Dave, how would you go about selling jewelry? Does Ebay have any appraisal service? Would I have to pay to get it appraised first and then submit the information along with the listing? It it necessary to have an appraisal for jewelry that is under $200?
While I’m an active eBay buyer and seller, I have to admit that I haven’t gone near the jewelry section, so my specific knowledge is, um, not robust. Instead, I asked my sister (she’s more creative than I am: check out her site art dolls to see what I mean) about your question.
Her response was that there’s no reason for any jewelry seller to have an appraisal, and you certainly don’t need to have one to list on eBay. However, if you want to sell something valuable, then an appraisal is a smart strategy for helping ensure buyers that it’s legit, not a rip-off.
If I can add to that, it’s interesting to do a few quick searches on eBay for jewelry and look at whether they include appraisal information or not (in general, I believe that there’s a ton of research you can do by just exploring both the current and recently closed eBay auctions).
I popped into the Jewelry & Watches section, then sorted results by highest to lowest price, then looked at a few auctions that actually had bids and was currently more than $400. Outside of lots of jewelry (like “HUGE LOT VINTAGE FINE & COSTUME JEWELRY $$$OVER $2000″) that aren’t likely to be appraised, remarkably few of these auctions had garnered even a single bid. Of the few that did have bids, a two-toned gold diamond ring was bid up to $710 without an appraisal, a 14K amethyst and diamond ring from the same seller was at $499, and another seller had three items of jewelry all bid up to $400 or higher, and none with a specific appraisal.
My conclusion is that you don’t need to have anything appraised. The only time you might need to do something like that is when you’re first starting out and you believe potential customers might see what you have and decide that the risk of buying, say, a $150 pair of earrings from someone with a feedback score of 7 is too high. Then an appraisal can help make your business seem more legitimate.
But don’t take my word. Spend a few minutes reading through the fascinating chat transcript on eBay entitled eBay Expert Member Workshop: What You Should Know about Jewelry Appraisals to see what people who are selling jewelry on eBay have to say about this subject.
Hope that answers your question. Good luck to you on eBay!