Swarovski Crystal Teddy

Swarovski Crystal Teddy

Of course you already know that rarity sells. Offer something desirable, and unique, like a book that’s also autographed by someone well known, and as far as prices go the sky’s the limit. Much the same applies to items created in restricted numbers by major companies like Lladro (porcelain), Baccarat (glass), Waterford (crystal), Swarovski (crystal), Steiff (bears), and, generally speaking, the lower the number produced the higher the price will be.

Most limited production items grow rarer, more valuable, as some get broken or pass through the family as heirlooms and unlikely to re-enter the market.

But ‘limited edition’ is a term open to lots of different interpretations and the area is packed with scams.

From bona-fide companies, limited production means only a specific number are produced or an unlimited number will be produced within a specified time scale. So you might find just 100 items produced, usually numbered 1:100, 2:100, and so on, and these tend to be the rarest and potentially more valuable of all. Items for which production ends on a specific date might still reach mass market production figures, especially with aggressive marketing during the production period. But there will be a time when all production stops and the market begins to dry and prices start to rise.

And that’s where genuine limited production normally ends and you must be careful both buying and selling some so-called ‘limited edition’ items. This is because you’ll find firms selling ‘limited edition’ items which investigation shows are limited only by numbers that can possibly be produced from now to forever!

Genuine limited production is good news for eBay sellers, but expensive too and risky for buyers at auction or from private owners, who later find the item doesn’t sell except for less than the purchase price.

Thankfully, there’s a great way to create your own limited edition items and make big profits now and in years to come, even where your production run has long sold out.

This is what you need to know:

* On and off eBay you’ll see manufacturers offering 10, 100, 1000 copies of their own creations, individually numbered, sometimes signed. My first experience of genuine limited production items fetching fabulous prices in the short and long-term, was about ten years ago, and featured artists and craftworkers selling through collectors’ magazines. Among them was Bo Bears who then created just ten copies of each new bear design; today they sell between six and fifteen copies of each new design, priced £150 or thereabouts to several hundred pounds. In fact Bo Bears is just one of many producers of limited edition items, others make pottery, dolls, mouse ornaments. Maker is not always the most important factor, what is important is that the basic item is desirable in its own right, and, as a limited edition is genuinely subject to the laws of demand and supply and likely to grow in value fast.

* Choose something that’s collectible for it’s own sake, like teddy bears, dolls, hand-painted depictions of famous buildings, prints of original oil paintings and watercolours. Let eBay help you choose: go to ‘Advanced search’, top right of any eBay screen, next page type in ‘limited edition’, tick ‘completed auctions’, study limited edition items that have already fetched high prices. Model your own creations on these. My favourites right now and items I’d like to sell? Strange coloured Teddy bears (no gold, beige, brown for me; I want navy blue, purple, tartan); lifelike baby dolls; hand-made jewellery with exclusive charms; hand-made, hand-painted, hand-signed plates depicting guess what? Yes, my favourite: Boxer dogs!

* Look for items you can have created specially for you, such as dolls and teddies, paintings, china ornaments. Here’s a good idea: look in very old magazines and newspapers, preferably published in the USA before 1923 – they’re in the public domain – look for patterns to resurrect for your business. Approach craftworkers and artists to create a limited number of copies, or create these items yourself. Get outsiders to sign a contract of secrecy and exclusivity, meaning they can’t produce copies except for you and they must keep the instructions secret and hand them back when production ends.

* Have each piece numbered, 1 of 10, 1 of 1000, for example, and include artist signatures.

* Keep numbers as low as possible, ten items might be worth more cumulatively than 1000 items. Once production ends, describe products as ‘Retired’, it sounds much grander than ‘end-of-line’.

* Add a certificate of authenticity for all items, giving artist details and individual production numbers. Create the certificate of authenticity in passport or birth certificate fashion and add novelty value to dolls and bears designed for collecting rather than play purposes.

* Open a secondary market for limited edition items. This is where original items are resold after being discarded or passed on by original owners. Secondary market values can be way higher than original prices so it’s worth telling original buyers you’ll buy back their purchases later. Better still, rather than buy the item again, offer to sell it as a trading assistant on eBay. You could even insist that you get first chance of reclaiming these items for your own stock or to resell on original buyers’ behalf.

Avril Harper is a business writer and eBay PowerSeller who has produced several guides to making money from eBay, including MAKE MONEY TEARING UP OLD BOOKS AND MAGAZINES AND SELLING THEM ON EBAY which you can read about at:http://www.magstoriches.com 103 POWERSELLER TIPS can be downloaded with other freely distributable reports and eBooks at http://www.avrilharper.com

Swarovski Crystal Teddy
Swarovski Crystal Teddy
Swarovski Crystal Teddy

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