Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tips for buying second hand a.k.a I hate selling stuff...

Well, we're in the very fortunate position to be getting a few new (to us) pieces of furniture in the wake of my parents downsizing their life. To make way for the new, we're selling some of our old stuff.


The first thing I'll say is Ebay intimidates me (all those fee structures are bloody confusing!) and if it didn't intimidate me as much as it does, maybe I wouldn't hate selling stuff as much as I do.

So, I'm using Gumtree. Gumtree is simple and easy to use, and mostly free (though I have paid $2.99 to have my stuff listed as urgent because we need the stuff gone in the next 10 days).

Anyhoo... I've used Gumtree once before - a few years ago - to sell a pram. That's when I discovered that some people who buy through Gumtree believe in haggling. I know some people really enjoy haggling. I don't, so I try to price the things I'm selling at a very reasonable price; below market value.

This one woman said she wanted the pram and arranged to pick it up, when she got to my house she told me she didn't have all the money and would I take $40 less than the price listed. I said I couldn't do that. She then asked about some of the extras I had listed and asked if I would include them for free in the prams price. I said I couldn't afford to do that but in the end she got them at a reduced price (turned out she not only had the money for the pram, but quite a bit more besides)...

It left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

Anyway, so I'm back selling more stuff. This week it's a dining suite and a king sized bed (sans mattress, though they can have the mattress for free if they like, but it's stained)... The first enquiry hinted at me delivering it - sorry can't do that. He was going to talk to his wife anyway and get back to me. He hasn't, that's fine. The second enquiry called at 8.40pm last night and wanted to come around straight away to look. I said that unfortunately the bed was occupied by my son at that time, but they were welcome to come around today or tonight. So, they arranged to come and look at the bed at 2pm today and I arranged to be home at 2pm. It's now past 3.30pm and no one has turned up and no call to cancel the viewing. Fine. The third enquiry immediately asked if they could have the bed for $300 (it's selling for $450 and I didn't put 'negotiable' on the listing). I said I couldn't sell it for that price. She immediately came back with $400 (which I might consider if no one else wants it).

Yep, people have to ask. I totally get that. I have listed it at a very reasonable price (it has four large drawers on runners underneath, so it's like a bed and a chest of drawers in one!)... People are poor. I so totally get that too (Do they need a king bed then? Maybe it's co-sleeping family like ours?)...

So, tips for buying secondhand...

- Know the value of what you are buying, so you know when you're already getting a bargain before you ask for another 1/3 off the price.

- Assume you have to collect the item yourself unless otherwise stated.

- Don't arrange to view an item and then not show up and not cancel the viewing... The seller has a life, too.

- Do wait a few days before asking for a discount - because by then the seller will have been messed around by other interested parties enough to be desperate to just get rid of the item for less!

1 comment:

Nikki Hilton said...

Great post I like your way of presentation... why It left a bit of a bitter taste in mouth?

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