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Over the years I have sold a lot of our families items that we are no longer using and I have found the better the item looks the quicker it sells and the more I can get for it.
Here are my tips for preparing your items for sale
1. Clean them well
The cleaner the item the quicker it sells, and for more money too.
Plastic toys: Buy soft scrub or make your own and wash the whole toy down in it. For the really big toys like the plastic slides take them outdoors to do this and then let it dry in the sun. If you still have some marks left try magic eraser.
Wooden furniture: Give it a good wash with Murphy’s oil soap. Also take the time to tighten up legs and draw pulls.
Clothing: Make sure your clothing is freshly washed and then folded so that it has the least amount of wrinkles. Hanging your clothes for sale is always best, but I know it is not always possible. If clothes have even a small stain or rip, don’t mix them in with the clothes that don’t, it turns off buyers. If you truly feel they still have value, put them all together and in one area and let your customers know their flaws and price accordingly.
2. Know your items true worth
An item overpriced won’t sell, and an under priced item won’t sell either. I know the second one is hard to believe but trust me especially when I sell things on line, if I price an item too low no one bites. It is like they think something is wrong with it.
If you don’t have a clue what your item is worth spend sometime researching what the item goes for in the avenue you plan to sell it in. By this I mean if you plan to hold a yard sale, spend a Saturday before your yard sale visiting others in your area and noting how much similar items to what you have to sell are priced at. If you plan to sell your fridge on Craigslist, look at other listing of similar fridges first and see what they are selling for.
Always remember that selling secondhand items means that you won’t always get the price you put on it. People love to make deals in the second hand arena and so you will be expected to be willing to drop your price some. In other words price your item with wiggle room for bargaining.
3. Show Case Your Item
How to show case your item well depends on how you are selling it.
Yard Sale: Put like items together. Make sure your tables are neat and tidy. Make sure items are priced clearly. For larger items put them out front to draw in customers. Make sure furniture is sitting on a level surface so it doesn’t appear wobbly when it isn’t. (for more yard sale tips see my 10 Tips To A Successful Yard Sale)
Facebook Buy & Sell Groups: You usually only get one picture for these types of groups so make sure it is a good one, taken in great light and shows the best side of the item. You can also make a collage on picmonkey of all the sides of the item and then post that collage. (for more Facebook Buy & Sell group tips see my Tips For Selling In Facebook Buy & Sell Groups)
Craigslist: Craigslist allows you several photos. Make sure you use them to show the best parts of your item. I always like to be honest too so I not only list the flaws of my item but contain a picture of the biggest one (like a dent in the side of the washing machine). (for more Craigslist tips see my How To Sell On Craigslist)
eBay: Make sure the picture that will show up in the listing area is a great one. Good lighting, close up, no background distractions. (for more eBay tips see my 10 Tips For Successfully Selling On eBay)
4. Be knowledgeable about the item
I like to know a lot about the items I am selling. How old?How big?I Its features. The pluses. The drawbacks.
If I am listing an item on line I always take the measurements of it and list them as well as all of the above. This saves me a lot of time as I have few email questions to answer.
Knowing these things really does help make the sale. Not many people want to buy an item that contains no details and when they asked questions they got a big “I don’t know”.
5. Know the best platform to sell
Certain items sell better on different platforms than others. In general you can sell most anything at a yard sale, but just because something didn’t sell at a yard sale doesn’t mean it won’t sell. Your ideal customer may not have been out shopping that day.
Right now we live in an area where yard sales don’t do well so here is my selling plan, which will work for you too.
1. I first try to sell it to friends through Facebook: In general I put the item at a lesser price then I would else where as these are friends and my list time and drop off time is minimal.
2. Facebook Buy & Sell Groups: If my Facebook friends don’t want it I then move the picture over to a Facebook Buy & Sell group and adjust the price to make up for the time I am going to spend waiting for the person to pick it up in a public area.
3. Craigslist: If I still have items left, big items worth $25 or more go to Craigslist. I find smaller items just are not worth my time listing on Craigslist.
4. eBay: Homeschooling books do really well on eBay, as do sets of books. For instance I will sell lots of books by one author, or in one reading level (teachers snatch those up all the time). I have also had good luck selling popular children’s toy sets, like Duplo, or Lego.
5. Consignment Stores and Sales: I lump these two together as they are both great options for clothing and children’s toys. I talk about the benefits of each ones in these posts
6. Trade in programs: Gamestop might give you store credit for those games that didn’t sell at your yard sale. Amazon might be interested in some of your books. You can also list your unused and still in great shape books on Paperbackswap and get new to you titles to read in return.
By doing your prep work, selling an item can be done in a matter of minutes. I know because I have done it, just weeks ago I posted a simple picture of my daughter’s no longer needed barbie collection, with a description and a price I knew was good for our area on my Facebook homepage and it was sold in under 5 minutes.
These Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges work wonders on cleaning up plastic outdoor toys and furniture for sale, and more (don’t use on painted items though as they could remove paint) .