I am a big fan of buying and selling second hand stuff. One man's trash is another man's treasure. This thread is not about the pros and cons of buying used vs. new because you will have arguments on both sides. Rather, it is about sharing tips and tidbits on how to make your buying/selling experience on kijiji or other sites smooth and enjoyable.
One of my brother recently sold his house and long story short, I put up about 60 different items on kijiji and other sites and we managed to sell 90% of them with only a few stragglers left. People were buying everything from old-school VCR to flat screen TV to plants to furniture and all things in between.
Let's get to the meat and potatoes, shall we.
1. Price your items right. I find this is the most single important tip. People will buy anything and I mean anything if they deem the price is right. I would never think people would still buy VCRs in this day and age but they do. Prior to listing your stuff, do a search for comparable items (via Google or on kijiji itself and depending on how fast you want to move your stuff, price them accordingly)
2. Take good pictures of the items. It goes without saying but a picture is worth a thousand words. People are more likely to click on your ad if they see a picture. Also make sure you do some prep work prior to taking the pictures and posting them online i.e. shining your shoes or dusting off your furniture. It's the little things that count.
3. Provide detailed descriptions of items, including dimensions, weights, shapes etc if applicable. This serves 2 purposes: to show the people that what they see is what they get and to avoid playing email or phone tags where you have to explain again and again and the potential buyers may lose interest.
4. Offer flexibility in terms of scheduling, pricing and delivery. This all goes back to the basics: Why should other people buy your junk and how fast do you want to move them?. People are busy and they may have reservations about parting their hard-earned dollars for your used stuff...that is completely understandable. It's your job to make the experience as easy and as painless as possible for potential buyers. This includes making yourself available when they want to pick stuff up, offering delivery if the price is right and keeping an open mind for price negotiations. No matter how you slice or spin it, your stuff is still used, after all.
5. Provide timely and adequate communications. Instant gratification - it applies to used stuff as well! Countless people have asked me if they could pick stuff up the same evening that I posted the ads. My iPhone has really come in handy in terms of replying to inquiries and coordinating pickup/delivery schedules as quickly as I could.
6. Use more than 1 website to sell your stuff. I primarily use kijiji and usedottawa.com and craigslist to a lesser extent. I guess it's Marketing 101, the more exposure you have, the more chances somebody will be inclined to go ahead and do the deal.
6. Have emotional attachment on your stuff. They did their jobs, served their purposes and it's time to move on. If you want to hang on to something, simply do not sell it.
7. Provide your phone number unless you want to move things real fast and want to be bombarded with calls (unless you are a realtor!) What I normally do is to simply state *Please provide your contact number and I will get in touch to arrange viewing/pickup*. Again this serves 2 purposes: I can screen out the *tire-kickers* and *low-ballers* and focus on the more serious ones and I don't need to answer phone calls every few minutes. I have a life as well and as you know, using mobile phones at work or while driving are typically not good combinations.
8. Let the ads become *stale* and got buried deep down the categories. Occasionally, some of your used stuff does not get sold. It's a fact of life but don't let that discourage you. Maybe it's the price you set, maybe it's the picture you took, maybe it's the title you put - or lack thereof. In any event, take down the ad, re-work it and re-post it. This will bump it up to the top and you don't have to pay a cent for that.
That's all for me for now. If you guys got other good tips/tidbits to share, I am sure we are all ears.