My experience selling/buying used stuff off kijiji/craigslist/usedeverywhere
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Thread: My experience selling/buying used stuff off kijiji/craigslist/usedeverywhere

  1. #1
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    My experience selling/buying used stuff off kijiji/craigslist/usedeverywhere

    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.

    Do

    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.

    Don't

    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.

    Minto/Monarch/Cardel new homes referral avail. in Ottawa

  2. #2
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    I think a portion of my life story has come from kijiji. From renting property, buying and selling cars, (sold 11 vehicles in my life), couches, (yes I know, used) and god knows everything else.

    Agreed with you strongly on point number 1. I sold so much of my junk when I moved in with my wife. I can't believe people would by this stuff. Forks, knifes, pictures, vases, old Nintendo video games? YUP. VCRs, tube TVS, my gosh. EVERYTHING. I would even price stuff at like $2 - $5. People would buy, if it was priced right. I just got them to pick it up of wheeled and deal a package deal + delivery.

    I always figured, better to get something, rather then nothing and have it take space and collect dust. And you wouldn't believe the crap you own, until you have to move.

    I even had people coming to my door during our engagement party. I was selling stuff and my family thought this was hillarious. I loved it.
    Last edited by Jungle; 2011-03-19 at 04:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    A wonderful guide, canabiz.

    I do it too, not because I want/need the money, as much as I want someone to move the stuff out that I really don't want.

    I provide my phone number (and I'm a physician of all things), because I usually want to move things quickly (time is money), such as furniture left behind in one of our rental properties, etc. My father-in-law or my dad (who are retired) may meet the individuals, but I like to do most of the negotiation up-front. I get people to come at coordinated times, so I'm not usually meeting just one person, I'm meeting 3 or 4 people.

    It's amazing how much people will pay for "crap", so to speak.

    Last time, we sold over $1000 for the office furniture left behind. It's amazing to me. For me, I couldn't figure out how to get the boardroom table out of the office. Sure enough, they came, paid lots for the table and chairs, and brought it out on the giant truck. Problem solved for me and cash too!

  4. #4
    Senior Member kcowan's Avatar
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    I sold off my family estate. Two day contents sale advertised in the Torstar and craigslist/kijiji, then two more days with individual items, then two free days, then everything that good will or sallyann didn't want to GotJunk.

    People bought all kinds of stuff: contents of the fridge/freezer, stale-dated food items, a collection of Popular Mechanics from 1948 through 1964.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator the-royal-mail's Avatar
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    Yes, if your stuff is priced properly it will sell. I've sold some things on there but there's no use being firm on overpriced material. I figure about 30 cents on the dollar is about average. This applies to ebay as well.

    The most important point is to provide an email address and to respond to msgs quickly. I do not have time to play phone tag and try to guess when you are home. With email I can send the msg and then we can communicate the details that way. It is difficult for me to place phone calls at certain times of the day, so email really works best.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the informative post on how to sell yer stuff on Kijji/CL.

    I've been wanting to sell a good set of golf clubs/bag/cart that I can't
    use anymore because of my disability. I don't think I used the clubs more
    than 4 or 5 times, and they have been sitting around taking space and
    collecting dust for the last 9 yrs, so it's time to dust them off, take some
    pictures and sell them now as spring is beginning and so will the golf season.

    I like your point #6..use more than one website.

    The other thing I might add is that Kijji, (even though they claim it's free) will date your post as new posts come in in the
    same catagory and then people have to go to page 2 and page x and so on to come across it.

    However, Kijji will put it on a special header at the top of each page for a "couple bucks"...$2.00? for a limited time as well and
    that makes it more visible to anyone that is looking for stuff in that catagory.

    One tip I was given recently was to go in occasionally and edit it... change a couple of words around in your post,
    to keep your ad more current..as if you were putting it in for the first time, keep it on the first page for a few days.
    Last edited by carverman; 2011-03-19 at 11:52 AM.

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    Great tips. We do a lot of ebay and reselling too. Usually for items we have bought specifically for resaling, but its the same idea.

    A few other things we do:
    For things that you have a lot of, but can't seem to get rid of, if they are similar, group them in lots. We usually do this in the end, when the individual sales no longer seem to be pulling in. For example, a lot of computer hard drives or equiptment, a bunch of kids clothing, etc.

    We also group things that no one seems to want, with popular items.

    Depending on the items, I try to find specific sales for them. So this isn't really on line. For example, there are kids community garage sales in the city. We went in with a friend and sold alot of the stuff we had, plus we have a retailer account for a childrens wholesaler, so we bought some hot items specifically for that too. We got about $1200 that day. Our fee was $40 split 2 ways.

    I always ask for a phone number to try and see if they are serious.

    We have found listing time to be important on Ebay. You want them to end in the evenings, and consider the different time zones. The tough part is different items have different listing times. I used to have a chart, but can't seem to find it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by canabiz View Post
    My iPhone has really come in handy in terms of replying to inquiries and coordinating pickup/delivery schedules as quickly as I could.
    You own iPhone and you have the temerity to offer advice in the Frugality section??? What a nerve! iPhone is THE symbol of being a spendthrift.

  9. #9
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    For eBay sales, I always set my items to end at 10PM PST. 10PM PST allows all of North America a reasonable opportunity to bid on your item at the last minute. For 10 cents, eBay allows you to set your auction start time in advance, and it is worth every penny. I found the best days to end auctions were Wednesday and Thursday.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldStone View Post
    You own iPhone and you have the temerity to offer advice in the Frugality section??? What a nerve! iPhone is THE symbol of being a spendthrift.
    Gold, not sure if your post was meant to be a joke or serious. If it's the former then it's all good!

    If you dig up some previous posts with my username right here on this forum, you will see that I only recently picked up a used first generation iPhone and got a great plan to go with it. I am certainly not a spendthrift and only buy items that I consider as a *need* rather than a *want*. By the same token, there are many frugal folks who drive luxury cars, own big houses and take nice vacations . Does that mean they are spendthrift as well?

    Where do you draw the line? Is there even a line to be drawn or it all depends on individual situations?

    In any event, I don't see how that is relevant to the thread. Carry on, my friends.

    Minto/Monarch/Cardel new homes referral avail. in Ottawa

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