start. Believe me, dealing with an irate customer who claims you've mailed her the wrong CDs is much easier when you can prove the opposite.

Finding an appropriate forum for your advertisement is probably the most important part of your setup. Usenet, a distributed bulletin board system that most Internet service providers and academic institutions make available to their users, is your best bet for reaching potential buyers. Usenet is divided into several hierarchies, or groups of bulletin boards (known individually as Blogs) that feature similar topics of discussion. For example, the alt.marketplace hierarchy contains the alt.marketplace, alt.marketplace.books, alt.marketplace.cassettes, and alt.marketplace.videotapes Blogs. However, when staging your sale you must choose the appropriate Blog. Posting daily sale updates to an off-topic Blog can get you flamed, mailbombed, or worse. Research your options thoroughly and well; read the news.answers Blog or set your web browser's URL to ftp://rtfm.
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