I asked Kelly Lindheimer, also known as The History Girl, who is an advocate for the perseverance of American history about her online presence and how she incorporates selling on eBay.
About The History Girl
Could you give a brief overview of The History Girl?
The main focus of www.thehistorygirl.com is to use technology to engage new audiences, advocate for, and preserve American history and architecture throughout the United States, with a strong focus on New Jersey, by publishing weekly content related to history and historic sites, events, and estate sales. On my eBay site, I sell antiques and interesting collectibles that I have found at various estate sales across New Jersey to help support my mission.
What kind of items do you primarily sell on eBay?
I mainly sell antiques and collectibles such as books, ephemera, postcards, railroadiana, souvenir items, and smalls.
What portion of your business does eBay sales account for?
My eBay sales account for all of my business.
What brought you to sell on eBay?
I realized that eBay is an efficient way to sell items. I originally began trying to sell items on sites like Craigslist, but realized eBay provided a further reach, and was more convenient and trustworthy than having to arrange pickup times and locations with strangers.
Could you take us through the steps you go through to sell an item on eBay?
The majority of my items come from estate sales that I have visited. I always research the item and try to figure out the history behind it, which includes its period of significance, manufacturer, and any other information that helps the item tell a story.
Are there any common issues you have to deal with, or things you are wary of?
It is definitely a worry that I might have to deal with an unscrupulous customer. Luckily, I have had all honest and fair buyers so far. I always list my items with all of the facts that I have available and do my best to have an comprehensive description.
What advice would you give to new sellers?
I would advise new sellers to start out slow. List a couple of items at a time until you get that hang of selling. And always do your research in order to have as much information as possible and have competitive prices.
How do you promote your listings outside of eBay?
I promote my eBay listings on my website and through my various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram) with a feature called “eBay item of the week.” From time to time, I will also post about my weekend jaunts to estate sales and take photos of the finds that are available for purchase.
Have you noticed any changes in the eBay ecosystem over time? Was this for the better?
Since I have only been selling on eBay for about three years now, I haven’t noticed any major changes in policies that have negatively affected my sales. Although as many in the eBay community have written about over the years, policies do favor the buyer and not the seller, even when the buyer is in the wrong.
Many thanks to Kelly for sharing her experiences, you can support her through her GoFundMe campaign where she is raising funding to create a New Jersey History Trails App.