My newest eBay consignment client is a lovely lady from Macon Georgia. She had recently attended an eBay workshop in Macon. Workshops are titled “How To Sell on eBay” (view current workshops). Her husband had recently passed away. She contacted me about my consignment program. Her inventory included art by Rie Munoz.
Researching The Marketplace
I had her email a list of items along with photos. This allowed me time to research market values using Terapeak and Worthpoint. After taking a deep look into past listings, I concluded I was interested.
Crossing the Georgia Line
The next challenge was “How to get her items to my Ocala Florida location?” The most reliable and cost effective way was to use “Roadie!” For those of you that follow my site may recall a post I did about Roadie. Feel free to review it at: Road Trip Shipping Using the Roadie App.
Friend-Shipping using Roadie
The Roadie app helped to kick-start our consignment process. Once she posted items on the Roadie app aka creating a “gig” it resulted with offers right away. Several drivers were willing to haul her items from Macon GA to Ocala FL. This is about 288 miles. Travel time consists of about 3 hours.
The Roadie driver, Darlene was a young lady from Orlando that has family in Atlanta. This gig worked out well for her since she was already planning a trip for the Holidays. This gig not only paid for her gas but it helped her earn a few extra spending dollars. This is the beauty of Roadie! It works perfectly for people that are already traveling so why not pick-up a few items to help pay for the trip? Love it!
Art by Rie Munoz
I helped Darlene unpack her mini van with the fragile items placing them in a safe spot in a designated, carpeted area on the floor of my garage. This allowed me to save the boxes until the Holidays had passed. Now it was time to “dig-in!”
The first two items were packaged in flat cardboard surrounding large picture frames. Each frame holds signed and dated pieces of art by Rie Munoz. These are the first items to be listed on eBay from this estate. (Who is Rie Munoz? Rie Muñoz (August 17, 1921 – April 6, 2015) was an American artist and Bureau of Indian Affairs educator.)Art by Rie Munoz
Researching Art by Rie Munoz
The first step when selling items like this on eBay is to first research the artist name. This will give us a better idea about the average selling price of art by the artist. WHY? Because no matter how “rare” an owner may “think” their item is, it will depend 100% on the current market value of the artist. Even if the artists items are low selling and a print has a low number or is a hard to find item, bottom line, if the artist items are not in demand then the “rare” items by that artist are not generally desirable in the current marketplace as well. NOTE: These research facts are based on my 20 + years of personal experience of researching and selling items on eBay.
Terapeak vs Worthpoint
Sold on eBay
The next item was titled “Caribou Hunter” which sold on December 1, 2016. This listing was a fixed priced item. Asking price was $1596.00. The seller accepted an offer of $1000.00 eBay item #322066306925.
Worthpoint allows us to search back a bit farther than Tereapeak. I found an original piece titled “Men of the Village” which sold on August 26, 2016 for $2,599. on eBay. Worthpoint item # 1827286554.
Making Money on eBay
We’ve established the fact, YES these items do indeed sell. Next we need to develop a selling strategy helping to sell the items for the most amount of money. All eBay sellers want to make the most amount of money possible on eBay. I do enjoy selling low end items on eBay sometimes but not consignment. The goal for my low-end items is generally to “move old inventory” by dropping prices. That topic is for another post.
Researching Art Titles
The next step of this process is to research the titles of each item.
Time to do a search for the tile of the prints. They are:
- Mending Nets
- Cannery Workers, Naknek
The key, don’t use “too many” words while searching. Keep in mind all the words typed into a search can limit the results. Meaning, if I put this title into search: Rie Munoz Cannery Workers Naknek original painting then the search engines will only pull up items that have ALL of those words in the title. The best thing to do is simplify the search using less words and only important words such as: Monoz Cannery Workers Naknek.
More Versions by Rie Munoz
Terapeak actually produced zero results with: Munoz Mending Nets and Worthpoint produced 6 results. However, with the Worthpoint search only one of the six were a match to our print. It seems Rie Munoz created an updated “Mending Nets” version in 1989 which was part of an “Art Tour” in Washington state. Our print was created in 1978 and is quite different than the other style shown on Worthpoint.
The one match to our “Mending Nets” print on Worthpoint sold on eBay for $400.00 on March 13, 2016, item #421896065. A downfall of Worthpoint: we cannot tell if the listing was an auction or a fixed price. My guess, it was an auction listing. Because the seller mentioned something about “bidders” in the listing. Which could be a general template used by the seller. Sometimes it’s a guessing game.
Better the Odds
It can be risky with a low starting price if research shows 1 bidder. However, when odds are in our favor based on research, the risk is lower to run a listing like this.
My decision on this item is to start an auction with a higher starting price which will protect us if that “one” bidder does come along AND it will help if others buyers want to own the item, it will be in our favor if a “bidding war” begins!
There is always a Plan B
Plan B with items like this is to create a “Fixed Price” listing with a high dollar asking price and include “make an offer” as an option. List it for 30 days or good-til-cancelled and wait to see how it goes. The price can be reduced after 30 days if needed. Running an auction is another option.
The good news is, there is always a “Plan B”! It cannot hurt to “test the waters” or as I like to say “Take it out for a spin.” which as mentioned, is always based on research.
The Cannery by Rue Munoz
I found some history behind the “Cannery” print: “This is a scene of cannery workers on break in the small Alaskan town of Naknek. The composition of this scene was inspired by a Norman Rockwell painting. “Gossiping people” where a story gets passed down the line.
Researching this title was a bit more challenging with few results. Terapeak produced zero and Worthpoint had only a damaged one that sold for $194.95, item #1735468767. Oddly enough this print had a higher number of 500 edition produced. Our print is # 157 which is mid-range. The current market is not giving me much to do on. I’ll come up with a reasonable starting auction price and roll the dice.
Research is King
We want to increase the odds in every which way as possible to make a sale. Research checklist includes:
- Categories (Did they list the item in one or more categories?)
- Descriptions (Did they include the history?)
- Shipping (Could free shipping help sell the item or low and/or international shipping make it more desirable?)
- Return Policy
Research is king and key for being successful on eBay. Learning from other sellers sales, listings and downfalls will be the best guide for listing items like this on eBay. Follow success and pay attention to mistakes others have made. The end goal is to sell the item for the highest price you can get at the time of the current market value.
Sold or Unsold
Want to see how my listings workout?
- Mending Nets – eBay item #391665797770 (opening bid $1,499.99)
- Cannery Workers, Naknek – eBay Item #391665803369 (opening bid $249.99)
Check back for the results.
Need eBay assistance? I’m here for you! Let’s jump on a phone call or stop by my office. “Contact Me” with you needs.
Neither one of these sold. I used a high auction starting price. Why did they not sell? There are a number of possibilities, such as:
- Timing – The right people were not online.
- Auction Style – Some folks may not want to bid. They prefer a fixed price vs taking a change on an auction.
- Price – Starting price may have been too high. When running an auction, people cannot make offers.
I will re-list these as a fixed price listing. I will also add “Make-an-offer”.
- Mending Nets – eBay item #401259900389 ($1,800.00)
- Cannery Workers, Naknek – eBay Item #391677731100 ($350.00)
Hopefully, the next time you stop by I will have these marked “SOLD.”