Have you ever wondered if a resale price tag is way out of line? Suspected you’re getting a steal? Have you ever questioned if the people pricing items are clueless, or if they know something you don’t?
Back when the dinosaurs roamed, (before the internet), there wasn’t a good way to compare the resale price of a singular item with another, unless you discovered one by chance.
Because no one can be an expert in every area of resale merchandise, those who were pricing would use the “best guess” policy, sometimes based on a cuteness factor, supposed rarity, or how much they could jack the price up.
Today there are different ways to get the current market value of merchandise, but the fastest and most reliable I’ve found is good olde eBay…if you do it right. If you do it wrong, it can be worse than not researching at all, and it amazes me how many customers, and especially people who are doing the pricing, get the wrong information.
When you search on eBay without any modifications, you see the resale price sellers are asking for an item. This is useless information unless you are selling that item yourself and want to know what others are asking.
When you are searching for the current market value, you need to find the resale price people are currently willing to pay, not the amount people are asking for.
How to get the information you really want
When you go to eBay, enter the item you’re searching for. Near the top will be a drop-down menu labeled “sort”. You can choose to look for the highest prices, or lowest prices first.
Next, go all the way to the left of the screen where you will see the different filters you can use to narrow down your search. Near the end, you will see “Show Only”.
Check the “Sold Listings” box. This will show you all the listings in your category that have sold within the last 90 days. The price someone paid for the item is listed in green. You will get a good overall idea of the true market value.
There are a few cautionary things to be aware of. Make sure you are comparing similar items, as manufacturer, materials, and condition may drastically change values. Also, if there is a huge difference in the highest and next highest price, it may be reflecting a bidding war. That is why I go with the average price as a guide.
With today’s instant information, prices can change as quickly as gas prices, so don’t assume what that olive peeler sold for last year is the current market value today.
You’ve done your research, and have a good idea of the going market value of your item. Using the SOLD listings on eBay, either at home or while shopping, will help give you realistic price comparisons.
Have any more tips? Please share!