Navigation advice for secondhand websites
They’re a great way to sell the white elephants cluttering your home – or to save money by buying quality used items online
IF YOU’RE new to the game, there are a few things you should know about using secondhand sites. Check out these top tips for buying and selling in cyberspace.
Found something you like on a secondhand site? Take a look at the seller’s other ads before you make an offer. You can do this by clicking on their name and looking at the ads they’ve posted to the site.
Their previous ads should give you a good feel for their reputation and whether they’re selling as an owner or trading as a dealer. If they’re trading as a dealer there’ll be a markup.
Make sure the item you’re interested in (or the one you’re advertising) is being advertised at a fair price.
Take a look at other ads for similar items and get an idea of the going rate, but be sure to take the condition of your item into account when coming up with a figure.
Don’t be shy to make a cheeky offer when you’re buying something. This can be especially effective when you’ve seen the same ad repeatedly. The price might even have been reduced, indicating an urgency to sell, so strike while the iron is hot.
If you’re the one selling, be prepared to take offers – people love to haggle so don’t be too rigid with your prices.
When selling, repost your ad every day. In the same way that you probably don’t dig deeper than page two or three of ad listings, you can’t expect potential buyers to find your outdated ads. Each morning go to your profile, delete your ad, and post it again so that it’s on page one for all or most of that day.
To make reposting easy, keep the pictures on hand and copy the text of the ad into a document on your desktop so you can simply copy and paste the text.
Be strategic when it comes to buyers collecting or viewing items you’ve posted – evenings and weekends are a great time to list goods as that’s when potential buyers have free time. If you want to make a quick sale, Friday is the best day to post your ad. Post multiple pictures of what you’re selling, showing different sides or angles of the product and upload as many pics as you’re allowed.
In the description box list all possible defects to avoid disappointed buyers – don’t forget they’re going to examine the goods in front of you anyway.
You can also use that space to inspire a buyer with ideas of what they can do with your item (for example, you can explain that an ottoman can also be used as a coffee table).
If possible, always meet a person face to face when it comes to transaction time. Take someone with you and meet in a public place or, if the person needs to come to your home, make sure you’re not alone.
If you can’t transact with cash and need to accept an electronic payment, phone your bank or check your internet banking statement to make sure the money is safely in your account before handing over the goods.