An idea I'm toying around with....traveling to list collections.
I've been fortunate to have people trust me to sell their items.....but I think there is a niche that could be worth trying. I just don't know if I can focus on both what I'm doing and offer this service. I have almost everything I need to be able to do this. It would work like this....
I'd need to get portable lights and backdrop because what I have here could not be taken on the road.
I'd bring my laptop, photo supplies and a lot of shipping supplies with me.
I could get the pictures, list the auction on their account and leave them with their items packed up to ship or leave the supplies to do it themselves once they receive payment. They can watch the listing, answer emails and send things on out when they get paid.
I'd just charge the costs plus some fee to do this. I don't know if it would lead to much, but it might be something people would like who are hesitant to let sellers like myself take their collections.
The percentage that I charge now is lower than most consignment sellers, but we are able to keep enough coming in so that it we are able to keep our team running. I don't know that people would pay enough for this service for it to be lucrative. Someone looking at it would think "its just a few days work, why would I pay all that money"....but in reality it is paying for knowledge and time away from another business.
Just an idea for now......who knows, it might be something I try someday.
Personally, I would not be comfortable depending on other people to follow through on the shipping, returns, etc. not if my name was attached in any way. It would be hard to straighten out a problem that was a thousand miles out of my control.
Since it would be listed under their own account none of that would affect me at all. Listing the items would be my only role in things, plus leaving the seller with the ability to ship the items with as little hassle as possible. I wouldn't be putting anything on "Locust Fork" that I don't have in hand for sure.
So you're selling your services to create a listing and prepare for shipping. What you're not providing is your ability as an FFL to mail handguns and shipping to another FFL that won't accept from individuals.
What if you pack things for shipping and take them with you and ship when the seller sends the money? [which would be a problem if an item never sold]
Is it possible for indivuals to ship various kinds of firearms without ''ffL help?
You can, but if they were smart they'd pay a few bucks to a local dealer to ship it for them. Long guns would be easy....hand guns have some hoops, but not impossible to deal with. I can always offer to email shipping labels over so they'd be going through my account after the deal is done.
Kasey - I'd think that expenses for travel and shipping materials and a fee for your time would quickly rival the percentage you currently charge. Another approach that might be more doable while reaching a similar audience could be creating an online course (or courses) that people could buy on "how to sell on GunBroker". How to photograph firearms, tips for listing, important details to include in listing (like how to measure length of pull, etc.), how to pack and ship, dealing with problems, etc. Maybe offer to provide research on the firearms being listed for an additional fee. You are a subject matter expert and have likely handled just about every imaginable scenario a seller could run into here over the past many years. There are a bunch of different sites that allow you to create and monetize such learning materials. My wife was looking into making courses on a niche area of photography before life derailed that notion. You have her number - she said to feel free to call or text her if your interested in talking about it.
As I mentioned in a different post, having both sold firearms here and used your consignment services, I doubt I'll ever sell firearms again on GunBroker as an individual. Your service, knowledge, and professionalism have been completely worth it to me.
I'm nowhere near attempting this idea of mine. Actually, I've thought about the idea of teaching someone about the pictures and sending them out as an agent after I ran a few test runs myself. Having the owner of the items there to go over the item means whoever is listing them would not have to be an expert....just knowlegable enough to get the listing up with the input from the owner. There are several ways to tweek this.....depending on the details it could be costly to a seller. If they are good with dealing with a "nubie" it could be very affordable.
I had to get the special ups account to ship firearms and they need to be picked up at my FFL location am I missing something here?
I'm too particular about my shipping to allow some stranger to do it for me.
Do a complete test run ( or several ) with someone local for free, then see what you may encounter problem-wise. If all goes well, then make the next step. If there's bugs in the steps then you'll know what bugs there are and correct them.
"Never do wrong to make a friend----or to keep one".....Robert E. Lee
I agree with Darkstar. Your fees are so modest, it would be hard to offer the new service for less.
As for letting someone else handle handle my guns for shipping, every time I have done that you have turned the guns into money. Then I turned the money into guns of greater interest to me. No problem at all. I have lost on a few gained on most and broken even on a couple. Good deal in my view.
I really don't think the items would fetch top $$$$$ without being listed under your account.
Note that all the firearms listed by top consignors bring better prices, or at least that is how it seems.
all I can say is, When I pass, Donna was written specific direction to call you, and have you sell the guns for her. This way, she will get a fair or better market value for the guns. I had a dealer here, tell me he would do it for free, for my wife, but I don't trust him enough. Just a feeling, nothing more.
Its all in my imagination at this point, but I figured I'd let yall know what current marble is bouncing around in my head these days.
I just know there are so many people holding onto things because they don't want to just let it all go to a consignment seller....but they'd like to get their things online somehow.
If someone wanted me to come out.....get pictures....post their sales up on their account and pack their boxes up so all they'd have to do is answer emails and put a label on a box it would be so helpful and less stressful for them than letting their collection go all at one time.
I think Kasey has a bit of the wanderlust. She needs a bus pass.
A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel. A natural impulse to change of place, a craze for travel. A strong impulse or longing to travel.
That means so much to me.....thank you
Text me your address! I'll pack a bag! 😁
Nothing against this death thing but . . .My wife told me if I didn't get rid of my "stuff" she would just die!! That's the reason I filled your truck & trailer about a year ago with my "stuff". You did a good job. Don't change the approach. Too many "unknowns" in my humble estimation with the approach your may be considering. Just my 2 cents.
Don't let they nay sayers bring you down. People told Joe Biden he would never be President.
NO NO NO NO NO NO!
NEVER allow a "newbie" to do what YOU know how to do. You'll have nothing BUT frustrating and heartache with this approach.
Every new "customer" is going to be clueless, and it is going to drive you nuts.
Trust me, bad idea.
@Locust Fork I like your idea, and I think @DarkStar11 's version of it is a bit better. I would go this route.
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain
Kasey, you are in my will. If my sons do not want any particular firearm they are instructed to contact you and get them sold. You might get an eclectic group of firearms to list or just a few gems, only time will tell.