How to Auction Off Hand Painted Wooden Signs

What You'll Need
Internet connection (preferably a high-speed DSL or cable modem connection)
Online auction site (preferably an established company like eBay)
Email account
Digital camera
Shipping supplies (boxes, cushion, wrap, tape, address labels)

Learning how to auction off hand painted wooden signs may help turn your artistic or collecting hobby into a potentially profitable side business. There are a variety of online auction services you can use to find the right buyer for your hand painted piece. Whether you're looking to sell your newly purchased wooden replica sign, or find a home for your hand crafted holiday piece, here are some tips on how to use an online auction safely and effectively.

Step 1--Register for Internet Auction Site

Widely-used services like eBay and host auctions featuring hand painted wooden signs from individual sellers, collectors and online retailers. To place your sign up for auction, you'll need to complete the registration process for the specific auction site--this usually requires you to provide information like your full name, mailing and email addresses, contact information and credit card number. 

Step 2--Prepare for Your Internet Auction

In order to attract competitive and serious buyers, it's helpful to have a visually appealing and descriptive page for your auction item. Digital photos can effectively showcase your hand painted sign. Try photographing your sign against a plain, brightly-lit background. You may also want to use a tripod with your camera to help secure an in-focus photo. Once you have a quality picture, upload it on to your auction page. You may also want to include a description of the sign, including it's exact measurements, and details on the materials and techniques you used to create it.

Step 3--Select Your Auction Price and Shipping Arrangements

Most online auction sites offer virtual English-style auctions, during which individuals have a set amount of time to bid on a particular item. The person with the highest bid who has met the auction reserve, or minimum amount sought by the seller, is usually considered the auction winner.

You will need to decide the reserve price for your sign, and how much you require for shipping and handling. Some sellers offer discount or free shipping, while others require the winning bidder to cover all delivery costs. To get an idea of the norm on auction pricing and shipping, try viewing other member pages that feature arts and crafts-related auctions.

Step 4--Monitor Your Auction

You will usually receive email notifications when a bid has been placed on your sign. It's generally helpful to review these notices regularly until the auction has ended. Once the winning bid has been placed, you will typically exchange a series of confirmations via the buyer's email or online auction profile. During these communications, you should confirm the payment method (such as PayPal or credit card), the buyer's mailing address, expected delivery time and purchase total, including any shipping and handling expenses.

Step 5--Prepare and Ship Your Sign

Many online auction sites encourage sellers to receive full payments before mailing their goods. Once you're secure with the payment arrangements, your hand painted wooden sign is ready to be wrapped and shipped securely. Before finalizing the shipping, you may want to consider insuring the item through your courier, and obtaining tracking information for your buyer.