Have I mentioned how much I hate selling art? I haven’t actually listed or sold any yet but the windup to get ready for the job is driving me crazy. The windup includes watching online videos on how to pack big things but the biggest problem is getting the material needed to ship them---glassine paper, corner protectors (for the framed art in the house), large sheets of cardboard or core-board for the unframed stuff and extra wide bubble wrap. I’m still looking for egg crate foam for the framed stuff. Not the typical shipping supplies that I’ve kept on hand these past few years. If my husband was alive I’d be chewing his head off about now because he’s the one that put me in this situation. How? He loved the western artists especially James Bama, Wayne Cooper and Gordon Snidow and every year when he’d go out West elk hunting he’d come home with a new, signed and numbered print. We ran out of walls to frame and hang the stuff but that didn’t slow down his obsession and fast forward to now when I’ve got a 31” x 41 ½” faux leather zipper case full of 14 unframed prints to measure, research, photograph, write up, prepare for shipping and finally list.
Some guys bring shot glasses and bed bugs home from vacation. I suppose I should be grateful Don had better taste in souvenirs and he spent his nights camping in the mountains---or that he came home at all. One time out West he stretched out on a large, flat rock to take a nap and woke up with a rattlesnake curled up on his tummy. His hunting buddy took a photo or I would have thought they were telling a tall tale which has always begged the question: Who takes the time to photograph a thing like that? His buddy said he thought about killing the snake with his hand gun while the two of them slept---holy crap!---but he decided against it because his aim wasn’t that good. The Cliff Notes version of the story is it took long stick and a very nervous Don who had to stay as still as a fence post to end it.
Back on topic: Another problem I’m having with gearing up to sell prints is figuring out a starting a bid
and a Buy-it-Now price. I’ve discovered that a lot of people trying to sell
prints on e-Bay don’t know the difference between a poster quality print and a
signed and numbered or artists proof prints. From what I’m seeing in the unsold
section is that buyers do know the difference and that’s a good sign for me. I
have never done Buy-it-Now sales on e-Bay until this month and I’ve been selling
off and on e-Bay since 2000. I can’t believe I’ve never tried it before. Within an hour
of listings fifteen things I had four things sell at my pie-in-sky price while their rock-bottom starting bids were passed over. One of those early sales was a folding wash basin, field gear from WWI. We have a leather donkey footstool (also turn-of-the-century) and that basin was what the donkey "drank" from. I love that old guy and will hate to see him go.
I have had great success selling a few big items on Facebook Market Place this past weekend. Levi’s antique fire hydrant that was in my dog pen and a large, four-sided glass showcase that was in our library and held the small collectibles I've been selling off. Both sold within 24 hours of me listing them. The fire hydrant, however drove me crazy or rather the people who contacted me about it did. Within an hour I had 32 people messaging me with offers. The first guy who set up an appointment to pick it up bellied out on me at the last minute because his wife “wouldn’t let him buy it.” In the meantime seven or eight guys kept checking back with me to see if the first guy who had the appointment took it. And way too many of the people who sent messages need to brush up on their communication skills. It’s like the old joke about the proper use of capital letters i.e. there’s a difference in meaning between “Help your Uncle Jack off his horse” and “help your uncle jack off his horse.” People would send messages like ‘20’ and that’s all. Took me a long time to figure out that meant, “Will you take $20?” Uh, No! It’s listed at $50 or BEST offer. The couple who ended up with it bought it for their dog to use instead of their their shrubs. They were super friendly and easy to talk with as they dug it out of the ground. Two antique fire equipment collectors offered $80 and $95 but they came late to the party. I think Levi would be happy that his fire hydrant is going to another canine. ©