Why eBay is so bad for collectibles in my opinion?
It’s no news news that since the birth of eBay certain antique items have become more common and easier to obtain which has caused prices to crash. But what collectors have to understand it’s only supply and demand that controls prices. As prices on eBay have fallen it’s fair to say most of the rare items don’t even find there way onto the place.
We for example would offer new items to those who regularly deal with us so this suggests eBay isn’t always the best place to find those rare items. The few unusual items that do make there way on eBay are always going to be driven up in price by those who really don’t know what they are buying. Other good collectible items are generally priced as buy it now which has to incorporate the selling fees thus why they are generally pricey.
Good collectors understand the true value of the knowledge established dealers have and understand there is always going to be a demand for their items from the very same people especially if the demand for there collectibles grows and prices rise. It’s a fact most dealers would buy items at a premium from those who buy from them. So when collectors with no affiliation to them offer goods it’s always going to be set at most 30% below eBay auction prices less postage, which is the same as sellers receive after fees plus with all the hassle of packing and emails.
Dealers need collectors and collectors need dealers as this underpins the value of items, supply and demand are the two most important factors. If the collector bypasses the dealer and expects to buy at trade prices on eBay surely those trade price drop, creating a vicious circle of price decline.
What collectors have to ask themselves is this:
- Whether they want to be part of that decline?
- Have the considered how will they sell part or all of their collections in future if they aren’t known to dealers?
- Why wouldn’t they want to be associated with those in the know?
- Did they know eBay is designed to push prices down and that means your collection if dealers are put out of business?
Everyone wants a bargain it’s true but at what cost? Sellers sell for profit alone and this does not preserve or promote knowledge. Researching and knowledge is time consuming and without it all knowledge will be lost, every subject requires those specialists who live and breath it and become an authority on that subject. Without it how can one define rarity or importance to a piece?
Are price guides now going to be set by shear luck of who’s around and wants that particular item at that set time? Paying over the odds one day and bagging a supposed bargain another whilst experiencing things are not quite what they seem when your item has arrived.
Trust in an important factor between buyer and seller however how can you be sure the seller has the qualified experience and knowledge to to sell something just on their feedback which is generally based on delivery? Pot luck purchasing is a term i’d like to use for this and I’m sure with this approach buyers will catch a cold on occasions.
We do use eBay but only to advertise and will always try to encourage buyers to our website purely because that’s where many of the buyers are. It’s a shame people don’t understand the implications of trading on eBay until its to late. It’s all very similar to the manufacturing industry where the knowledge is being lost due to imported goods.
If you treasure your items and want them to appreciate over time then dealers need to be alive and kicking or you will find one day your options will be only to sell at eBay prices less fees and your time. If you don’t believe me take a look ate the collapse of some pottery items such as Torquay.
If you are a serious collector add your email address to our newsletter, keep in touch, correspond and occasionally treat yourself to something on our site, you never know one day we may just find the something special you have been looking for at a reasonable fair price.