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  • Writer's pictureTrader Chris Staff

Selling online? Don't make these 3 common mistakes!

Ever tried to sell something yourself online, only to find that you don’t receive the response you were hoping to get? Here are three mistakes (and how to fix them) that people commonly make when selling their stuff online.

Poor research. Ever come across an item that you’re interested in buying online, only to see someone attempting to sell their used version for more than you can buy it brand new? What are the odds that used item will sell for more than the new version? Probably close to zero.

Before I even decide to put an item up for sale, I always research it if I’m not familiar with it. Ebay, Craigslist, and other online sales venues provide numerous opportunities to see how others price similar items. If you’re able, try to look at completed or sold listings for the most accurate representation of what an item will sell for, and be sure to compare resale prices for new versus used goods. As much as it may hurt to hear, no one cares what you originally paid for your item. Ultimately, things are only worth what others are willing to pay for them.

blurry photo on ugly couch
Photos should be in focus, preferably taken against a clean background. Save the couch for sitting.

2. Bad photos. You may have the most amazing collection of Pez dispensers that the world has ever seen, but if you take pictures of it on the couch covered with cat hair and stains, odds are it’s not going to sell as well as you had hoped.

Take time to properly stage any items that you want to sell, carefully arrange the item, the original box, and any accessories that you have for so that buyers understand what’s included. Provide close-ups of any details or flaws that potential buyers should be aware of. Make sure your photos aren’t blurry or end-up with stray fingers in front of the lens.

Limited information. Periodically, I’ll browse Craigslist for myself or clients. I am constantly amazed at how little information and effort people put into their listings. Yes, I assume because you put it online that it’s for sale. I also assume it’s used. But what I really want to know is what’s the condition of the item I’m interested in? Is there any wear or damage? Does it come with all of the original accessories and packaging?

In addition to answering these questions, it’s always helpful to put the size and/or dimensions of whatever you’re selling in addition to the weight. This will save you a lot of trouble and a potential buyer the frustration of having to return something that’s not the correct size.

Chris DiGiovanna

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