What to know about selling online in the age of COVID-19


A White House dinner plate from President Benjamin Harrison worth $1,000 was bought at a garage sale for $1 and sold with the help of Dr. Lori.

Photo provided

When you think of eBay, Etsy, Rubylane.com, Facebook marketplace, Chairish.com, and other online shopping sites, you probably think of electronics, toys, kitchenware, jewelry, paintings, to magazines, to clothes, to door handles, to bicycles, to celebrities. autographs, and pretty much everything else (old or new)! Working or non-working conditions don’t even matter when it comes to selling stuff online.

Lots of people sell online and I show them how to do it with instructional videos on how to spot a valuable piece of art or antique and how to turn something old into something exceptional.

One thing the recent, albeit horrific, pandemic has done is make us all more comfortable with video conferencing technologies like Zoom, WebEx, and Google Duo among so many others. More of us are talking to our friends and family from home via a tablet or smartphone. I spend several days each week offering heirloom and valuables advice with appraisals via video call to clients all over the world – from Allentown, Pennsylvania to Perth, Australia.

Another thing the pandemic has prompted is the ability to stay home for a long time and clean up the mess. Meanwhile at home, we descended into our basements, climbed into attics, peered into backyard sheds, dug deep into garages and unlocked offsite storage lockers in an effort to get through sift through all the material. Much of what we found when we took on the role of home archaeologist was a variety of things from many different people and places and from all different time periods. Grandma’s flower sifter, castanets from a high school group trip to Spain, your husband’s little league baseball glove are just a few of the things that were discovered during the period of self-quarantine inaugurated by the coronavirus.

What did we find? We have found things that we want to give away, throw away or sell. We wonder, should I throw it away? Our durable side says no one can use it. Where can we donate it – Goodwill? Salvation Army? Church sale? Synagogue Auction? There are many places where we can get rid of our things, but why not earn some money from these unwanted things?

How can we sell it? On our front lawn is an option, but no one gets a good return on a garage sale. The best thing about a garage sale is the space you get in the house from the things that are put out in the front yard. But you can buy something at a garage sale and resell it online for a nice profit.

For example, a Benjamin Harrison presidential china plate from the White House service from 1892 was purchased at a garage sale by a client of mine – let’s call her Judy – for $1. She sent me a picture of it so I could identify it for her and I told her what it was and how to sell it online. She sold it online for a good profit. She sold it for $1,000 with my help! Surprising. And you can do it too.

Want to learn more about selling your business online? Here’s more good news. The new technological comfort zone we’ve all experienced since the coronavirus quarantine and virtual schooling has made many of us more comfortable with new methods of selling fine art, antiques and collectibles. online collection. So, it’s time to pull out your smartphone camera, take some clear, well-cropped photos of that old toaster or play softly with the My Little Pony doll, watch my instructional videos on YouTube to spot valuables and sell and list your treasures online.

How do you know which items will interest buyers on the secondary or resale market? Most people know that things like paintings, sculptures, antiques, collectibles, and jewelry are valuable, but did you know that sports cards, non-working electronics, and clothing of last year also have value in the online market? Even parts of other items can have value as crafting materials or parts for workshop tinkerers who will buy such things. Knitting needles and a bag of yarn that isn’t enough for a bedroom afghan can even be sold online.

What looks like junk food can be salable. Even everyday stuff like a Tinkerbell pillowcase, that wrong color foundation you never returned to the store, or used garden tools are sold on the online market. Sure, prizes might not make you rich, but it’s still more money than you had when that item was just taking up space in the linen closet or sitting on a shelf in the garden shed. My mother used to say, “dimes make money,” and that’s how you can learn to take something that looks like trash and turn it into money.

Recyclers, those talented people who can take an outdated bedroom cabinet that once housed a massive 1990s TV and turn it into a trendy kitchen/family room coffee station with chalk paint, new hardware and artistic design skills, have been doing this for centuries. When it comes to selling online, look for quality and use my tips to start selling for a profit.