15 years ago, I bought a computer that came with a nice printer that I didn’t really need. I emailed friends to see if anyone wanted it, dirt cheap. Five people replied and that was the beginning of Crazy Chip’s Bargain Barn!
Since then, I sold unwanted stuff by having a “Cyber Yard Sale” via email, Craigslist and eBay. I have recouped thousands for myself, and almost $10,000 for my parents’ things. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
It’s the perfect storm of commerce and recycling when someone is paying you to let them take away something you no longer want. It is a Win-Win for the Capitalist Pig and the Dirty Hippie in all of us! And it’s easy to do. Here’s what I suggest:
Email – At Crazy Chip’s, we’d rather sell it to someone we know than let some weirdo traipse in and about the Chinery Compound because he read about it on the WWW. If it were me, I’d email friends first. Yes, they may think you have turned into a slicky-boy who is now fencing stolen property, but so be it.
1. Snap a few pics of what you are purging. Write a brief description of what it is. Include a model number if you can find it. Google the model number to include a link to that exact product online. This will show all the specs and probably the retail price as well.
2. Now that you know how much it goes for at a store, search eBay’s “Completed Listings” on the left side of their website. This gives an idea of what to expect if sold on an auction site.
3. Finally, “search posts” in Craigslist and SearchTempest to see if anyone is selling something similar and for how much.
Now that you have a good idea of what you can ask, decide how much you’d accept, and slap a sticker on it. If you want it gone asap, price it to move.
Craigslist – If you want to reach more people than those in your address book, go to Craigslist. I suggest you click on “My Account” in the upper left corner and then “Sign up for an account” or just click here. Having an account will make it easier to repost, remove and edit your ads when needed. Like email, Craigslist is free.
You’ll post the same information that you emailed and can have up to 24 photos. I never post on Craigslist without including at least one photo. Be honest about the condition. If it is scratched, show it in a photo. This will save everyone time. I also put that it is “Cash and Carry”, and include my cell number because people loves them some texting.
If you have several items, I recommend making an ad for each item. Then take the links and descriptions of each ad and put them all in a brand new Super Ad and call it “Crazy Chip’s Cyber Yard Sale” or whatever applies. I did this when I was moving my parents’ unwanted stuff. You can see what I posted below, although the links are no longer active. I had 15 items in one Super Ad. As each item sold, I signed into my Craiglist account and removed that individual post, and edited it out of my Super Ad.
For the transaction, I suggest meeting in a public place like the parking lot of a busy grocery store, right up near the entrance of the store. If you are a damsel, you might bring some muscle to deter any shenanigans. You could also email these Craigslist links to your friends.
eBay – If you have something that is not in demand locally, you may try eBay. Their fees are reasonable and your audience is mighty. Up to now, it hasn’t cost you a dime, only time.
The Isle of Misfit Toys – If you still have stuff left, you can repost it on Craiglist under “Free Stuff”. I did this with an answering machine. I told the person who wanted it that I left it in a bag on my front porch, and they could pick it up whenever it was convenient for them.
You can also donate your stuff to organizations like Goodwill. Here is a Donation Value Guide with the amounts the IRS says you can value your donated stuff, if you are writing it off your income taxes as a charitable donation.
Besides all kinds of stuff from my folks’ home, I have sold: computers, old phones, software, stereo equipment, miscellaneous electronics, a keyboard, and Hi-8 & Mini DV video cameras (people whose cameras no longer work bought them to transfer old tapes to digital). I even got $10 for an Ab-Roller that didn’t fold up, when the new foldable ones sold for $15!
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