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Selling hints

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Mellow, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    As a frequent seller AND buyer of used stuff, I thought I'd start an 'advice thread'--advice for people trying to sell things in the Buy/Sell forum here, or anywhere. Of course this is my own opinion, but it's based on a lot of experience. Feel free to chime in or question any of these nuggets.

    1) Include GOOD photos of the item; not blurry ones, not tiny ones, not ones from a single flattering angle. Try to show the item's flaws as well as its virtues.Your candor will be appreciated.

    2) Describe the item thoroughly and honestly. If you hide flaws in the description you might very well have to handle a return, and your reputation might be blemished. It's always better when a buyer is pleasantly surprised at the condition of an item when it arrives, rather than be disappointed.

    3) Be upfront about costs. Include all PayPal fees or other transaction fees and clearly state shipping costs. The buyer shouldn't need a calculator to figure out how much it's going to cost. (None of this "$$$ net to me" stuff.)

    4) If you list shipping costs separately, make them reasonable. If it actually costs $10 to ship, buyers will be less likely to buy something costing $75 + $25 shipping than $90 + $10 shipping. Buyers sense you're trying to gouge them when you list unreasonable shipping costs.

    5) Consider free shipping via priority mail, especially if shipping within the US. For most lenses it's only $10 or so, and buyers like the idea of free shipping and the idea of receiving an item quickly (2-3 days).

    6) Be prompt about replying to questions, and always be polite. If someone sends you a lowball offer simply decline politely.

    7) IMO all listed prices are open to offers, so if you list as OBO you can be sure you won't get your listed price. I've had many a transaction that went like this: Q:would you take $80 for item [listed at $100]? A: No, thanks for the offer, I'd like to get the price listed. Q: OK, I'll take it. If you state you're open to offers you never end up selling it for the listed price.

    8) Check out the price of recently sold items in similar condition before setting your price. It's easy on eBay (use completed listings). Also check out Amazon's used prices. If you're selling for more than the going price you'd better explain just what justifies the premium, because buyers are savvy.

    9) Avoid words like "all sales final" or "no returns accepted". This suggests that that you're trying to unload junk, even if it's not true. I always have a policy of no-questions-asked returns--if the buyer isn't happy, just return it (on buyer's nickel) and I'll take it back. That offers buyers a sense of confidence. In years of selling stuff I've had one thing returned--a camera that the buyer's wife didn't like, and which I promptly sold for the same price a few days later.

    10) Consider worldwide sales. This is a tough one, because the only bad experiences I've had are selling to certain countries. But casting a wider net definitely pays dividends as far as ease of selling and price are concerned. If you do sell to an overseas seller, make sure you can track the package and make sure it's insured. (This will really jack up the cost of shipping, which is why it's usually big-ticket items that go to foreign buyers.)

    11) Check out the buyer. You know they're checking you out, so do the same. Be wary of buyers with very little feedback, especially with expensive items.

    12) Little things can make a difference. Having the original box is a bonus; a spare battery [which might be useless to you once the camera is gone] might just tip a potential buyer over the edge. I think it's more about the perception of the way you care for your equipment than the value of the box/lens cap/battery itself.
    • Like Like x 5
  2. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    From 10) Especially consider worldwide sales (through eBay especially) for manual focus lenses/older film bodies...I get a MUCH better take rate on them with international offers. I've had quite a bit of success selling <$100 lenses too this way. Make sure you specify that any customs/import taxes are solely the buyer's responsibility and that return shipping is also solely on the buyer with no partial refunds accepted.
  3. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I love these two points! I for one am more willing to make an offer if I see photos clearly showing its flaws over a buyer with unclear or small images because I have more trust that the person pointing out the flaws has nothing to hide about the item. Same goes with describe the flaws vs a vague description of the item.
  4. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Maybe your not aware...this is all covered in the thread "Guide to Describing and Pricing Items for Sale" which is listed in the buy/sell sticky on the first page. This is the biggest problem, no one reads the sticky or its links. Over the last few weeks I've had to report three newbies who have 0 posts or less than 3 for not listing prices, or asking for offers only. People have no respect for the community, and are just using the buy/sell...my first assessment on an ad, is do they use the forum, if they don't I won't buy from them.
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