Have you ever found an interesting item and had no idea what it was worth? As an eBay seller, I’m constantly coming across things like art and antiques I think are cool, but when I go to list them, I can’t find anything to base a price off of.
When you can’t find any information on an item you want to sell, it can be frustrating. You might wonder “is this thing worth $1,000, or is it worth nothing?” It’s also hard to describe some items when you don’t have any information to go off of.
Thankfully, there’s a tool out there that stores information that we can access. It’s called Worthpoint and was founded by William Seippel in 2007. According to the website, “Worthpoint is the largest resource for researching, valuing, and buying/selling antiques, art and vintage collectibles.”
“WorthPoint.com includes a price guide for researching and valuing antiques, art, and collectibles; a resource gallery for identifying makers’ marks; and, a digital library of books from leading publishers on a wide range of collecting topics.”
Worthpoint’s database has over 505 million historical prices and over a billion images. That’s a lot of information and it makes Worthpoint the largest database for unique items. Not only do they collect data from eBay sales, but they also gather data from multiple sources. This is handy because sometimes things may not have sold on eBay, and you can find information about items that have sold elsewhere.
If you don’t sell on eBay, but maybe Etsy, an antique mall, antique auctions, or a flea market, Worthpoint can still be a very valuable tool for your business.
How to use Worthpoint
To start, head over to the Worthpoint homepage and sign up for a free trial. Once you’ve created an account, you can start searching for things right away!
Let’s say I wanted to find out more about these Cacharel napkins I listed a while ago on eBay.
There weren’t any sold listings on eBay, so I didn’t know what to price them at. I decided to list them high at $49.99 and they’ve been sitting for months without any action.
To start my search, I simply go to the Worthopedia price guide and type in “Cacharel napkins” then click enter.
I was happy to see three pages full of similar napkins and was able to find an exact match. These were all collected from trusted platforms where the items sold. If you search for something using general terms, you might get hundreds of results. Being as specific as you can when searching the items will help narrow down the results. In my napkin case, when I added the word “brown” I got back just a few results and was able to spot the exact match instantly.
Worthpoint shows that these napkins sold in March of 2018 for $12.50. That’s a lot less than my current asking price of $49.99! The differences between my listing and this one are that my napkins are new and these were used, but they sold 8 together and I only have 7. I should be able to charge a little more since mine are new, but I’ll probably lower my price down to $19.99 because I don’t know if these will ever sell as long as I have them listed for $49.99.
I looked around the internet to see if I could find other listings of the same napkins and I found a few but wasn’t able to find any of the same exact ones that had sold. So, in this case study, I would save time by only searching for these napkins on Worthpoint.
Saving time is a huge way for resellers to earn more money because time is the one thing we can’t get more of. Worthpoint can potentially save you lots of time if you’ve been scouring the internet for your items.
Worthpoint has been around since 2007, so some of the listings you find could be really old. You may have such a unique item that it hasn’t sold on the internet in many years and Worthpoint will be the only place that has any information you can use. As more items sell on the internet, the data is added to the database, so it’s continuously growing and becoming a more valuable resource.
When you search an item, you can filter the price from high to low. Seeing the most valuable items is a great benefit and you’ll be able to keep an eye out for them once you know what to look for. You can also filter the search by “best match” to narrow it down and “by location” if you only sell to certain parts of the world.
The napkin example is just a small sampling of what the website has to offer. Think about how helpful Worthpoint could be with rare antiques!
Using the M.A.P.S. Tool
On top of searching for items in the worthopedia, Worthpoint also offers a tool called M.A.P.S. which stands for “marks, autographs, patterns, and symbols”. If you have an item that fits in one of the 4 categories, the M.A.P.S. tool will help you find out more about the item.
There’s also a new feature associated with M.A.P.S. that lets you do an image search. Think about how much time you could potentially save if you had a piece of China with a unique pattern and could find out the name of the pattern with just one image search!
M.A.P.S. lets you search by category as well as classification, so you can really narrow it down. Learning different marks and patterns will help you be able to know what to look for if you’re trying to buy items to resell and Worthpoint has a great database for you to learn from.
Here’s an example of a page for a marking:
When you search a marking in Worthpoint and find the page for it, you will see things like the category of items produced by the company, the full company name, and a brief description. Knowing the history of your marked item will give you more confidence if you go to sell it. It’s also nice to just know more about the item if it’s something you’re collecting.
Having the information the M.A.P.S. tool provides will empower you to be more detailed in your descriptions, appear more knowledgable, and instill confidence in your buyers.
Another useful feature of Worthpoint is the library of books available to subscribers. There are over 1,000 books currently in the library and it’s a great resource for learning about different categories of items.
Something I need to start doing is reading more about items to resell and the Worthpoint library will be a great place to start. If I read just 100 of the books available, I’d probably know way more than the average person does about antiques and collectibles. The more you know about a category of items, the better you will be at finding them and negotiating the price when you purchase. Growing your knowledge of different items can be a key factor in growing a reselling business.
Each time I learn an item is valuable, I have one more thing to look out for when I’m shopping for things to resell. As a result, I find more and more items each month that I may have overlooked in the past. Knowledge is power.
Is Worthpoint Worth the Price?
When you sign up for the free trial of Worthpoint, you get seven days for free or seven searches. The searches only count if you uncover what the item sold for, so you can search and read the descriptions without using up your seven searches.
Once the trial period ends, you will be enrolled in the monthly subscription. You can pay for a year in advance for extra savings. If you’re a serious reseller and sell a lot of obscure items like antique art and pottery, Worthpoint is definitely worth the price. When you consider the fact that you can save a lot of time and potentially find that your items are more valuable than you thought, this information can really boost how much money you earn overtime.
Just finding a few items a month that are more valuable than you might have listed them for will make up for your subscription costs. Who knows how valuable the knowledge you gain from Worthpoint could be if you implement it into your reselling strategy.
I buy and sell a lot of antique items and plan to use Worthpoint for many years to come. Having Worthpoint on my side is like having a personal antique appraisal service at my disposal.
I think you’re missing out on a potentially huge benefit if you don’t at least give Worthpoint a try.
Sign up for a free trial today and give it a shot!