Author Topic: I need to stop being lazy about selling stuff on CL / ebay, help appreciated  (Read 3175 times)

Apocalyptica602

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Hi all,

I've probably wasted thousands over the years on not selling perfectly good things we don't use anymore on Craigslist or Ebay.

With old clothes and whatnot we'll donate because it's quick and painless. But I'm referring to stuff like... computer parts.

I have two perfectly good NVIDIA GTX 570s from my build back in 2011 that I took out in favor of a more modern single card solution in preparation for virtual reality / general PC gaming (this is my relatively unmustachian hobby).

They've been sitting on my desk for months now and their price is only going to drop.

I've never sold ANYTHING on Craigslist or Ebay before, not sure why, fear of getting scammed / fraud, anxiety meeting people, annoyance with shipping stuff, laziness?

Posting to make myself accountable, I'll prep the ads and post them this week.

Anyone have any advice, recommendations, do's / dont's for a first time seller?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 03:02:47 PM by Apocalyptica602 »

MacGyverIt

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Maybe first check out the Wallapop app (I think it's available on both Android and iOS), it's a buy/sell app that is based upon location. May be easier or at least another option for you.

CindyBS

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I've sold several items on CL over the years with a lot of success.

As far as safety - I have 2 strategies. 

1) usually with bigger items.  We live on a fairly busy street.  I have the item for sale sitting in front yard with me at the appointed meet up time.  Buyer never comes in my house, on my porch, in the backyard and it is all in full view of neighbors and passerby's.

2) I leave things on porch for buyer to pick up and ask them to put money in the mailbox.  This has all been for items selling for under $25.  I've never been ripped off and if I was, I'd consider to occasional time it happens worth it for the safety aspect.

Always take a lot of nice pictures, be very honest about about condition of the item.  Use similar words in the description (cabinet, shelf, closet) so it comes up when someone searches it.    I usually do that by putting a line at the bottom of the ad saying "keywords: XXX" and then listing every conceivable word.  Misspelling can be keywords too.  That way a potential buyer doesn't need to read it in the actual ad.  I typically would get low ball emails, but I can usually get a food feel for people who aren't trying to "game" me.

Eric

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For both sites:  Take good pictures.   Multiple ones from different angles.  Write a good decription.  Personalize it a bit (people like that).

For Ebay: Figure out how you're going to ship it (packaging needed, size and weight of package, delivery speed, delivery company, etc).  Ebay will calculate (and charge the buyer) the approximate postage depending on your buyer's location and your specified size and weight.  Then just print out the label and attach.

Craigslist: Cash only.  No seriously, cash only.  Meet in person only. No paypal, no shipping.   Paypal is a scam on CL.  Every. Time.  Shipping is a scam on CL.  Every. Time.  Cannot stress this enough. Price your item for a bit more than you want to sell it for.  People like to negotiate on CL, so allowing them to "talk you down" makes them feel good about the purchase.  Try to talk to them on the phone.  Not just texts and emails.  Talking on the phone increases the likilihood that they'll actually show up.  Make this exact note in your ad "If this ad is still up, the item is still available."  This avoids multiple emails just asking if the item is still available.  Just make sure to take your ad down once you've agreed with a buyer.  Of course if they flake, you'll need to repost again. 

CL is more of a hassle, but it's local, and you'll get more money.  Ebay is easier, but they take a bunch of fees and in addition you can lose some to postage and packing materials.  It's also limited in item size, whereas CL you can sell everything.

I personally prefer CL, but others like EBay better.  Try both and see for yourself.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 04:15:04 PM by Eric »

dleavitt

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I generally sell things on CL and on local FaceBook Buy/Sell groups.  Cash only, as mentioned above.  Most of the time I try to meet at a public place, so as to not give buyers my home address.

I have shipped on CL once, but it was specialized item valued by a particular car community.  Did PayPal, worked out okay.

I also list more specialized items on community forums.  For example, my side-hustle is selling parts for early Mazda Miatas.  I post parts for sale on the two largest sites, which gets me a nation-wide audience.  Yes, shipping is a risk but you can mitigate that some by checking their join date and post count.  You also have the forum staff/moderators to help with any problems.

pagoconcheques

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I get lazy like this too.  I find the best solution is to let stuff accumulate for a few months then do it all at once over a period of about 10 days.  What I can't get rid of in 10 days goes to freecycle, the thrift store, or the curb with a "free" sign on it. 

jeromedawg

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Also consider selling on Amazon - it's easier to list than on Ebay but you have to pretty much make sure the item matches the description per Amazon so I would avoid selling anything that is altered/modded or isn't in the original state when it was purchased. If you are reselling something new or used and it's in pretty good condition (and especially if it's a smaller item but with greater value) Amazon isn't bad and I think the return is slightly better than Ebay for a lot of things.

redbird

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Something to keep in mind about eBay is that eBay fees + Paypal fees take off about 10% of whatever the ending price is. The actual figure varies on your seller status, the category of item it is, and the ending price. But regardless, if you REALLY want a certain dollar figure, you need to price it higher appropriately. However, do research. I find that people new to selling used things overestimate how much it's actually worth and then get frustrated because it doesn't sell. But if you were to look at completed auctions of similar items, you would see you're asking too much.

Sometimes, the item you want to sell might get you so little of money that you might be better off giving the item away. I find that most things worth less than $10 are not worth the time it takes to list on eBay between taking pictures, editing pictures, writing the description, packing it up to mail it when the auction's over, etc.

A few ways to protect yourself as a seller:
- get tracking on the package and register the tracking info in eBay's system
- refuse to send to addresses that aren't the buyer's registered one in Paypal. Sometimes when people ask you to ship somewhere else, they're trying to scam you by claiming the item did not get delivered to their address.
- if you're willing to ship international (you can sometimes get higher prices this way), be careful of certain countries. Certain countries have slow and/or corrupt customs agencies. Some countries I've experienced this with are Brazil and Italy.

GrOW

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Maybe first check out the Wallapop app (I think it's available on both Android and iOS), it's a buy/sell app that is based upon location. May be easier or at least another option for you.

Thoughts or experiences on wallapop?

CanuckExpat

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I'm hoping to get people's input on this specifically to eBay.

We're really good at unloading stuff on Craigslist, but I want to branch out to getting rid of smaller stuff on eBay and hit a bigger market.

People who are experienced on eBay, what's your best strategies for finding a box, dealing with shipping materials, etc.

AlanStache

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Some people try to make a side hustle of buying things off CL really low and reselling.  Have seen it where they agree to a price on the phone then when they come over to pick it up try to give you a stupid low ball new number in the hopes you will take it cuz they are there.  Otherwise CL has worked great for me.

TrumanGrad

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I'm hoping to get people's input on this specifically to eBay.

We're really good at unloading stuff on Craigslist, but I want to branch out to getting rid of smaller stuff on eBay and hit a bigger market.

People who are experienced on eBay, what's your best strategies for finding a box, dealing with shipping materials, etc.

If you live in the USA and plan to ship USPS Priority Mail, you can order free boxes from USPS.com and have them delivered to you for free.  They have a box that is like 7x7x6 (or dimensions close to that) and it is great for shipping smaller items.  You can order in packs of 10 and again they are free!! (the catch being that you have to ship via priority mail to use them).

As for packing materials, I keep the packing materials from anything we order from Amazon and just reuse it.

Meowmalade

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People who are experienced on eBay, what's your best strategies for finding a box, dealing with shipping materials, etc.

Put an ad on Craigslist asking for free shipping boxes and packing materials.  I know people on Amazon Prime who get a ridiculous number of boxes.  If you lived around here, I'd give you all the packing material that can't be recycled in the bin (soft plastic) that I'm trying to find a home for  :)

misshathaway

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I've been unloading a lot of vintage stuff from the attic on eBay. Biggest helps I've found are:

- Making sure you do an advanced search on the exact item and check the "Sold" button. If you just search on the item you get these ads with absurdly high prices that people wish they could get. It's only worth what someone actually paid for it. Read the original ad and note the condition of the item and adjust price accordingly.

- Priority mail, not flat rate unless it's heavy. You can get some of the boxes for free at the post office and order the other sizes for free as someone already mentioned.

seattlecyclone

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Also consider selling on Amazon - it's easier to list than on Ebay but you have to pretty much make sure the item matches the description per Amazon so I would avoid selling anything that is altered/modded or isn't in the original state when it was purchased. If you are reselling something new or used and it's in pretty good condition (and especially if it's a smaller item but with greater value) Amazon isn't bad and I think the return is slightly better than Ebay for a lot of things.

I second this recommendation. For most items Amazon seems a lot less stressful, at least for me. Unlike eBay and Craigslist where you have time-limited listings and the most recent ones show up first, on Amazon you just set a price, cheapest items show up on the top of the list, and it will be on there until it sells. You never have to meet your buyers or haggle or mess around with trying to guess the optimal opening bid. You post items under existing product listings so you usually don't have to take a picture or really write anything other than a brief description of the item's current condition.

I have a shelf full of stuff in my basement that is currently for sale, and I get an email or two every week telling me to pack something up and put it in the mail. The sale proceeds get automatically deposited in my checking account once or twice a month. It's super easy.

dkaid

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I have had really good luck using facebook yard sale groups.  These are often closed group that you'd have to be accepted to ( I think the moderator basically just looks to see if you live in the area and don't seem "creepy" lol). 
What is awesome about these groups is that you can do porch pick up.  You leave the item on your porch, they put the $ in your mailbox. 
Of course there's a new level of trust involved that you have to be comfortable with. 
But it's so much easier I've found. 

Good luck. 

junglejim83

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I wouldn't totally discount receiving payment via paypal on craigslist and shipping things.  If you are the seller and you receive payment, it is in your account and the transaction is secure.  I do think cash transactions in person are better from the respect that you aren't giving paypal a cut of the action and there is absolutely less of a risk for headaches (or getting screwed) but I would disagree that people asking to ship goods on CL is scam.  I think it is right to be wary at times.  On the flip side the reason paypal exists is that it provides a secure method of payment that would not otherwise be available to the common Joe.  And if a remote CL listing or Ebay or MMM market place listing gets eyeballs on your item that wouldn't otherwise see it you might get a lot more for your item

I have done numerous transaction remotely buying and selling via paypal on CL and never had a problem.  A lot has to do with common sense too.  If someone is not quick to respond to inquiries on the product at hand, provide additional pictures or call back or wants to transact in a way other than paypal then I would look elsewhere. Common sense comes into play here just like anything else.

see section 11 in the link below for paypal's requirements for seller protection and section 13 for buyers protections.
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/ua/useragreement-full#11

Most of my transactions have been for skis.  I am going to have much better luck selling them on Denver CL than I will in NYC or an area with a small population that won't have a lot of eyeballs on my listing.  You need to find where your best market is.    If you have a highly in demand item, than ebay can be great.  But if you are trying to maximize the sale of a valuable item where the market isn't as consistent then you might be better served not being at the mercy of an auction but find a forum specific to your product. You will have a good market for skis on TetonGravityResearch.  Or for example, a great place to sell a high end product/collectible might be a forum specific to that item (baseball cards, custom goods, artwork, books etc).