People started selling their stuff on Craigslist in the late 90s—and since then, a multitude of local and national on-line selling sites have emerged. My new favorite is the Marketplace app(lication) on Facebook. When it comes to desktop garage sales, it’s simpler than just about everything else out there and requires next to no monitoring.
Last week, I sold close to $1000 of furnishings and other items I needed to get rid of in my quest to downsize my stuff. Additionally, with a click and a call, I purchased a nearly-new farmhouse table and chairs (see the picture above) for fractions of the cost the original owner paid.
In my recent meanderings through Marketplace, I learned a few things that might maximize your sales—if you are so inclined to try it out. Obviously, you’ll need to know how to navigate Marketplace on Facebook first, but it’s nearly dummy-proof. Once you’ve got that down, keep these things in mind:
- Take decent pictures—and don’t be afraid to stage. For instance, if you’re selling a table, snap that pic when it’s still being used. Not when it’s stored in your shed. Shoot from a few angles, including close up, being sure to focus on any special features or documentation that is available.
- If you want to sell fast, review what similarly priced things are selling for and go a tad lower. The goal to get it out of your house and make a little something in the process. I sold my daughter’s Pier One Papasan chair for $20 in a day. Last week, I saw a similar chair listed for $150. Yesterday, I looked it up and it was down to $50, still with no likes or comments indicating interest.
- You want buyers to hand you money and leave with your product– so make sure they are getting exactly what they expected. Not one of my buyers bargained at all and I’m certain it was because my price was right and my description was accurate. So…
- When you write your ad, put in only the details—skip all emotion or unnecessary words of description. Besides price, include exact measurements, color, age of item (if important), and any damage.
- People will come to your house. If you don’t want that, don’t sell online. Scope out your potential buyers on Facebook before they come, however. We all do it!
- Don’t sell anything that doesn’t work (unless it’s specifically listed as being sold for parts).
- If your item is large, and you are willing to deliver locally, make it an option. And list a fair price for delivery. You can make a little extra that way!
- This may be just me, but don’t sell individual pieces of clothing or shoes. Especially not bathing suits! Have a garage sale. Better yet, give them Good Will.
- If something doesn’t sell in two weeks, take it off for a week. Then relist it for a just a little lower. New people are always looking. If it doesn’t sell in another week, give it to Good Will.
- Or…if you have the skills, refurbish. I have a friend who made nearly $200 on a chest she bought for next to nothing then updated it with a little chalk paint!
It’s not a part time job, but daring to list your own, no-longer-used treasures may give you a little extra cash to pay off debts—or do a little Marketplace shopping of your own!