5 Tips For Selling Stuff On Online Classified Ad Sites (Like Kijiji, Craigslist, & Backpage)
In the past little while I have realized I have a number of items which I simply have no use for or I have used them and now think that they can benefit someone else more than I can benefit from them so the time has come to sell them. When the time came to do this I turned to my local online classified advertisement sites which I am sure many of you know such as Kijiji and Craigslist but one other one which I believe is less well known called Backpage.
When I first put the ads up I assumed that it would be much like when I would buy and sell things on HowardForums (a huge, global forum and mobile/cellular community based out of Toronto) which has its own Buy/Sell/Trade sub-forum and which I used to buy and sell all of my cell phones from 2003 until 2009 as well as a large number of cellular accessories. On HowardForums (or HoFo as we geeks call it) someone would post an item, talk about it and the condition it is in, add some pictures, a price, and a preferred method of contact. If you wanted to buy the item you would follow their contact instructions and MAYBE try and see if you could get them to lower the price by a small amount.
I have found, in my recent experience with these sites, that there are a few things we should all be aware of when and if we decide to use them to sell items:
- List at a higher price than you actually want to sell your item for. This is because it seems people think that they are in a market (or “shuk” in Hebrew and “souq” in Arabic) where buyers want to haggle on the price. I have had people offer me half the asking price for an item I am selling which is sealed and brand new in the box for a price lower than the item is selling in the store. Offers like that, to me, are a straight up slap in the face but you are going to get them so be ready. People seem to expect and desire the haggling in the market mentality on these sites so just go with it and adjust your pricing accordingly.
- Add pictures, the more the better. All sites already advise this but it is important so I am going to throw it in here too.
- Make sure you specify LOCAL DEALS ONLY! There are a lot of scammers on these sites. I have a friend who advocated Electronic Money Transfers as being an acceptable form of payment but i disagree and say only hard currency. This brings me to my next point…
- Very Public meetup ONLY! When you go out to meet the person you are selling to make sure you do it somewhere really public, the more foot traffic the better for both you and your buyer’s protection. I have met up to sell items at coffee shops, shopping malls, and pharmacies. Also these public places tend to have lots of cameras.
- A lot of people won’t actually bother to read your ad. Ya, it is annoying as heck but a lot of people won’t even bother reading the title of your ad never mind the content you’ve written! One of the items I am selling’s title’s first two words are “BRAND NEW.” I received an email inquire (turned out to be a scammer who wanted me to ship it somewhere) asking what the condition of the item was. I responded it was brand new – I really had to hold myself back from being a jerk about it.
In the end you can always also try a Facebook status update which I found worked FAST! when I wanted to sell a Staples gift card. I had had this gift card up on all of the above mentioned online classified ad sites for 2 or 3 weeks and people were offering me half of the value of the card (that damn need to haggle!). To me that made ZERO sense because this was straight cash at Staples not an item which would go down in price or whose value is debatable like a piece of electronics. I put it up on Facebook at 1:53PM and by 5:12PM it was gone to a friend.
What have your experiences been selling things online? Any tips you want to share with the rest of us? They would be most appreciated!!!