Advice for Selling Antiques and Modern Dolls

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by PaulaJedi, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Member

    I'm having a hard time selling some things. We receive, as donations, a lot of antique, Japanese dishes and figurines. We also receive "modern" porcelain dolls. The problem is, even when I price them low on Ebay, Craigs List, and in the store, nobody wants them. I end up selling Occupied Japan figurines for $1 and it even takes them a few months to sell. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just a lack of demand? I have a half dozen porcelain dolls set at a very low price -- lower than a new, toy doll at Toys R Us. I'm learning a lot. I check Craig's list to see what the local market is like, and there doesn't seem to be much of a demand for any of this.

    Would Amazon be a better choice for selling these items or should I simply just price to get rid of them in the store? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm still learning!
    KingofThings likes this.
  2. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Run of the mill stuff has very little demand anywhere. This is particularly true of glass and china. Some of it does sell on ebay at cheap prices but it is really not worth the effort since there are thousands of such items that you are competing against and shipping costs eat in to profit.

    You are probably best to price them low in your store and wait for the right buyer. I see a lot of what used to be considered nice collectible items sit for weeks in the thrift store even at 50 cents. As a dealer I pass much of it by because I know I don't have buyers. It really kills me to see 120+ year old glass go begging but that is the reality of the market.
  3. KingofThings

    KingofThings 'Illiteracy is a terrible thing to waist' - MHH

    Welcome Paula! :)
  4. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Member

    Yes, that appears to be the reality of it. Historically, some things feel more valuable to me, but not everyone sees an antique that way. Oh well. As I said, I'm learning, and probably won't bother with the "small items" online anymore.

    On the flipside, I'm also finding it difficult to sell modern, expensive China. Might just have to keep lowering the price. I've called some local stores, but nobody wants it, either. That is probably why it was donated.

    Tough market!!!
  5. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    I might further comment on a few things you mentioned specifically.

    Old Japanese dishes are a very hard sale. You might have some luck if you have complete sets but old traditional single pieces go begging. I have a couple pairs of 20s ornate cream and sugars I have not been able to find buyers for for years. Same goes for nice art deco pieces. Some of the modern Mikasa and Noritake patterns do have a following on ebay and are worth selling there. Do your research there.

    There are not a lot of collectors for Occupied Japan any more. I recently picked up a couple figural planters for 50 cents each but will not price them any higher than others in my store. As for figurines, certain things do well but you have to really know your stuff. Again, run of the mill things have little demand.

    I know next to nothing about dolls but would think that most modern dolls have little demand. I see dolls sitting in my thrifts without buyers for weeks. I am sure there are exceptions so you need to do your research.

    As a rule of thumb, I try not to list much under $25.00 on ebay. It is not worth my time or effort. Even then, it needs to be something I think has a good chance of selling.
  6. Mill Cove Treasures

    Mill Cove Treasures Well-Known Member

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  7. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    Check completed listings on Ebay for a more realistic view of what is selling and what's not.
    KingofThings likes this.
  8. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Member

    That is a good idea that I haven't yet considered. I may give it a try soon. Thanks.
    KingofThings likes this.
  9. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Member

    Yes, I do that. I see things that sell similar to mine but wonder why mine don't sell. Perhaps people don't like the fact that it is a thrift store...? I put our logo in the ads, but it's a charity, so I thought that would help.
    KingofThings likes this.
  10. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    Goodwill sells on Ebay, too. Personally, if I liked something I wouldn't care who sold it.
    KingofThings likes this.
  11. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    What is your Ebay store?
    KingofThings likes this.
  12. PaulaJedi

    PaulaJedi Member

    Don't have a store per se because they charge for that.

    I went ahead and bundled 4 dolls as one lot to see what would happen. Problem is, even retail ground shipping is so expensive. :(
    lloyd249 and KingofThings like this.
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