Have you been to craigslist? It’s like the ultimate online garage sale! We’ve used it for several years now and have bought and sold pretty extensively. Here’s a few of the things we’ve sold:
– Old computer with miscellaneous parts for $25
– Office credenza for $50
– Tall chrome shelf tower for $10
– Set of three CD towers for $12
– Various magazines for $12
– Lawn chairs for $5
– Queen size (with a fully disclosed “valley” in the middle) mattress with bedding for $125
– Several maternity clothing items for $20
– Various cookbooks for $20
– Infantino baby carrier for $5
It’s a great way to make a few extra bucks and declutter at the same time! In all the buying and selling, I’ve learned a few tips that I hope are helpful to you! Next week I’ll share some tips on buying; for now here’s a few tips on selling on craigslist:
Post good photos. Use a “real” digital camera, not a cameraphone or otherwise poor quality camera. A fuzzy photo makes people wonder what you are trying to hide, even if you’re not trying to hide anything! Take several different photos (max is 4) from various angles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a horizontal photo and a vertical photo taken from the exact same angle.
Write an accurate description and price accordingly. Your pleather couch that your dog has chewed on is not going to go for the same price other pleather couches without teeth markes are going for. Disclose any flaws that you know of. Don’t say “I paid $1000 for it 5 years ago and I only want $750!” If you think you can get that great of return on something you’ve used for 5 years, for heaven’s sake don’t say how much you paid for it. In my opinion, it is rarely a good idea to quote the original price. It can almost always be used against you.
Note what area of town you are in. There is a place on the form to do this. Are you north, south, east, west? What neighborhood? “Rockrimmon” gives a lot more information than “West Colorado Springs.” And btw, everyone else in the world is NOT a zip code geek like you so putting only your zip code down is silly because very few people are going to know what part of town that is.
Be ready to respond to inquiries. It should be obvious that you should not leave on vacation an hour after posting your ad. But you may post it and be gone for a few hours – in that case, it’s not a bad idea to include your phone number. If you’re not going to be able to check your email for some reason, include your phone number.
Don’t waste time on high-maintenance buyers. If your item is in high demand, you will often get ten or more emails in the first hour or two. If someone is already trying to ask for a lower price, or wants to know a hundred things more about it, I don’t waste time on them unless they are the only inquiry. Although it is considered courteous to offer the item on a first-come, first-served basis, if there are more than a few responses I usually skip over anyone who gives any indication they will be difficult to work with, such as wanting a discount before seeing the item, difficulty in arranging a time to pick up the item, myriads of questions that are irrelevant for a used item that’s being sold for a fair price, etc.
Specify when you want to get rid of it. We had over 25 inquiries the Sunday afternoon we posted an ad for a mattress. I promised it to the first person I emailed, and they were going to pick it up that night. They called later and wanted to know if they could pick it up the next day, which was fine… and then they didn’t show up. We were able to sell it to someone else on Monday, but it is maddening to sit at home thinking someone is going to come by your house to buy something and they don’t show. We started putting something like “first person that’s able to come get it by tonight gets dibs!” on the ad to prevent something like that from happening again.
Save your “back-up buyers” emails. Sometimes you will have someone not show up, or cancel, or decide they don’t want it. In that case, you could post it again, or if you’ve saved the emails other people sent, you can just email them all directly and and re-offer it to them. If the item has already been promised to someone but hasn’t been picked up yet, I will usually email any further inquiries and tell them it’s pending pick up, but that if there is a no show or something I will email them back.
Meet at a location other than your home: Two reasons – one, you never know what kind of person is going to show up to buy the baby crib you’re selling. Two, it is sometimes easier to tell someone to meet you at the McDonald’s at a certain intersection than to give them directions to your house. Personally I would *prefer* people just give me their ADDRESS and not “go down this street until you pass the red barn and then you’ll pass a grocery store on the left and then turn right at the blue cow.” Google maps, people! But especially if you live in an apartment it’s easier to just tell them to meet you somewhere. Obviously, pick a place that is convenient for you.
Follow the rules and be courteous. If your item doesn’t sell, repost it according to the guidelines. If you’ve posted it twice with no response, it probably means no one wants it or you are asking too much. As a buyer, it gets really annoying to see the same exact postings get posted every couple of days with no change – no new pictures, same description, no price adjustments. I have seem people post the same thing every day for a month, and I have to wonder if they really want to sell it or if they just like posting stuff. If your item HAS sold, remember to delete your listing so that you don’t keep getting emails.
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.