If your looking to buy online then ebay must be the first port of call for just about everybody on the planet. Its so big, its huge, it got everything. And that's the problem if your selling. You can't sell everything, you need to decide on a market. In fact, and I'm sure that you've heard it before. You need to be selling in a niche market. But which one ?
Lets look at things from a buyers viewpoint. Imagine you are logging into ebay to look for something. Lets say your looking to purchase a gift. A watch for your wife/husband/partner. You know what type of watch they would like, you know it has to be silver with a leather strap. You see a picture of a watch that is similar to what you are looking for. But, when you look around at the sellers other items its a mish mash of others goods. No more watches here, so you continue looking. This happens several times. On the forth attempt you find a seller with nothing but watches for sell. This is much more interesting, this is what you are looking for. Watches. This is where you are much more likely to buy.
When people are searching for something, 9 times out of 10 they are looking for a specific item. If you have 200 different items, from a pair of shoes to a set of car mats, potential buyers will just go elsewhere.
So what can we sell. Lets take the easy route to begin with. Lets narrow it down to something light and small that can be easily posted anywhere in the world. The first thing that comes to mind are CDs and DVDs. But the market for these items is saturated, everybody doing it. We can check out 'ebay pulse.com' this will give us some idea of what is selling well. Postcards seem to be doing very well. Who would have thought that there was a market for postcards. By doing a little research on ebay and looking at completed items its obvious that postcards are very popular and more importantly, very profitable. It appears that postcards are a bit of a collectors item. Further research tell us that postcards are the worlds third largest collectors item. You just need to find the right postcards. It seems that generally speaking the older the postcard the more its worth. The best selling ones are pre 1939 or perhaps slightly later for unusual or limited production cards. Some modern cards with a personal signature such as John Lennon or Laurel and Hardy will fetch high prices. Don't go buying any old postcards and paying high prices for something when you are still a novice postcard seller. It will take a little time to get a good understanding of this marketplace. But then that applies to any market that your entering for the first time.
Don't think that because its old with a nice church view its worth money, generally these postcards aren't. The one to look for are postcard with real photographic streets scenes, preferably with trams, horse and cart etc. Anything with social history or disaster such as the Titanic. This year being the Titanic's anniversary I would imagine these would sell very well. Royalty, especially the Russian Royal family. Artist drawn glamour cards such as Raphael Kirchner, Alphonse Mucha and Fabiano. Motoring, railways and art nouveau also sell well. Log into ebay, go to the postcard section and look at what the power sellers are listing.
Where to get your stock. Garage sales, antique shops, auction houses, charity shops, look online and don't forget ebay. Not everyone will have the knowledge of the potential price of a postcard. You can also pick up a job lot of postcards on ebay and then sell them off separately. A really tatty old postcard was listed on ebay for next to nothing only to fetch over £100 when collectors realised that the picture was of the British soccer team Manchester United in the early 1900s. Also many people selling postcards on ebay miss out simply because they get the wording wrong regarding the name of a place. Over the last 100 years many places, towns, villages and hamlets have had their names changed, well not so much changed as more updated. This means that somebody looking for the 1920s village known as Middle-in-the-Well may well be looking for it under the modern name of Midwell, or vice-a-versa.
What category do you list old postcards in. Sometimes, according to the postcard it may be a case of thinking outside the box and list in another category. Example. Two identical postcards, rare woven silk postcards depicting Belgium burning in the aftermath of world war 1. One postcard was listed in 'Postcards' and made £24 The other was listed in textiles and made £300 Something worth thinking about. You can list your postcards as 'old' but try listing them as 'vintage' or 'antique'
You can pick up old postcards for pennies and turn a profit in double or even triple figures. The other benefits are that postcard take up very little room. You can have a stock of hundreds, even thousands. Because of their small flat size they are very easy to pack and inexpensive to send in the post.
Another profit stream you can create from old postcards is by utilising the public domain. Most old postcards will be in the public domain. This means that he copyright would have expired and anyone can use them. But you must make certain that any copyright has expired. You could research the public domain and find old postcards scan and copy them and turn them into prints, sell them as unmounted or mount them yourself in a nice frame. Contact the internet site, cafepress.com who will use your old postcard design and sell it on tee-shirts, mugs, caps etc. Every sale they make with your old postcard design you receive a percentage of the sale. Remember, one man's rubbish is another man's treasure.