Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tips for Selling Disney Collectibles on eBay

Disney collectibles are very popular - so much so that many online stores have whole categories with just Disney merchandise. These sections are called Disneyana and are normally separated in post 1968 and pre 1968 categories. Pre 1968 merchandise is normally worth more than the newer items. However, if a newer item is very rare it can be worth more than older items. It all depends on what collectors want. And of course, not all items have value. There are many items out there that have been so mass produced that there is no demand for them.

Newer Disney items’ popularity is normally dependent on the popularity of the movie they’re from. While collectibles based on the main characters are of course popular, serious collectors are often just as interested in lesser known characters. There is a large variety of popular items, both new and old. Animation art (production drawings, etc.), books, records, comics, prints, and lithographs are all popular. And of course, snow globes, vintage watches, games, dolls, figurines, and toys are also popular. Even items from the various theme parks have value - menus, signs, programs, etc. Letters and other pieces with Walt Disney’s signature are also sought after by collectors.

It’s fairly easy to identify the age of Disney collectibles. The characters’ faces and other features looked different on older items. For example, Donald Duck had a pointier bill on older pieces. Minnie and Mickey also had different eyes - they were ovals with black pupils, and a “slice” was removed from each of the pupils.

It’s important to be sure that Disney collectibles are legitimate. There are a large number of rip offs made in China. To be sure that an item is truly valuable, it’s a good idea to have it appraised. Some items are sold with a Certificate of Authenticity to prevent this problem.

For more information about Disney products and their value, check out the sites below.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vintage Enamelware

Enamelware was created in the 1870s and was made until the 1930s. It was first available in catalogs and dry goods stores. Enamelware was available in variety of patterns and colors. It gained popularity because it was lightweight, sturdy, and easy to clean. Many different pieces were available, from ladles to pie tins.

A lot of enamelware was destroyed during World War II’s scrap metal drives. That has led to an increased value for the remaining pieces. Smaller pieces, such as pie tins or funnels, tend to sell for about $5 to $10. Larger pieces, such as mixing bowls or teapots, range from $30 to $300 dollars. The most expensive pieces are those that are in a rare color or pattern (like the red, purple, or cobalt blue swirl).

In 1960, Enamelware began to be manufactured again in the US. It is still produced today and is made around the world. You can tell if a piece is truly an antique by looking for a maker’s name or manufacturing date on the bottom. Old pieces also have wooden knobs (instead of the plastic knobs that are on new pieces) and the spouts and handles are riveted. New pieces have a smoother finish as well.

To clean old enamelware, start with a soft cloth and hot soapy water. You shouldn’t use steel wool or anything sharp because you can scratch the finish. If soap and water isn’t enough, use oven cleaner (the spray kind) to remove the dirt. Make sure to cover the handles and any tin lids before using it.

If the inside of a pot has lime or mineral stains, boiling potatoes or one teaspoon of baking soda can help remove them. If the stain is particularly stubborn, soak 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar overnight. Remaining stains can be soaked in water and chlorine bleach. It’s always a good idea to wash the piece with soap and water after you’ve removed the stains. This will remove harsh residues left by the cleaner.

Washing enamelware by hand is best for routine cleaning. A dishwasher should only be used if the pieces can be kept apart - you don’t want them to get banged up. Because water can lead to corrosion, make sure to dry the enamelware completely after it’s washed.

If your enamelware has rust spots, apply naval jelly to it for 10 minutes. Then apply cooking oil to help prevent additional rust. If you’ll only be using your enamelware for display purposes, you can coat it with spray wax or clear lacquer. Always be sure that any enamelware used for food is unchipped - bacteria can grow in damaged spots. 

Vintage kitchen items are great sellers on eBay. Click here for a free list of vintage items you can find at thrift stores and garage sales and sell on eBay for profit.

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Types of Collectible Dolls to Sell on eBay

Collectibles sell well on eBay, and dolls are no exception. Here are five types of dolls that do especially well.

American Girl dolls are incredibly popular with children and adults. The wide variety of time periods and ethnicities available means that everyone can find a doll that’s just what they want. The dolls range from Josephina, who lives in New Mexico in the 1830s, to Addy, who is from the 1860s and just became free from slavery.

Madame Alexander dolls are also popular. They were created in 1923. The dolls are available in variety of ages and as a male or female. There are a multitude of costumes available as well, letting collectors dress them for any occasion. Madame Alexander also created dolls of famous individuals, such as Judy Garland.

Lifelike dolls do well on eBay too. They’re also known as living dolls, unliving dolls, and reborn babies. They are made by many different people and the process takes hours. Normal baby dolls have hair added, are given new eyes, have filling replaced to make them a realistic weight, and are painted to make them look as much like a real baby as possible.

Another type of doll that’s popular on eBay is the German doll. The best known creators are Simon and Halbig, Kestner, Kammer and Rienhart, Heubach, and Armand Marseille. Of these, J.D. Kestner is the most popular and is often referred to as the King of German Doll Makers. His company made dolls from 1820 to 1938. The dolls’ bodies were made from wood, leather, or composition. All German doll artists created dolls that were meant to look like their children. Because of that, most of the dolls had full cheeks and wore simple clothing. Some companies also specialized only in doll heads.

Last but not least, Barbie dolls are very popular on eBay – they are the bestselling doll e eBay, to be exact. Limited edition Barbies can be worth a great deal of money and be in high demand. There are collectors everywhere, so Barbies often sell internationally on eBay.
Related articles:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How detailed seller ratings are calculated

Almost all sellers (and buyers) know that high feedback is the mark of a good seller. But there is another rating that can impact a seller too – the detailed seller rating. While this doesn’t impact the overall feedback score, detailed seller ratings are considered by eBay when they decide which sellers will receive extra benefits and discounts. 

eBay’s detailed seller rating system has a 1 to 5 star scale, with 5 stars being the best rating and 1 star being the worst. A rolling 12 month window is used to calculate an average rating. In order for the rating to be calculated, a seller has to have gotten 10 or more ratings – if they are below the required number, the average won’t be shown.

There are a few steps that eBay sellers can take to ensure that their detailed ratings remain as high as possible:

Communication with buyers is key. Sellers should always include a clear explanation of their policies as well as contact information in their listings. It’s important that the seller also includes how quickly they will respond to questions– and follows through with that timeline. One way to streamline this process is to set up automatic communication. Selling Manager Pro lets sellers set up automatic messages that will thank buyers for their order and let them know their item shipped.

Accurate and detailed descriptions are also important. Any defects should be clearly described. Pictures are an essential part of descriptions. Non stock photos from multiple angles will help buyers understand exactly what they’re getting.

Shipping time plays a role in detailed seller ratings too. Sellers should ship items as quickly as possible after the payment is received. Sellers should also be clear about their shipping policies within the listing information. Including a tracking number is also a good policy. Sellers who print their labels on PayPal or eBay can buy insurance at the same time, and an automatic email will be sent to the buyer and seller with the ship date and tracking number.

Reasonable shipping charges can help a seller’s detailed rating as well. Sellers who choose to offer free shipping will automatically be given a 5 star rating for their shipping charges. eBay also says that free shipping can improve listing visibility and help attract buyers. If free shipping is not offered, buyers appreciate being given calculated shipping because they can see exactly what the cost is. A shipping discount for multiple items is also a plus and normally has a positive impact on feedback.

For more strategies on improving your seller performance, check these resources: