Are you thinking of selling antiques online? Selling anywhere such as the new Talking Antiques shops, eBay, Etsy or even your own website? One of the skills you will need to learn is how to create good descriptions. As I have been selling antiques online for almost 20 years now I’ve picked up a tip or two along the way which I’m going to share with you here. These are not specific to any particular sales venue, they apply wherever you sell on the internet.
Selling Antiques Online
1. Good pictures sell items.
2. Describe your item well
Write a few words about your item. Honesty is very important here as you do not want bad feedback or returned items.
What is it? A wardrobe, brooch, glass vase? It is not always immediately obvious from photos
How old is it? If you know the date then included this even if it is a broad range such as the 1950s – 1970s. Alternatively, say the era such as Victorian or a style such as Art Deco. Remember to say if it’s original to that time or a more modern copy.
What is it made of? Plastic, silver, gold plated? Whatever it is you should include a statement about the composition. If it is silver coloured say so rather than just saying silver
Makers Markings and Hallmarks. These are very useful to your buyer and will certainly help sell your piece
Condition. Be honest and include all flaws and wear and tear. If it is not absolutely perfect then say so. Describe small chips and restoration work or any age related wear.
Size. In inches or centimetres or better still both. You can put a ruler in the photos or a coin against a smaller object to give an idea of scale. I dont like the latter as not everyone internationally knows the size of coins in countries other than their own.
3. Write a clear headline
One of the most important points for selling antiques online. Include the relevant facts in your headline. Headlines are used by the shops to help select items are shown in customer searches. If you want your piece to show up then take a bit of time crafting your headlines. For example, If I have a diamond engagement ring to sell I would not simply put the word Ring or Jewellery in the headline. Something like “1920s 18ct Gold Diamond Engagement Ring Size M” would be much more suitable.
4. Include details about postage
It’s difficult to show this for all countries for some items. Jewellery is easy, Pianos are not. You can just say contact me for shipping costs. I find it easier to state at least domestic shipping. I state overseas shipping where I know it. If not I ask the client to contact me with the shipping destination so I can work out the cost.
5. Terms and conditions.
Have you thought about your terms and conditions? Do you accept returns? If so then say so and how long the buyers have to return the item. If not then say so as well so the buyer knows in advance. How long do you take between receiving payment and shipping your antiques? Set your customer expectations here.
6. Your contact details.
A minimum of an email address. A phone number is also good. To start with I was worried about including my phone number as I thought it would be constantly ringing. Actually, that is not the case and the number of phone calls is quite reasonable.
Have you any more hints and tips for writing descriptions for selling antiques online? Do let me know and I will update this article.