Researching A Whatchamacallit Can Turn Time Into eBay Dollars
Have you ever had a gut feeling that an item you wanted to put on EBay was MORE than what it appeared be, after your initial appraisal? It turns out that your gut is very smart!
A few weeks ago, I was photographing a pretty miniature tea set, the kind that’s for adults and not for the kiddies. It was very pretty and had the markings of a major English bone china company. The tiny pieces were also marked with “Bermudiana” and “Made for Triminghams.” Those two items set me thinking: what is Bermudiana, and what is Triminghams? It turned out that Sisyrinchium bermudiana is a beautiful blue wildflower, related to the iris, and native to the islands of Bermuda. Triminghams was found to be a department store in Hamilton, Bermuda. Not only was Triminghams a major tourist destination for the cruise ship passengers, it was no longer in business! This was getting better and better.
When posting the miniature tea service on eBay, I had more information to give the potential buyer than simply its condition, measurements and makers mark. I made sure to include all the information I found doing research into Sisyrinchium Bermudan, Triminghams, the rarity of the pattern, and its connection to Bermuda.
I think it made a difference to the people who bid on the item. I also think it made a pretty and collectible item appealing to a wider audience.
Sometimes, when you surprise yourself doing research, it makes the day go faster and puts you in a good mood. It’s part of the reason why I enjoy what I do.
Working at the computer, you never know what you will find. Again, working with china miniatures, a color you swore was black turns out to be the darkest cobalt blue. Research is worth the time and effort when it comes to planning your title, too. Find out how best to describe the piece and use the types of key words buyers need to have.
Did you know that “Bachelor” means more than just a single man living alone? In the world of tea sets, including miniature tea sets, it means service for one. So, there will be a single cup and a single saucer. No tea for two for you, sir!
Researching items online helps cut out the guesswork for me. A silver plated trinket box was giving me trouble until I put some words describing the item into a search engine. Lo and behold, one came up! Just like it, too! Again, I had something to go on, when I would have been at a loss for words.
Give it your best shot. You will surprise yourself. When it comes to selling items, someone else, somewhere in the world has that very same item, and with a little luck, you can find it on the Internet. A “whatchamacallit” ends up with a name, a purpose, a price and a, best of all, an eBay buyer.