Up until two years ago I had been selling rugs on ebay. Within the first month or so of starting Rug Rag, I turned the business over to an associate in the best interest of this site. Ever since, eBay has been one of the most fascinating venues to track. Albeit volatile, [call it an oxymoron] also one of the most intricate yet sometimes oddly predictable platforms around. Watching how the market expands on ebay is very interesting. Great buys are still out there to be had. Just takes more time and research than in the past...
Back in Sept 2007, the search 'Rugs' on eBay would produce approximately 15,000 - 17,000 results. Sept 2008, the number jumped to 30,000. Sept 2009, approximately 65,000. Currently November 2009: 86,000. Ebay has been absolutely flooded with merchandise and sellers of all types - hand made, machine made, private sellers, retailers and wholesalers etc. Generally each search category seemingly increased in similar proportions during the same course of time. Recently decreased listing fees is an attractive incentive to new sellers translating to a lower barrier of entry. When I had been selling in 2007, the average cost for listing was $4.60 per rug at 10 day listing at fixed price. Back then, a perpetually advertised inventory of 100 rugs would equate to $1,300/month. Now, the same proposed listing would be a small fraction.
Despite the flood of goods, there are buys to be had for buyers, and sales to be had for sellers.
Unfortunately, the process of weeding through listings has always been difficult, however.....
Here are a few of our tips:
- Take advantage of a few options offered by ebay - save sellers & subscribe to newsletters from vendors you like!
- Do check out the most watched ebay Rugs section of the Rug Rag site. There is a minimum watch floor on it, so it doesn't always source a trememdous amount of rugs, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
- Don't rely on 'sold' items in completed listings to be a market indicator. Now more than ever.... Sold rugs appear in green with this search criteria. However, it's not uncommon these may be false purchases or scammers, especially in the higher price brackets of $5,000 and above. It used to be the ID and feedback of the buyer was available for public viewing. If a buyer with zero feedback purchased a $15,000 rug, chances are that probably didn't happen. Additionally, many, many other factors play into the final value of a piece, including timing with holidays or even hour of the day.
- If an item is listed with best offer, check out what purchases other ebay members may have submitted to obtain their rugs by viewing feedback. When negotiating with the seller, this may give you leverage.
- Always feel free to contact us! We've consulted with many individuals on ebay acquisitions for accurate auction projections.