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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