Today's post is contributed by Hillary DePiano, an expert in the collectible toys niche.
Here's the top things I've learned from going on 14 years of watching, buying and selling collectible toys.
1.Value can be volatile. On the day after Steve Irwin died, his action figures were selling for thousands on eBay. Even one week later, you were hard pressed to sell one for over $10. Don't assume value will keep going up, sometimes you need to cash out while the getting is good. It's a gamble but you can't rely on the value always staying the same.
2. Little pieces get lost, easy to break parts break. This may seem like a very simple idea but most of the collectible toys that sell for the highest value do because A) they have hard to find little accessories or B) they're easy to break feature isn't broken. In many cases, the little accessories may be worth more than the item itself so consider selling separately (if possible) and highlighting little pieces in the listing as they always increase value. Most collectors are adults looking for that toy they trashed as a kid with all the little details they remember and they will pay extra for those details.
3. Failure to do the research means making less money. You're too lazy to research the names of all those My Little Pony toys so you just dump them in a lot. I buy your lot because I know that three of the ponies are worth more than what you were charging for the entire lot. As you watch me resell the ponies I just bought from you for hundred of dollars more, aren't you glad you saved yourself the time of looking them up first? I sure am! Knowing the lingo of the collectors of your item, finding out what makes your exact item worth more or less than similar items, or simply finding out the history of your item so that you can best list it all adds up to more bids and less pricing mistakes.
Hillary DePiano has been selling collectibles on eBay since 1997. She's the author of several books, fiction and non-fiction, and a collector of several toys including My Little Pony and She-Ra. She regularly blogs about e-commerce, buying and selling online (especially selling on eBay) on TheWhineSeller.com You can also follow Hillary on Twitter here.