Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A break in the weather

Over this past weekend, I had an unusual flurry of Craigslist sales. I sold a bike, two shortwave radios and some furniture. It was a long time in coming. The bike and radios were listed on CL for several months without any buyer interest. But during the weekend I received quite a few e-mail inquiries from potential buyers. By Sunday night all three items were sold! How do I explain this weird spike of quick sales? It could only have been one factor...nice weather.

Around my neck of the woods, January can bring lot's of snow and very cold temperatures. In fact, a year ago this past weekend, we had a 15 inch snowstorm! Fortunately that hasn't been the case this year. Lately the weather has been sunny with unseasonable warm temperatures in the upper fifties. That's practically a heat wave in these parts! It's this warm weather that brought out the buyers.

Exhibit "A" in my theory is the bike seen here. I bought this British made Phillips bicycle in the Summer. I paid the insanely low price of five dollars for it! I was hoping to make a quick sale, but it lingered on CL for months. My starting price was $125. But as the temperatures dropped outside, so did the price of the bike. I lowered it to $75 hoping to snag a buyer. While a few people tried to low-ball me, no legit offers came in. That was until Saturday, when I received three separate e-mails inquiring about the bike. The first potential buyer was a bike mechanic. I met him at a local restaurant parking lot so he could look it over. Tellingly, the first thing out of his mouth was, "How about this nice weather?!" My theory that good weather brings out buyers was being confirmed!

The bike mechanic went on to describe how he buys old bikes, fixes them up, then re-sells them. Hoping to just get the bike out of my garage, I told him he could have it for fifty dollars. He politely passed, saying he wouldn't be able to make enough money out of it. But before parting company, the gentleman gave me a few good pointers to increase the bike's resale value. He added that I should have no problem unloading the bike in the Spring. I figured the thing was heading back into cold winter storage, when I received another CL inquiry late Sunday afternoon. This fine gentleman drove over to my house with his wife in tow. They took an instant liking to the old bike and after some back and forth that would make the American Pickers proud, we agreed on sixty dollars! Like the Pickers, we even shook hands to seal the deal. That was a nice Sunday evening profit of fifty five dollars! Not bad for something I stored in the garage for a few months.

Further supporting my good weather theory, I had another fella buy two old shortwave radios on Sunday morning. I originally acquired the radios in a trade for ten dollars worth of electronic equipment. The shortwave radios were then listed on CL for over six weeks with barely any interest. But lucky for me, the warm weather brought out a serious radio collector. In preparation for the sale, I had the radios out in the garage and plugged in. The buyer showed up with his energetic dog jumping around in the back seat of his car. The big pooch barked from the car as his master fiddled with the radios. After a few turns of the radio dials, he gladly paid me my asking price of $70 for both. Gently placing the radios in his car, the happy buyer looked back at his loyal pooch and said, "Look boy...more radios!" A man, his dog and his radios...a true "guy" thing if there ever was one.

Last but not least, I sold some beautiful furniture over the warm weekend. This furniture also lingered inexplicably on CL for about a month. Although I was sure the pieces would sell quicker, it took a nice sunny weekend to finally get them sold. How I acquired this furniture is another interesting story. But I'll save that for another day.

So just as the spring weather brings out the first Robins, it also seems to bring out Craigslist buyers! Have you noticed this warm weather buying trend too? With Groundhog Day right around the corner, let's hope the furry guy calls for an early Spring so the sales continue!
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  1. Warm weather not only brings out the buyers, but the yard sales as well. It's been in the high 60s/low 70s here in Georgia for most of January. Let the yard sale season begin early!

  2. You are correct sir! Those are the perfect temps for yard sales, hope to see it like that up here soon. Good luck and let us know if you snag some deals!

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