Official Blog of the Tophatter Auction House
My Great-Aunt Millicent passed away not too long ago, and she left me a trunk full of buttons…buttons! I wanted that cuckoo clock that was on the kitchen so badly, but nooo…she gave me buttons. Ahem, sorry about that…back to business: I have a trunk full of buttons I don’t need, and I keep seeing fantastic crafting ideas online, so I’m sure they’re in demand by someone. So, I thought I would sell them on Tophatter. But, I don’t think someone would want to pay for the whole trunk. I keep seeing these tiered auctions and was wondering if you think those would work? Can you please tell me more about them? Maybe this way, I’ll finally be able to by a cuckoo clock myself!
Cuckoo in Connecticut
What a lucky lady! I would love to get my hands on some buttons! I could sort them, and count them, and put them in jars and bags and oh, the many ideas for what I could do with them! :)
As for how to sell your buttons, I think a tiered auction would be great a great way to do it! My advice on doing one of your own? In a world of too many acronyms, I’d like to toss out one more: KISS - Keep It Simple, Silly. The auctions move quickly, so it’s always easier when things are kept simple. When you keep it simple, it’s easier to convey straightforward directions in your description. That way, if you aren’t able to make the auction for one reason or another, there’s still information available for anyone in the auction.
So, what is a tiered auction exactly? Tiered auctions are a way to potentially sell a lot of items at one once by increasing the items won based on how high the bidding goes. The higher the bidding, the more items you’ll get!
This is one possible description for your auction, including the tier structure:
“For sale today! Wonderful vintage buttons from my Great-Aunt’s attic! I have, literally, a trunk full of these buttons, all in great condition. The auction starts with 1 cup full of beads for the low, low opening bid of $5. The tiers for this auction work as noted below:
$5 ———————- 1 cup
$9 ———————- 2 cups
$12 ———————- 3 cups, etc.
In other words, for every new bidding tier unlocked, I will add another cup of beads! Beads include - resin, bone, metal, shank, glass. Happy bidding!”
The key is to make sure the tiers are fair for both you and the buyer. It’s not worth it for you unless you’re profiting from the sale and the buyer may not be interested unless they spend less to get more. Starting at a fair opening bid and decreasing the difference for each tier is appealing for the buyer - just make sure you start at a price with which you, the seller, are comfortable.
Now that you’ve got the tiers figured out, you can work on getting your auction scheduled! Your buttons could be scheduled in Supplies, Vintage (if they’re 25+ years old), and any of the Bazaars. But, there are a couple of auctions every week specifically tailored to your tiered auction needs - the Bid More Get More (BMGM) Auctions!
I hope it all goes well for you with your tiered auctions! If all else fails, you could always take a fun crafting class and learn to use your buttons. Who knows, you may just get good enough to sell your handmade items in some of the other Tophatter auctions. :)
If you need anything else, just let me know or leave a comment below.