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Ebay/Craig's List tips?
Old 05-07-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Ebay/Craig's List tips?

Our renters moved out and DH and I are busy fixing the place up for sale. We have some things we need to get rid of such as a riding lawn mower and window AC units (we had central air installed). I've looked at ebay and craig's list a couple of times but am pretty clueless about how they work.

Before I venture into into the unfamiliar land of selling of stuff like this on-line, I thought I'd check in with you guys. If there is a better way to go please chime in. Otherwise, DH and I sould sure appreciate any advise you have.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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I think craigslist would be the better of the two - you don't want to have to ship heavy items. Post good photos of the stuff and take only cash when you sell it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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I've sold on both, and personally, I'd stick with Craigslist, unless you have an easily-shipped item that might net you a higher price due to the broader audience of eBay. Craigslist has the benefit of being free, and the local nature of it means that you don't have to worry about payment or shipping hassles (people show up, they have cash, they leave with your item).

The downside to Craigslist is that for whatever reason, there are a huge number of flakes. People who will call and e-mail you repeatedly, and then never show up when they said they would. My current policy is to tell people that I will not hold an item, and the first person who shows up at my door with cash will get it.

Other advice would be to take digital pictures of the items and post them in the ad. Set hours that you'll be available to show/sell an item (e.g. "this item will be available for viewing and purchase on Saturday morning from 8-11am - please e-mail for address"). If you're home all the time, this may not be necessary, but otherwise, you may find yourself waiting around for people who never show up.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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I've sold several bulky items on Craig's list . My SO and I have a deal . I write the add and take the pictures . He deals with the people . Price it to sell and be ready to deal.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:11 AM   #5
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Pictures are a must. Many buyers don't look at ads without photos. It helps if the camera can get a clear photo (macro lens setting?) of the label plate data.

Spell check. Some buyers only search by keywords, so use as many different keywords as you can fit in your ad.

If applicable, "EnergyStar" is a great keyword.

No such thing as too much info-- do the work for your buyer and it helps to weed out the tire-kickers & flakes. Details that are appreciated are manufacturer, model, model year, all dimensions (including brackets & trim pieces), any other identifying data like capacity or blade size, and all ratings. If you can link to a manufacturer's website or an online owner's manual-- especially for electrical equipment-- then it's a bonus.

If you have documentation then mention it. If you don't have documentation then mention that too and provide links. If you have spare parts or remote controls or extra accessories then include that to separate your offer from everyone else's. It saves the buyer a lot of time trying to figure out if they can assemble a complete set from your pieces.

We usually say "Loading assistance available. Sorry no delivery." You might also want to say "Cash only." If you want to deliver then say so, and if you want extra money for that then say so too. It helps a buyer who may not be able to get a truck.

Depending on your comfort level, a phone number as well as the Craigslist e-mail address will move things along much faster. Our local Craigslist either has an RSS feed or a bunch of vultures-- sometimes our post has just hit the server when our phone rings.

Don't get caught by surprise when your buyer needs directions. An address for Google or Mapquest is great, but street names and turning directions are an unexpected bonus. I don't know how many sellers have posted their ads and never thought that they might need to (1) give out their address or (2) give directions. Another alternative is to meet at the parking lot of a store at a certain time, which is far better handled by cell phone for the inevitable delays & MIAs.

There are several Craigslist scams discussed on their website FAQs. One of the more popular ones is to send you a cashier's check and have someone else "pick up" your merchandise. Of course the cashier's check is a forgery. We've only ever had one Craigslist buyer who didn't pick up in person, but they agreed to wait until their check cleared before we mailed the item.

If you're going to be accepting $100 bills then it might be worth getting one of the counterfeit-detecting marker pens. We prefer thick wads of $20s.

Depending on local custom, your price may not be the actual price. Around here when we say $100 we mean $100 but in other areas that may be the opening bid on a $75 sale.

When we post an ad, we generally only update it after one or two weeks. Most buyers search for keywords or neighborhoods or categories so if it's a couple weeks old it may still show up on the first screen or two. Beyond a couple weeks, though, buyers may assume that your merchandise is crap or that you're too lazy to take down your post.

Another popular scam is gift cards. If you decide to buy a gift card (usually sold at 70-80% of face value) then use it immediately after verifying that it's valid. Otherwise the seller may have fraudulently bought it with a store account or a credit card and the store will cancel the gift card without notifying you.

It is not illegal to sell frequent flyer miles through Craigslist. If the airline figures out what's going on, though, they will make it impossible for you to board your non-refundable flight. They will also penalize the seller of the miles.

And unless you have hours of spare time, do not read Craigslist "best of"!
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:04 AM   #6
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Wow everyone! Thank for the excellent tips. Your advice will help keep this newbie from doing something really stupid.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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Nords, that was a great post. I'm printing it out so we have all the info we need when we use Craigslist which we do quite often. Don't know what anyone could add except for one thing. Told my wife to never be alone when someone is coming to look at an item. Our daughter is close or ask a neighbor to come over. Can't trust everyone out there.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:01 AM   #8
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Have GOOD photos of the item (digital)
Post a price along with OBO.....you'll get more calls
Most craigslist know its cash only, but make that clear.
Try to have a couple folks around when the buyers come by, strength in numbers.......
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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This is helpful, I'm going to try to sell an old car next week. It's our 1990 Toyota Camry, looks awful, 142,000 miles, runs great but now has a leak in the fuel line. If someone can fix that themselves or can get it done cheap this would be good reliable (but ugly) transportation. I'd like to see someone use it, the tires, muffler and front brakes are new.

I had already decided that I'd only have it available when there is more than one of us here. Cash only, or is a Postal Money Order reliable? Or are those being counterfeited too?

If I can't sell this I'll probably end up calling one of the places that takes them as a donation.

I just need to clean it up and take some pictures and write the text.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:41 AM   #10
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2nd'd on the craigslist. It will also give buyers a chance to inspect the merchandise, plug it in, crank it up, verify that it works, blows out cold air, cuts grass, etc. Great for bulky used merchandise like this. I have also used it successfully for small electronics and received prices close to ebay after fees.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue J View Post
This is helpful, I'm going to try to sell an old car next week. It's our 1990 Toyota Camry, looks awful, 142,000 miles, runs great but now has a leak in the fuel line. If someone can fix that themselves or can get it done cheap this would be good reliable (but ugly) transportation. I'd like to see someone use it, the tires, muffler and front brakes are new.
It will sell, there is ALWAYS a market for cheap reliable transportation.....

Quote:
I had already decided that I'd only have it available when there is more than one of us here. Cash only, or is a Postal Money Order reliable? Or are those being counterfeited too?
CASH ONLY.........
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:24 AM   #12
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I've sold two cars, a large kids playhouse, etc, and have gotten what I wanted as far as price.......
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #13
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I have sold a number of things on Craigslist successfully. No point without pictures but they are easy to post. I sometimes try to be a bit funny to attract to attention to the add. After all, there is no word limit. Nords is right, the more details the better.

I post our phone numbers, never a problem with that. Do not post email addresses as it will become a spam repository. You do have to watch for spam/scam responses at times.

We even have given away some stuff that otherwise would have gone to the dump. Old apartment sinks and toilets for example.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:45 AM   #14
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Nords, that was a great post. I'm printing it out so we have all the info we need when we use Craigslist which we do quite often.
Yup, great post Nords. I also printed it out along with the other fine tips posted. You guys are the best
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:06 PM   #15
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Wow everyone! Thank for the excellent tips. Your advice will help keep this newbie from doing something really stupid.

I could have used this advice when I first started posting here on the forum...
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:16 PM   #16
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We even have given away some stuff that otherwise would have gone to the dump. Old apartment sinks and toilets for example.
Same here. We can get rid of stuff that is basically trash to us, and that we would have to call the City to come pick up. The City is hard to get a hold of, unreliable in terms of when they show up, and if you leave the stuff on the curb too long, they reserve the right to issue you a $50 citation. Even if they neglect to pick the stuff up when they promised to pick it up.

In the meantime, I can spend 5 minutes posting "free" stuff on craigslist, maybe 7 minutes if I need to photograph it. I have never seen anything stay on the curb longer than an hour. I always say "Here's my address, you pick up, I will delete entry when it is gone" - I don't even put contact info because it isn't worth my time to coordinate giving something away.

So far, I have gotten rid of old furniture, old used lumber, half rotten wicker patio furniture, suitcases, lampshades, etc.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #17
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Have sold a car and motorcycle on CL with no problems, have spent more money than I care to admit on Evil Bay, and again, with no problems.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Pictures are a must. Many buyers don't look at ads without photos. It helps if the camera can get a clear photo (macro lens setting?) of the label plate data.

Spell check. Some buyers only search by keywords, so use as many different keywords as you can fit in your ad.

If applicable, "EnergyStar" is a great keyword.

No such thing as too much info-- do the work for your buyer and it helps to weed out the tire-kickers & flakes. Details that are appreciated are manufacturer, model, model year, all dimensions (including brackets & trim pieces), any other identifying data like capacity or blade size, and all ratings. If you can link to a manufacturer's website or an online owner's manual-- especially for electrical equipment-- then it's a bonus.

If you have documentation then mention it. If you don't have documentation then mention that too and provide links. If you have spare parts or remote controls or extra accessories then include that to separate your offer from everyone else's. It saves the buyer a lot of time trying to figure out if they can assemble a complete set from your pieces.

We usually say "Loading assistance available. Sorry no delivery." You might also want to say "Cash only." If you want to deliver then say so, and if you want extra money for that then say so too. It helps a buyer who may not be able to get a truck.

Depending on your comfort level, a phone number as well as the Craigslist e-mail address will move things along much faster. Our local Craigslist either has an RSS feed or a bunch of vultures-- sometimes our post has just hit the server when our phone rings.

Don't get caught by surprise when your buyer needs directions. An address for Google or Mapquest is great, but street names and turning directions are an unexpected bonus. I don't know how many sellers have posted their ads and never thought that they might need to (1) give out their address or (2) give directions. Another alternative is to meet at the parking lot of a store at a certain time, which is far better handled by cell phone for the inevitable delays & MIAs.

There are several Craigslist scams discussed on their website FAQs. One of the more popular ones is to send you a cashier's check and have someone else "pick up" your merchandise. Of course the cashier's check is a forgery. We've only ever had one Craigslist buyer who didn't pick up in person, but they agreed to wait until their check cleared before we mailed the item.

If you're going to be accepting $100 bills then it might be worth getting one of the counterfeit-detecting marker pens. We prefer thick wads of $20s.

Depending on local custom, your price may not be the actual price. Around here when we say $100 we mean $100 but in other areas that may be the opening bid on a $75 sale.

When we post an ad, we generally only update it after one or two weeks. Most buyers search for keywords or neighborhoods or categories so if it's a couple weeks old it may still show up on the first screen or two. Beyond a couple weeks, though, buyers may assume that your merchandise is crap or that you're too lazy to take down your post.

Another popular scam is gift cards. If you decide to buy a gift card (usually sold at 70-80% of face value) then use it immediately after verifying that it's valid. Otherwise the seller may have fraudulently bought it with a store account or a credit card and the store will cancel the gift card without notifying you.

It is not illegal to sell frequent flyer miles through Craigslist. If the airline figures out what's going on, though, they will make it impossible for you to board your non-refundable flight. They will also penalize the seller of the miles.

And unless you have hours of spare time, do not read Craigslist "best of"!
Another alternative is to meet at the parking lot of a store at a certain time, which is far better handled by cell phone for the inevitable delays & MIAs.

Does this option ever lead to problems with the local constabulary?
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #19
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Another alternative is to meet at the parking lot of a store at a certain time, which is far better handled by cell phone for the inevitable delays & MIAs.

Does this option ever lead to problems with the local constabulary?
I can't see where this would be a problem since you aren't doing anything illegal.

I think the bigger issue is how Nords handles the recommended transaction process since he doesn't "do" cell phone...
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:58 PM   #20
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I can't see where this would be a problem since you aren't doing anything illegal.

I think the bigger issue is how Nords handles the recommended transaction process since he doesn't "do" cell phone...
It's not illegal, but what if someone thinks it is illegal and calls the cops?
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