Buying And Selling Used Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
I’m very good at both buying and selling on CL. I am starting with this self-righteous statement because most people I speak to have one reason or another for why CL is bad.
CL isn’t the only website out there for trading used goods. Ebay, freecycle and many others exist in order for people to give used objects a second life instead of them ending up in landfills.
One myth is that CL is dangerous. And it goes something like this: you exchange email/text with someone to sell/buy something online and they will come to your house and kill you. WTF. To worry about such rare and isolated incidences is futile and counterproductive.
Another common issue is pricing. People post their item on CL and wonder why it didn’t sell. They are mad that they got low-ball offers. Or they wonder why the person who was supposed to show up flaked.
And when they want to buy something they get frustrated why their offer wasn’t accepted. They drive out to see an item which was totally misrepresented. They want to ask a million questions which the seller has no desire in answering.
When Selling …
When selling an item you have to ignore what the item is worth. Once you have decided you no longer need the item you either should sell it for whatever price you can get or donate it because clutter is bad for your mind and bad for your budget. If you have a toaster oven that you bought for $50 you likely won’t get but $5 for it… maybe $10. That’s the truth with common items. More unique things or rare items or very high quality items are different.
If you have a $300 convection toaster oven with digital temp control you can probably get $150-175 only if you take really good pictures of it and give a really good explanation why you are selling it and be honest about any issues with it.
List your item, set a price that you are willing to have negotiated 10-20% down. Take tons of good pics. Write a nice explanation why you are selling it. Mention what the person should have (cash, money order etc) when they show up along with the times that you are able to show the item. Those who are really interested in the item and are willing to pay top-dollar will want to read a lot and inspect a lot of pics. If you have an anemic quickly-thrown-together post people will assume you don’t care so they will low-ball you and those who aren’t really interested but just addicted to buying shit will waste your time with questions.
When Buying …
Figure out what you are willing to pay. Don’t haggle just because you think you should. If the price is good leave it alone. Ask any questions that the post didn’t address and do it quick. The seller probably is getting a few tire-kickers, a few emails, some texts so it’s all about first-come-first-serve.
Realize that when you make a lower offer right off the bat it’s not going to come across well. Instead show your interest, ask a few pertinent questions and sweeten the deal at least by saying that if they could agree to $x you could be there in 2 hours with that money in cash.
Just like when you are selling, you should try to meet at a place you feel comfortable. I generally will have the person meet me at a street corner close to my place and I’m very comfortable going to their house or workplace to complete a transaction.