LetGo, 5 Miles, Offer Up, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace…. The list can go on and on for platforms online and through your smartphone that you can sell any unwanted items that are cluttering up your home.
I’ve been selling random things here and there online for about two years now. Typically, when it comes time to move, we start to purge. If you know Dustin and I, you know that we move like every year or every other year. (wwwwwhhhhyyyyyyy?!?!?!?!?)
Ever since starting our Dave Ramsey journey in November 2018, we are more apt to sell things to 1) get rid of the item that has been unused for months or years, and 2) because we are trying to pay down our debt! In my time selling online, I feel like I have become quite savvy. I wanted to share my best tips for selling things online.
Detailed Description of the Item
If you were to be on the market for, say, a treadmill, and you found a post that said “used treadmill for sale for $200” with no additional details, chances are you are either going to immediately skip that post or you are going to message the seller with a plethora of questions.
Yesterday afternoon, on my day off, I posted a piano/keyboard that has been gathering dust in our garage, along with a deep freezer that we haven’t used in two years. Today, both items were picked up and paid for in cash.
When I am posting items, I will include as much detail as possible. If it is an item I bought online, I screenshot the detail directly from the site, and include what the current price is. I bought the keyboard in 2015 on Amazon. When I looked at my past orders, I could no longer see the price of the item since it is no longer available. But, I had the detail about the keyboard, along with dimensions and cost of it at other places. ($200-$400) I then posted it for $125, hoping I would get $100.
The deep freezer was the same way. We bought the item several years ago at Lowe’s. I found the item online, which is currently going for $200. In my pictures, I also included screenshots from the same exact item new at Lowe’s. I posted for $120, again hoping to walk away with $100.
This is another tip that is just as important as including as many details as possible. In your photos, you don’t want the item to be surrounded by a messy garage or cluttered house. You want the picture to be clear so that the seller can get a good image of what they are about to purchase. On your phone, toggle around with different shading to enhance the quality. I have a few presets with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom that I feel really draw out the good light and enhance the image.
Be Honest About Condition
While this falls into the category of details, I think a tip on being honest about the condition is important and should be outlined alone. I would hate if I took the time to message and then travel to purchase an item from someone, only to get there and realize that the pictures they took didn’t include the scratches or any other indiscretion. About two weeks ago we sold Mark’s old crib for $20. We were just looking to clear out his room… stat. The state of his crib was as such – it was a toddler bed with the remaining side that turns it into a crib available, but not put together. We were missing four screws that would allow you to turn it back into a crib from a toddler bed.
I explained that clearly in the post, and even linked up the instruction manual I found online that included how to put the crib together and what pieces were needed. So when the time came for the lady to come pick it up, I didn’t have any last minute explaining to do.
Explain Why You Are Selling
Again, this one could fall under details, but should be outlined separately. People want to know why you are selling the item. Not to be snoopy, but to know why you no longer want it. Is something wrong with the item that would deter them from purchasing from you?
- The keyboard explanation: Purchased this keyboard new several years ago. It has been gathering dust in our garage and we want it to go to a good home.
- The deep freezer explanation: Purchased this deep freezer several years ago. It works perfectly, but has not been used. Need to clear up space in our garage.
- The crib explanation: Our son has graduated from the toddler bed. In great condition, purchased new in 2016. Need to clear up space in his room.
Now the potential buyers do not have to wonder if the items are broken, not working, etc. I have given them a short and sweet explanation of why I a getting rid of the item.
My two go-to platforms to sell items is Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. Whenever I know someone is going to purchase the item – they have asked all the questions and tell me when they can pickup the item – I share my address, but NEVER include my apartment number. We have a detached garage from our unit. We always meet in front of the garage. In doing so, you do not know where we live, just what garage we have.
If we do not meet at our garage, my next go-to pick-up location is the grocery store. If it is not a big item, like a Coach purse I sold a few months back, we go to the grocery store. Never meeting outside, but inside. I typically shoot for “next to Customer Service” or “next to the coffee shop.” This way it is a very public exchange and safety always comes first.
If I follow my steps listed above and I don’t get any hits on the item, I will take it down for a few weeks and then try reposting. In the instance of yesterday and tonight, we had a great exchange. Posted, messaged with potential buyers and then sold within a 28 hour period. All sales are not like that, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer for an item to sell.
Do you have any special tips or tricks for selling things online?