by Lynn A. Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions’
I have always been a big fan of PriceMiner. I met the founder,
Jim Kamnikar, for the first time by phone in 2004. He was kind enough
to inform his "GoAntiques" mailing list about my first 100
Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay. I thought that was really nice
considering we had never met in person.
So, when Mo and I did get to meet Jim and his staff at their booth
at eBay Live in San Jose, I was extremely interested in his PriceMiner
service. PriceMiner is a research tool for antiques and collectibles.
Jim has gathered data from many sources such as Tias.com, GoAntiques.com
and eBay.com and put together one of the best unique item research
tools out there.
Jim and I at eBay Live in Boston.
What is great about PriceMiner is that the data goes back several
years. Because eBay only lets us see two weeks of completed auction
research it isn’t very helpful. And, their new service called "Marketplace
Research" only goes back 90 days. I got a free trial these past
few months because I upgraded to an anchor store. I have tried to
use it about 12 times and every time it is down and non-functioning.
That never happens with PriceMiner!
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Whenever I can’t find an item on eBay, Google or Replacements,
I can almost always (90% of the time) find it on PriceMiner. This
past week, it really became apparent as I was searching though pages
and pages of International Silver on Replacements.com to find that
pattern I talked about earlier.
to see how much it sold for.
When I search on Replacements, the #1 thing I do is a global search
using keywords and hope that the item will come up quickly. Something
on the back of this set of silver was a word I had never seen on
IS (International Silver). It said DeepSilver. So when I typed in
IS and DeepSilver about six patterns came up. But none of them were
my pattern. Darn it! This means that I have to go to my Replacements
step #2 and bring up the entire International Silver catalog and
scroll through the thumbnail photos.
This can and does take HOURS!!! I was getting so frustrated that
for the first time–I thought I would see what returned from a global
search on PriceMiner.
By the way, the problem with some of these global searches on Replacements
is that Replacements only uses a certain number of characters in
their descriptions (much like a 55 character title on eBay). So
instead of saying Deep Silver they may say DS or not even mention
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Another example is for Metlox/Poppytrail/Vernon–Replacements uses
Metlx/Poppytr/Vernon and they aren’t even consistent on this. Another
example is with colors and other descriptive phrases, if I type
in Corning Peach Floral, Replacements may have it as Corning Orange
Flowers. It gets very tricky with these global searches on Replacements
because you are not searching both a title and a description like
you get to do on eBay or PriceMiner.
So, I opened up PriceMiner and typed in International and Deepsilver.
Up came quite a few completed auctions. Not all had pictures, so
I quickly scrolled through 3-4 pages and wrote down the 7 different
pattern names I found:
Then I headed back to Replacements.com and quickly pulled up each
one. #4 Rochambeau was a match!! I just saved myself at least an
hour in research!! I got that entire set listed a week ago. I paid
$50 for it and quite a bit of it sold for $187.00 on Christmas Eve.
And I still have about 12 auctions left to relist in my store at
$9.99 each so I will eventually gross over $300 for this set.
I do want to let you know that PriceMiner does charge a small monthly
fee. However, that hour saved in research meant that I could list
15 items that will eventually bring me AT LEAST $150. What is an
hour of your time worth?
Here is another great way I used PriceMiner this same week. From
the same place I purchased the flatware, I also got a crystal egg
marked FRANCE. It was on a pewter stand that said 1993 on the base.
I was sooo excited. I paid $1 and I thought I had a Baccarat or
Lalique piece on my hands. NOT even close.
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So, I get on eBay and do completed auction research–Nothing. I
Google it–Nothing and too many pages to wade through anyway. I head
over to PriceMiner (where I should have gone first) and…..
You guys won’t believe this!! I type in Crystal Egg 1993 into PriceMiner
and look what comes up:
Avon Majestic Crystal Egg 1993 NR
Sold For: $20.00 USD - Date: 1/14/2006 9AM - Channel:
Online Auction - Source: eBay
Category: Contemporary Collectibles - Original Category:
Collectibles : Decorative Collectibles : Avon : Other Avon Items
All Avon items listed are from a former (20+ year) District Manager.
Thank you for your interest, this item (pictured above), is… Avon
Majestic Crystal Egg from 1993. Beautiful 24% lead crystal egg is
3" high and has a beautiful pewter stand which is 1-1/2" high. No
Reserve! NOTE: If you have ANY questions not answered, please check
with me before placing your bid. Thank you! All items are sold As
Is. No returns. No refunds. Quoted part of description is from Bud
Hastin’s 16th Edition Avon Collector’s Encyclopedia, and is (c)
2001 Bud Hastin.
Oh crud! I had an Avon egg. But I didn’t waste hours and hours
researching losing more valuable money in the process. PriceMiner
is a winner and I encourage you to all check it out.
By the way here is my Avon egg’s photo and you can click to see
what it is selling for. I am sure I will get at least $10 for it–not
bad on a $1 investment. Although, I was hoping for a $1,000 Baccarat
And here is some great news… Jim is going to give away a 2 year
PriceMiner subscription to one of our lucky ezine subscribers. The
link to sign up for the drawing will be in the next ezine.
Happy New Year!!!
Here’s to a very successful 2008 on eBay and off!
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