Check the Want Ads:


Years ago, Hubby and I were trying to sell the stock wheels that came with our Nissan Versa, and we stumbled across a Want Ad for the exact same wheels we were selling.  We sold our wheels!  Why had this person not found our ad?  I have no idea (I’m betting on sheer laziness), but we learned to quickly check who wants what we’re selling and it’s been very profitable.

Be Available:

Don’t post an ad before heading out of town for the weekend.  Be ready for impulse shoppers who may want that item right away – or not at all!  If you’ve left email as the way to contact you, have it forwarded to your phone so you don’t miss a message and reply promptly

HOW TO PRICE THINGS:

Before I come up with a price, I quickly search Kijiji for similar items and then I’ll look online at Amazon/Etsy/Ebay.  I make a mental note of prices of things I might be selling when I’m checking out local consignment stores or vintage shops so I have a good idea of a fair price for stuff.  Then, to make sure my item sells first, I undercut (at the very least, match) the popular pricing I see for a quick sale and no quibbling.  A fast sale has often been my priority, so I price to move but an item can still get top dollar if it’s priced well, the ad is well crafted and the seller has patience.  If I have the time, I might price a smidge higher than what I want (maybe $440 if I want $400) and then I’ve got some bargaining room for someone to offer $380, I come back at $420, they counter $400 and I get my price (cha-ching), but when I was moving I wanted fast sales so if something was worth $350, I asked $300 to move it and move it quick.

My tactic changes, depending on what I want from a sale, but there is one constant: I always have an idea of my bargaining willingness before I meet a buyer so I’m not caught off guard.  And I always makes sure I can break bills so no one plays the, “well, I only have twenties so can you take $40 instead of $50”? game.  No way, fool, I can break that twenty right now.

One thing I’ve noticed is that $20 is a magic number.  I think that it’s easy for many people to part with a single $20 bill.  There’s a psychology to shopping and buying that stores employ, but I know next to nothing about this.  I do know that I can make a stack of cash selling lots of smaller items for a magic twenty.  If I price something for $25 or $35, I’m inevitably talked down to $20 or $30 so sometimes I might just start there to save time. 

I will sometimes add OBO (or best offer) to indicate I’m open to other prices when I really want to move something.  I’ll also offer the option for a package deal if I’m selling various items.  But both of these tactics can cheapen an item (or make me seem desperate), so I’m careful about throwing around OBO. 

TIPS TO BOOST SALES:

  • I list many or all of my items at one time, in the hopes of luring people for multiple sales (it works!).
  • I show buyers other items I have for sale when they pick up their treasure (it works!).
  • I list a few free items to land more views for the rest of my items (most people click on “check other ads” when they see something they like, and who doesn’t like free stuff?). 
  • I provide multiple ways to reach me (I added our phone number recently because we were moving and changing numbers anyway, and I was surprised when the interest in my items doubled by folks who wanted to talk on the phone or by text, and not via email).
  • I properly categorize my items.
  • I’ve heard that having an account, with Kijiji anyway, ensures people see a complete list of what else you have for sale and it’s organized more effectively.
  • I try to be patient because sometimes it can take weeks to find the right buyer.

(then again, not everything has a buyer out there waiting):

  • I list everything I want to sell, even if I think it won’t sell (our old Rogers Cable box sold for $100 when I didn’t think we’d get a cent for it – you never know what people need or want). 
  • I sell small stuff too (someone might not drive all the way across town for Christmas ornaments, but they might add them to a purchase if they also want some furniture – it happened to me).
  • I hold a yard sale to coincide with the timing of my items to generate more interest and lure over people who want a casual glance (often they end up buying!).
  •  If I am holding a yard sale, I’ll post bigger items and let people
    “preview” them by making an appointment for the Thursday or Friday
    before the sale – it fuels that competitive edge.
  • I don’t use this, but you can link ads to Facebook to announce your items for sale to friends and followers.
  • For some ads, I’ve splurged and paid the extra fee to keep an add in the top (a great option for yard sales when you want to stand out).
  • For collectible/rare items, I will post in nearby cities and communities because some people might make the drive for that sought after item – but I’m upfront about where I’m located.
  • I follow the Kijiji restrictions, for the most part, to keep from having an ad flagged/removed.
  • If someone selling a similar item does not follow the rules, I flag their item to eliminate competition.
  • I sometimes add “ON HOLD” to the title and the
    offers come pouring in.  I think people like the idea of nabbing a good
    deal out from under someone’s nose.  
  • If I’m desperate, or there is a lot of competition (treadmills are a problem), I re-post an item daily so it stays on the top of the pile. 
  • I strategically add my listings during busy hours, which I found were
    Friday night and Saturday morning in Ottawa, but Sunday afternoon in
    Thunder Bay.
  • I might list an add in two categories (vintage furniture goes in
    “furniture” and “collectibles”), but I re-write the ad so it’s not
    immediately flagged as a duplicate (plus I use a different photo).  

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