Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift or in need of making some extra cash for the holiday?
Now’s the time to search the second-hand market. More people then ever are listing their stuff via online, second-hand selling methods such as Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo, Facebook Marketplace and others. Equally, there are also a lot of people looking to purchase items as the holiday nears closer.
A few tips for buying:
If the price is low enough to be a great deal already:
Don’t haggle online but also don’t admit to be willing pay the asking price. “I’d like to have a look at the (be very descriptive of the item, if writing an email, so as not to appear as spam)” as soon as possible, I am very interested.
The price high but you love the item?
Online haggling beckons: I do not recommend texting a low offer, but if you are willing to deal with a potentially angry seller, go for it. Otherwise send an email offering around half of the selling price. If the seller is desperate you might just get the deal you want.
Good price but still want to haggle?
Inform the seller you are interested in the item, but do not mention you wish to haggle or offer a lower price. Once at the meet up: Cash is king. If you want to offer $80 for an item, hold the cash out so the seller can see it. The mere act of seeing cash can trigger a seller to sell, or at least haggle a little. Hence, if at item is listed for $120 and you intend to offer $80, has the $80 ready to go in a pocket with the rest of the money in another pocket. I will even go as far as to have 80 in my front left pocket and then 10 in my right, and yet another 10 in my left and right pockets.
Exact change! Never assume a seller will have change.
Tips for selling:
If your selling, be ready for buyers to use a haggling method of not having the right change, so instead they need you to bring the price down. Combat this with having some spare 5’s and 10’s.
Take good pictures and when possible, list the model number. Check for other similar items being sold and try not overprice your item. I personally only use my email as a listed contact option but have heard you might get a faster response by listing your number as well.
Re-list your item every day. Once it gets a day old it will fall too low among the other options.
Check your email!
If your email is a contact option, be sure to check it often. Potential buyers might find another option if you wait too long to respond.
Cash only! State this in your description and only sell to locals. No shipping.
Buying and selling
Choose the meeting place. If selling/buying an expensive item, meet the buyer/seller in a coffee shop with cameras. All starbucks have cameras, I believe. Most police stations offer an area for secondhand selling/buying. Feel free to utilize this option as well, especially for very expensive items.
The meet up:
Be sure to exchange phone numbers prior to the meet up and set an exact time. Also state: “I have to be somewhere at (30 minutes after meet time)” so the buyer/seller will be punctual.