In this third and final article, I will discuss why listing your item of royal memorabilia on eBay or any other online auction site requires some careful thought.
The correct choice of category is vital. The greater the exposure to your ideal buyers, the more bids you will attract and the higher the price. It literally pays to do some research to make sure you choose the best categories.
On eBay.co.uk you will find an extensive ‘Royalty’ section located within the Collectibles category. This should be your first port of call. Other sections also used for royal items, again within the Collectibles section, are Decorative Items, Paper & Ephemera, Photographic Images, Autographs, and Ornaments / Plates.
The situation is a little different on eBay.com. There isn’t a ‘Royalty’ section as such but royal items are often found for sale in the following categories: Porcelain and Glass, Dolls and Bears, Stamps and Coins, Antiques and Art and finally Books, Comics and Magazines.
Also, within the ‘Royalty’ section on eBay.co.uk, there are various subsections devoted to a particular monarch. This is very useful as it enables you to target your potential buyers. At the time of writing, Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and George VI were the top three personages in terms of the number of active auctions. Obviously, this can vary at any one time.
If your item is in the low – medium value range then it’s better to list it in the ‘Royal’ section. However, if your item is expected to fetch £100 plus then it’s good advice to list in the relevant product category or sub-section, e.g. porcelain, glass or china. Limited edition items, especially with proof of authenticity, always fetch higher bids outside the ‘Royalty’ section.
Here are some useful tips to consider when creating your listing. They should help you get the very best prices for your items.
The first essential for anything you are selling is a lively, well-written listing with at least two photographs. This should always attract a fair share of buyer attention and, hopefully, higher bids.
But I also mention below some specific information you should always provide when dealing in royal memorabilia:
1. Clearly state the name of the royal associated with your item, e.g. Queen Victoria, Princess Diana etc.
2. State exactly what you are selling. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how vague some sellers can be. Also, if your item was originally made as a purely collector’s piece, as opposed to functional use, then mention this fact. You’re likely to get higher bids.
3. Is there a date associated with your item? If so, make sure you mention it.
4. Describe its condition as accurately as you can. Honesty is always the best policy.
5. And finally, if you can offer evidence of authenticity then do so. This will only serve to enhance the value of your item.
Also bear in mind that most serious collectors tend to buy by periods, specific royals or dynasties.
So, when beginning your listing, it is good advice to use keywords that focus on the specific royal rather than the item type. For example, “Queen Elizabeth Coronation Mug, 1953” is likely to attract greater interest than “Mug Commemorating the Coronation 1953.”
Another way to maximise your profits is to buy in one country and then sell in another. Buyers in the US will pay more for British royal memorabilia. And if you have an item related to a specific country, Spain for example, then list it for potential Spanish buyers if possible. You should get a better result.
If you deal in fairly low value items, e.g. stamps, coins, royal photographs, then acquire several and sell them as sets. You’ll earn more money this way.
If you’re a fanatic about collecting royal memorabilia then you’re more likely to have a sense of what items just might appreciate in the future. If you’re gifted in this way then follow your hunches and buy now while prices are low in the hope of making a future profit.
Finally, here are several websites that could be useful.
A place to visit for general information regarding the world’s royal dynasties. You’ll also find details of some of the commemorative items that have been produced over the decades.
This is a collection of news reports about the royals. Some other useful information too.
This is the official site for the British monarchy.
Royal memorabilia is a fascinating niche interest. It not only improves your sense of history but you can also discover some unique and beautiful objects.