Paying someone to sell your stuff
August 2, 2016 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Are there businesses which exist that will handle all aspects of selling your stuff on eBay for you? What should I Google for to find such a place locally?

Husband has about five large plastic totes full of stuff he says is worth money---baseball cards and Star Wars collectibles, mostly. He took some of it to a local toy dealer who he says gave him a very low-ball offer. We're eager to get this stuff out of our house but I am overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of it. In my ideal scenario, there is a business which exists that can handle it for us.

In my dream scenario, they would come and get all the boxes, store them for us, photograph and list each item on eBay, ship them and so on. Then we would get a cut of the final take, as would they. Does such a business exist? How would I find them?
posted by JoannaC to Shopping (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
eBay's Valet program might work for you.

I used to see storefronts offering these services, but I haven't in a while.
posted by Etrigan at 10:30 AM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Piermont Bicycle Connection, Piermont, NY (not just bikes, they eBay anything).
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:31 AM on August 2, 2016

Lots of pawn shops offer services like this, as they are typically higher-volume ebay sellers anyways. Its not commonly advertised, but they're kind of mercenaries, and will do anything for a cut.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:34 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

They exist but expect to pay a high premium for the service. Unless they're really rare and valuable, collectables can take quite a while to move (it they ever sell), so dealing with relisting them and storing them until such time as they sell isn't cheap.

Basically the dealer's lowball offer is likely to be about the same as outsourcing selling low to moderately valuable collectables.
posted by Candleman at 10:40 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's a chain of stores called I Sold It. Haven't used them myself but I've seen them around.
posted by karbonokapi at 10:42 AM on August 2, 2016

Local antique auctions and antique stores sometimes offer these services - or at least would know someone who does.

If I may offer a perspective (my family owned an antique business and and auction hall) : collectible stuff is rarely worth what the collector thinks it is. The local toy dealer's "low ball offer" probably accurately reflects the current market value of the items, minus the dealer's overhead and a sliver of profit. After a consignment service takes out fees for their services (moving, storage, photos, etc.) and their slice of profit, you'll probably have the same, or less, than if you just sold it to a dealer in the first place. In the worst case, you'll get even less, since a consignment service will list it and sell it regardless of the outcome (and they get their fees no matter what), whereas a dealer may be happy to sit on something for a while (therefore offering you a little more up front).
posted by gyusan at 10:47 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might get results from finding an industrious teenager to do the work. Have them take care of selling everything that will well with a single listing on eBay and then take any offer from a dealer for the rest.
posted by Candleman at 10:48 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of businesses that do this will only do so if the items are worth a certain amount. What is your husband basing the values of his items on? Something being listed on ebay for a lot of money doesn't mean anyone will actually buy it for that amount. Considering what it will cost the local dealer to resell and that he needs to make a profit, I'm not sure he's low-balling you guys. Because ebay makes it so easy to find pretty much anything, most collectibles aren't worth that much. Yes, try ebay's Valet program, but my guess is that you're going to be disappointed. If I were you, I'd go with the local toy dealer.

One of the great lessons of my adulthood has been that money that is spent is just gone - you are not going to make much, if anything, reselling. I donate everything now.
posted by FencingGal at 10:50 AM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Are there a few things that seem to be worth more? My son kept telling me a few of his Pokemon cards were worth something. He pulled put the most valuable ones, and we got $60 total or so for three individual sales. But the rest--even if a few are worth, say, $5 each--would take so long to sell individually that it wasn't worth it. It's going to take a salesperson a bunch of time to do this, too.

If your husband wants more, he might spend some time researching a few items he thinks might have the most value and try to sell those individually.

As for the rest, don't get stuck in the sunk cost fallacy. Did he collect that stuff as an investment or because it brought him joy? If it's the second, then he's gotten the joy he'll get, and it's time to get rid of this stuff and move on.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:57 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Looks like you're in Toronto maybe? I am too and just sold a bunch of Star Wars stuff to a local store for what I thought was a good deal (around 50% of the retail they would sell it for). I am a Star Wars collector, so aware of the value but too lazy to sell myself. This store also has a ebay service I was going to try.

I asked about sports cards and they said they're mostly worthless except for key individual cards, but I thought I would try their ebay service for that.

I know Ask isn't craigslist, but I might be willing to buy the Star Wars stuff depending on what it is, feel free to Memail me.
posted by dripdripdrop at 11:10 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

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