Developing an Ancient Coin and Antiquities business on eBay is easy, low cost and lots of fun if you enjoy ancient history, or at least have an interest.
The very first thing you should do is watch the ancient coin category on ebay. You should spend an hour or so every 2 or 3 nights studying the sellers listings and watching which listings get the most interest and the highest bids. You will quickly notice that some sellers can achieve much higher prices for a common ancient coin than others. This is due to the amount of information contained in the description, and the presentation of the listing. The most important part of any listing is the photograph. A good clean and well defined photo will sell even a low grade coin. You don't need an expensive digital camera, just one that takes good close-ups (macro). There are some great articles available on the internet concerning photography of items for sale on eBay. Try keywords like digital photography, ebay photography etc.
You can discover the sellers source of coins if they have been using their selling account to buy as well as sell. Go to any seller of ancient coins and click to view their feedback. Once you have done this you will see four tabs at the head of the page, one says FROM SELLERS. Click this tab and scroll through the sellers. You may not be able to see the items as eBay remove them after a short time but by clicking on the sellers feedback, you can locate their ITEMS FOR SALE in the right hand box. This is a really neat short cut, as many sellers have spent hundreds of hours to find a good supply list and it's yours for an investment of just an hour or so.
So you have the basic understanding of the market and you have some sources. You must buy at least one book on your subject and visit one of the many sites available to assist with attribution and descriptions of your coins. Don't be convinced that you need a vast library of books, today a far greater resource is available on the internet, just type in any word on google and see for your self. Try wildwinds, ancientcoinforum or vcoins.
Buying for Profit
I am including a list of eBay sellers user names that have been supplying dealers for years in the ancient coin market, contact these sellers or watch their listings to buy at wholesale for a tidy profit, it's easy and fun. Please remember, although I have dealt with the majority of these sellers, there is no guarantee. Please ask them questions and do not take my word for their reliability. You must use normal caution and remember ~buyer beware~.
To find these sellers, go to eBay advanced search, top right of the eBay page. click items by seller and copy and paste the name in.
This will take you to the sellers listings, remember to add then to your favourites if you like them.
The other sources on the internet for ancient coins and antiquities can be found by putting the following names into any search engine. Please note eBay does not allow me to add outside address links, sorry. Vcoins ~ vcoins, an excellent site with a huge number of very good dealers at good prices. ancientcoinforum, another excellent dealer with a fantastic information section, ancient coins canada, Doctor Alex, a fairdinkum seller who is not only a nice bloke, but has a vast array of coins for sale. Also try using keywords like ancient coinwholesale and uncleaned coins. nemisis coins are sellers on eBay and also direct form his website, he is the major dealer in uncleaned coins for eBay sellers.
One other opportunity for ancient coins, which is overlooked by many sellers, is local and international auctions. Nobles Numismatics in Sydney hold two auctions each year and they have a very good range of ancient coins for sale. Also look up CNG in the US and many other traditional auction houses around the world. You will normally pay a little more at these venues, but the quality is also a rung above the normal offer online.
Selling for Profit
Ok, now the fun part. You must have a credit card or bank account registered with eBay to sell, so make sure your account is up to date. Next take your photo's and edit them ~cut and crop~ until you have some nice photos. Click on ~sell~ and away you go. Remember, while you have low or no feedback, many buyers will not bid, so set you minimum bid price to protect your investment. Don't set you minimum under your cost or you may be disappointed. After a couple of weeks you will start to see regular buyers turning up each week. Please, do your self a favour and read all the information available on eBay to sellers, before you begin. This will make your journey a lot more enjoyable. Now watch the other sellers, some have been around a while and will give you a good lead on what coins sell and how to describe them. Also check out the postage and other options, so you don't shoot to high with your costs.
Presto! You are now a seller on eBay and it wont be long before you are considered a bit of an expert in your chosen field. By simply using the above formula, you should be able to achieve a good return on your investment and make a tidy second income. I would suggest a minimum investment to start at about $1000, which should return you around $100 - $300 per week profit, depending upon your ability, but it's not hard. You will need to invest more as you grow, but a couple of hundred dollars a week, just working weekends on your business is nothing too be sneezed at.
Welcome to the eBay ancient coin dealers club, the more dealers we have the more interest from overseas buyers.
I am happy to answer your questions by email, so if I can help you please let me know, thanks and good luck, Bruce
How To Earn A Second Income Selling Ancient Coins $$$$$
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25 January 2006
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