How To Research Sold Prices
STEP 1 - DO NO HARM (Primarily applies to old and unique items)
Rare items can lose over 90% of their value if improperly cleaned, repaired, or refinished. Never attempt to clean, alter, or repair any item, until you know exactly what it is you have, and how its value will be affected by an alteration or cleaning.
When in doubt ALWAYS consult several reputable experts first.
STEP 2 - IDENTIFY THE ITEM
Tiny details can make a huge difference in an items value. The number one reason people miss a treasure discovery is because they missed those details.
If you're uncertain about an items identity, seek the advice of reputable experts (several) first, to see if they know what you have, and its value. You can start by contacting reputable auction houses offering free appraisals. and online price research resources which can help you identify rarer items.
STEP 3 - GET A FREE APPRAISAL
STEP 4 - RESEARCH SOLD PRICES
- To get Instant Sold Prices on eBay, type your items name and/or descriptive keywords in the search box (opens on eBay) found on any price research page.
- If you want to dig deeper into a particular niche. Go to the Price Research Page and click on a resource that best matches your item (for example; antiques, art, coins, toys, etc.).
- Then click on the auction house (for example; Sotheby's, Christies, etc.) where you want to research sold prices.
- When you arrive at an auction houses website. Type the items name and/or descriptive keywords describing the item in the search box, usually located near the top of the page.
- Then click the Search or Submit button which is usually located near the 'Search Box'.
- Review the sales results. Remember, and items only worth what somebody's willing to pay. So make sure you're looking at Sold Items. If they're not sold items, look for a box or link (to select or click) that says Sold Items or Realized Price. Then repeat steps 4 & 5.
- To see an items highest prices, look for an option to sort the list by highest price or in descending order. This will show you top selling versions of your item. Most websites will offer this option, but a few don't.
Also pay attention to other search options which may be offered. Some auctioneer websites allow you to search extensively through their entire online database. Others will only let you search recent auctions. Look at all the options available and play with them, to get your best overall results.
- Keep narrowing your search by looking for items that provide the closest match to your item.
Then closely examine the details of multiple items (similar to yours) that have sold. This can give you a greater understanding of your items potential market value. (by the picture, style, and current condition) This can give you a rough idea of the market value of your item.
Pay attention to an items sold date. Because item prices, like the stock market, will fluctuate based on a cold or hot market. Pay close attention to recent sold prices to get a better idea of an items current value.
Also pay attention to shipping costs. Because they can have an effect on an items price and value, and the amount a buyer is willing to pay.
Make sure you know the sold price in your currency. Because you're often looking at worldwide sales it's important to know the currency exchange for items sold outside your country to have a solid understanding of the items value in the marketplace.
Keep in mind, Canadian, Australian, and United States currency, all use a similar ($) dollar symbol, but have different values currency wise. This makes it important you know where an item sold.
- The more research the better. It's always a good idea to check sold prices across multiple auctioneer websites. Then you can compare venues to see if an item is selling better on-line or off-line. You'll also find out if a particular auctioneer is getting higher sales prices, compared to others.
- Always keep in mind, that the sold prices on an auctioneer's website may, or may not, reflect premiums, fees, and commissions charged to sellers and/or buyers by the auction house.