Monday, August 13, 2012

When August eBay sales are slow, there's always Craigslist!

Is it my imagination or have eBay sales been a little slow the last few weeks? Items I thought for sure would sell at high prices, barely got a bid or worse, went unsold. For example, I listed a Nike Dri-Fit golf shirt at an opening bid of $15 dollars. Normally that's just the starting off point to a big dollar sale.  I can count on these shirts attracting lots of bids, topping out with a healthy $25 to $30 sold price. But not this shirt...it sold for my pathetically low starting bid price. The lucky sole bidder scored himself a nice August deal, oh well!

While the summer months can be slow for eBay sales, August is the absolute pits. The most obvious reason for the lethargic eBay activity is people take their summer vacation in August. Folks aren't sitting at home surfing eBay-they're at the beach, lake or mountains enjoying the final weeks of summer. Even driving around my own town I've noticed things are pretty quiet. Traffic is lighter and some roads are strangely empty. It's enough to make an eBay seller close up shop and take a vacation like everyone else! Hopefully once people get home from vacation and back into their daily routines, business will pick up again.

That's not to say I am not making money! I threw together a quickie Craigslist sale just last weekend. Mrs. Dude was cleaning out our hallway closet and pulled out this rolling file cart. We used the cart to store receipts, bills and other paperwork. For reasons only known to Mrs. Dude, she decided the cart was no longer needed. Could it be that we no longer have bills and receipts!? Ummm...Nah... pretty sure that's definitely not the reason. : (

Pulling it from the closet, Mrs Dude suggested we sell it at our upcoming garage sale. (It may come as a shock, but I hold a garage sale every so often. It's either sell some stuff or call that Hoarders TV show to help me with my little problem.) But while I am fine with selling stuff at a garage sale, I also have a theory you can make more money if you sell certain items through Craigslist. I thought our rolling cart was just this type of item.

Doing a little internet work, I found similar rolling file carts in Target, OfficeMax and Staples that retailed for around $50 dollars. Backed with this market research, I decided to list our cart at a reasonable $25 dollars. Before I could however, Mrs. Dude questioned my data integrity! She thought the cart cost around $25 when it was brand new. Although I wasn't sure what we originally paid, my philosophy is to start out high on the price. If all you hear is crickets, then you can always lower the price. So I stuck to my $25 price and waited to see if anyone would bite.

Just a few days later, someone did bite! A school teacher contacted me and said she'd been looking for a rolling file cabinet for her classroom. Naturally, I was more then happy to help out the public education system! That evening, I met the teacher in the parking lot of a local CVS store and traded the cart for $25 dollars in cold, hard cash.

I was happy with the sale. Had I tried to sell the cart at my garage sale, it's unlikely I would have netted $25 bucks. Most garage sale pickers are like me-they like to haggle and talk you down on your price. With Craigslist, I avoided all that drama, scoring a nice sale in the middle of the dog days of August! 

How are your August sales going? Do you agree that you can sell at higher prices on Craigslist then you can at a garage sale? Give us your thoughts in the comment section.....  













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33 comments:

  1. I have never used Craig's List, but given what people want to pay for items ar yard sales I have to believe you can do better with Craig's List. Great sale, it sounds like you got your money back, after years of use.

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    1. Kate-It was a great sale and we freed up some space in the closet, although still not sure where all the house receipts are now!

      Give Craigslist a try-you'll like it. Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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    1. elcommandante - Absolutely...no fee is one of the best-est things about CL!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  3. I wish I could part with my thrift shop treasures. In all of my thrift shop wanderings, I really don't find enough to re-sell.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. Tami-I checked your site out and "followed" you. Very cool!

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  4. I've switched to all BIN's and I'm still having quite a few sales! Auctions are DEAD right now!

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    1. Laureney-I have to agree with you. I love the thrill of a good auction but might have to re-think it and do more BIN.

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  5. Totally agree that C'list is the way to go for the reasons you mention. I use it for stuff that's too large to ship easily. And yes, auctions are slow right now, but I just sold three things for a total of $60...on a $6 investment. It's a good time of year to turn over things like the Nike backpack I picked up for a buck this summer!

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    1. Queen-You are right, time to shift to school stuff. I have some kids sneakers up for auction right now. Wow, would love to find some nice one dollar Nike or NorthFace backpacks to sell right about now. And $6 into $60? Give me that any day of the week!

      I just sold a super heavy ham radio on CL for big bucks on CL (Should make a good blog piece down the road) But like you say, if I sold it via eBAy the shipping costs would have been through the roof. With CL, I made the same amount of $$$ with no hassle of packing it or the high postage costs! Win-Win!

      Thanks for writing in & keep on selling that school daze stuff....Dude!

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  6. I love Craigslist for unloading the big items. I have a kiddo who recently passed the one year mark, and CL has been great for selling all the bulky baby gear (swing, Jumperoo, etc).

    I have a friend who once said:

    On Craigslist people are looking for a deal, at yard sales people are looking for a steal.

    I thought that summed it up well.

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    1. Kari-Cl is ideal for that big plastic kid stuff isn't it? Makes you wonder what we would do without Cl around? (More stuff to schlep out at our yard sale, I guess)

      Ha! Your friend nailed the difference between CL and yard sale people-that's perfect! (I am always lookin for a steal-ha!)

      Thanks for the great summation....Dude!

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  7. Yes, I sell my larger stuff on CL like kids' toy kitchens and I always flip Leapsters on CL rather than Ebay. Yard sales are when I sell the left over stuff I've picked up that isn't really worth anything, as far as I can tell!

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    1. Diane-Never thought about selling Leapster on CL-that's a good idea! I am like you, I have a pile of leftover eBay "No sale" stuff that's going out in the front yard. As a last resort, I throw what's left form the yard sale in the back of my truck, take a picture and sell it on CL in a big lot. It's like, "come and get it!" People bite on that too!

      Thanks for writing in and for the Leapster idea....Dude!

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  8. My husband's auctions didn't do well the last couple weeks either. After reading your post, it hit me! Olympics! We were watching a lot of Olympics & DH was even working on some of his posts while we watched. Hopefully things will pick back up again now that they are over!

    I picked up a Bumbo in like new condition for $7 at a garage sale on a Saturday. Listed it on CL Sunday, met the buyer on Monday afternoon and sold it for $20!

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    1. ertiner-Olympics!! You are exactly right! I read that more people watched this Olympics then the one in Beijing. I am sure that contributed to the low sales too. Now that they are done, hopefully the sales will start revving up again!

      Bumbos are great aren't they? People usually sell them at yard sales for five bucks or less, and you can flip them for $20 or more! You can sometimes even find them on CL for cheap too and re-flip them.

      Thanks for hitting the nail on the head....Dude!

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  9. Good sale, Dude! Always good to sell it for a bit, especially when you WANT to get ride of it. I have been doing really well with Buy-It-Nows on ebay this month, though. Higher priced things, too - over $50 (on my $2-$3 investments.). So I'd give Buy-It-New a whirl - but ALSO be sure to check "immediate payment" also - it doesn't give the buyer time to change their minds 2 days later!! ;-) Been having a few non-paying bidders lately and it makes me nuts that I then have to wait 4 days to file the NPB, and then they get 4 more days to respond! Totally ridiculous! So I'm liking/using BIN more often - and doing Good Till Cancelled! That's my strategy and I'm sticking to it!! Works for me!

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  10. Susie Q-Good advice. I usually live and die with the auctions but the BIN listing may be the way to go.

    Your comment bring up something else that has been sticking in my crawl since eBay once again re-wrote "the rules". Isn't it funny how a buyer can take their sweet old time paying you,but when they finally do pay, eBay requires you to ship almost immediately,
    or else face fee penalties? That really burns my biscuits!

    Good luck with those non-payers, I've been hit with a few of them too. Once again, no big deal to eBay though!

    Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  11. Non paying buyers need to be penalized more......I currently have 7 NPB cases....need to go check my auto settings, I thinkI will time itas short as possible. One buyer sent me an email only after case was opened and told me financial sad story ona 12.99 sale and asked to cancel...Idid the same thing they did to me early on....no response!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. The Ebay system gives these deadbeats a pass! Very frustrating!

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  12. Unrelated, but I can tell you something that is always worth big bucks. There is a local garage sale guy that I know and he is an older gentleman, and we became good friends. He has been doing this for many years, and he buys anything military. So, if you live next to a military base, you should seek out anything militray. He puts an ad on CL to where he advertises "I will buy any military items." He makes big bucks. Just a thought :)

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    1. GSA- Good point. I've sold a few military items in my time, but they are not easy to come across. Like other hot collectibles such as quality tools, antiques and jewelry, military stuff gets scooped up quick at garage sales....Thanks for pointing it out!....Dude!

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  13. I love craigslist... No worrying aboutnwhether someone is unsatisfied or not, no risk and time spent shipping.

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    1. SixBalloons-Amen! All those little eBay "traps" that can ruin your day are non-existent on Craigslist. Best of all...no eBay reaching in your pocket and taking their greedy fees! ; )

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  14. I started a Facebook yardsale group--its wonderful! we have about 750 folks buying and selling all kinds of stuff

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    1. Nice! I hear of more and more people doing that, need to look into that more. Another option to avoid the tyranny of eBay!

      Thanks for checking in....Dude!

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  15. In my neck of the woods (Chicago) summer has officially ended this week as the kids went back to school Tuesday. Crazy.

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    1. Ha! That is crazy. I thought early school starts were more of a thing done down in the Southern states, but I guess not. Around here school starts after Labor day.

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    2. As it should be...school should never start before Labor day. :)

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  16. Hello and thank you for your post. I live in Los Angeles and my experience with CL has been rather poor. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong and would appreciate your advice. This has been my experience - Within my listings I ask that people CALL and not text (which they end up texting or sending e-mail anyway)- I upload very good pictures and give honest and informative details. I receive almost no calls with the exception of two people who did buy my things. The other few calls have mostly been from people more interested in knowing if my items have sold rather than being interested in purchasing them. PLUS, the number of "nudie-cutie" e-mails and photos I've received from WOMEN is truly surprising. They all seem to have the same script - "Hello Deborah - I read your post and you sound fascinating and I'm lonely and would like to get to know you." Excuse me, but how fascinating could a listing for a set of copper pots and pans or my Dell Computer Speakers be? So Mr. Dude, I would truly enjoy hearing your thoughts and suggestions about how I can get some of my things sold on CL. I too am an eBay seller and it's been DEAD. I thank you in advance for your help. Deborah

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  17. Well, I guess this thread went dead after I posted since there has been no reply to my questions. If anyone can assist I would be most appreciative. Thanks. Deborah

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    1. Deborah- I sometimes miss the previous comments, let me give your excellent question some thought.....

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  18. August 2012 was AWFUL for sales on eBay! I had very little action.

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