Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Best Kept Secret Collectibles Auction Site

In the previous post I went into some detail about some selected Internet market venues for buying and selling collectible merchandise of value in an online auction environment, and that for this type of merchandise, a niche site is much better than a general merchandise site. So what is this niche site I’ve chosen to do most of my business on? It is called MYNOTERA. You’ve probably never heard of it, but some people have. It has only been in existence since late 2009. Since then I have sold over 1000 items there and have a good amount of repeat business. It may well be the best kept secret on the Internet, but depending on who is reading this post and other factors, it may not stay that way for long.

The thing about Mynotera is that they have an “Antique and Vintage Only” policy. You won’t be able to list those Sue Grafton and Stephen King books you couldn’t get rid of at a yard sale (signed First Editions exempted of course). Mynotera charges no registration fees, no buyer’s premiums, and no basic listing fees. You get to upload a maximum of 8 photos for free too. The site looks like nothing else out there. There are NO ADS. It is uncluttered and features a mysterious piece of artwork in the upper left corner of the homepage, and a picture of a single item largely displayed front and center, with other featured items pictured below it. There are only 10 Categories to browse – BOOKS; CATALOGS; PRINTS MAPS & PAPER; STAMPS; POSTCARDS; TREASURE HUNT; UNCOMMON VINYL; HISTORIC PAMPHLETS AND DOCUMENTS; PHOTOGRAPHICA; THREE AND BELOW BOOKS. Currently no category has more than 1500 items. This is a paltry amount of merchandise when compared with those other sites I spoke of previously. But this is quality vintage merchandise- perhaps not the most valuable and expensive things ever, but certainly items out of the ordinary; collectible and very often hard to find.

One recent item of interest listed on Mynotera was a 1940 Batman #1 comic book. It didn’t sell because that book might potentially be worth over $20,000, and Mynotera currently doesn’t have the traffic currently to get the exposure this item requires for that type of sale. It will likely end up on Heritage where it could potentially fetch a huge amount of money, and make Heritage a tidy profit of 25% of its price. The fact remains though that it was listed on Mynotera first. Rare and valuable collectibles DO make their appearance on this site. In fact, if a lot of collectors out there knew about it, they’d be picking Mynotera clean in a matter of months. Compared to everywhere else, prices are very reasonable for these items. Where else are you going to find say, an 1837 First Edition of “The Pirate’s Own Book” ?. Not many places I’d venture to say.

Here is another one: 1876 SLAVERY DAYS, Sheet Music by Edward Harrigan. Do you know how rare this is? VERY, VERY. How about “The Annual Register for 1781” with lots of content about the American Revolutionary War while it was happening. That certainly isn’t common. If you’re looking for something vintage and pretty, perhaps not worth a fortune but still highly collectible and somewhat scarce, there’s Harrison Fisher’s 1908 “Bachelor Belles,” a beautiful book of beautiful ladies of the early 20th century. Want a real bargain? 1881 “The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments or, The Thousand and One Nights” Illustrated for $2.75 and No Reserve. Or, 1938 “Don Winslow of the U. S. Navy” Whitman “Penny Book” based on the famous comic strip for $3.00. (These things are plenty scare and worth a LOT more than 3 bucks; multiply it by 10 and you have a price closer to the mark.)

These are just a few items I picked at random, not necessarily the best, or the most valuable, or the most unusual items on the site. You should go there and explore it for yourself than take my word for it; you’d be astounded. As far as what I’ve actually sold on Mynotera, here are a few recent examples- 1920’s Roy Brothers Croquet Set catalog ($112.99); 1938 Cahiers d’Art Bound Magazine ($100.00); Egg- The Polite Force LP ($50.00); 1764 History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts by Thomas Hutchinson ($200).

There are three things Mynotera lacks though – a lot of Buyers, a lot of Sellers and a lot of Traffic. Those are three pretty big things. If the amount of the buyers were to suddenly boom, the site could be shortly be wiped out of merchandise. If it got an increase in only sellers (without a proportionate increase in buyers), many might be discouraged and pack up their tents and go home after a short while. BUT, if the site experienced a huge increase of traffic, both buyers and sellers would increase and the site’s Internet presence would be greatly enhanced. So why doesn’t this awesome little site have significant prominence on the web, and what can be done to change that? I will let you know in my next post.

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