Over the course of my life I have come upon many a problem that I was not able to conquer because I kept doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results. Today I want to share with you a number of tips that hopefully will help you overcome problems and in the end make you more money.
10. Research the going rate for your item
Millions of dollars are lost each year because of a lack of research by sellers before they list their items. How much are other people selling the item for? What about different Craigslist markets? How much is the item selling for on ebay? Amazon? Pawn shops? How much do dealers sell the item for? The more research that you do, the more money you will end up making when you finally sell your item. Knowledge will help you price your item more accurately and instill the confidence you need to stick to your price.
9. Stick to your price
When you list your item for sale, don’t drop the price for a few days or even a week. If someone calls and is interested in the item but makes a lower offer, tell them that you will consider their offer if you still have it at the end of the day, week or any other set time that you’ve decided. Almost always the person will still purchase the item. A lot of money is lost by sellers that simply don’t put any confidence in their original price.
Not sure what to price your item at? Overprice it on purpose and see if anyone responds. If not, then drop the price when it comes time to relist it. Patience pays.
For the longest time when I would have a really slow day of sales and I would almost bash my head against the keyboard trying to figure out more ways to sell just one more item. I’ve learned that this often is a mistake. Some days you will get more sales than others and you really can’t completely control that. I’ve found that slower days are great for preparing for busy ones. Spend that down time increasing inventory or repairing your existing inventory. Sit down today and make a list of things that need to be done related to your business. Maybe it’s paperwork, cleaning the shop, the garage or the office. When there is downtime, use it productively and start knocking off the items on your list. There should always be something to do. If there isn’t, go take your kids and wife to a park for the day.
7. Find other sources for product
Craigslist is obviously a great place to find product to buy, but if you really want to set yourself apart from your competition you need to outwork them. Find other sources for buying product. Put wanted ads up in supermarket bulletin boards, apartment complex communication boards etc. Befriend local scrap guys that will buy your yard equipment, appliances, wood stoves, exercise equipment as well as many other types of items. Garage and moving sales are great places to find product to sell.
Do you feel like you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to increase your profits? There is only so much money one person can make in a given category on Craigslist. Part of this is due to the amount of competition and the fixed number of buyers on a given day. It might be time to try to find another outlet for your items. Try something completely different as Einstein’s quote above suggests.
5. Understand why one item sells before another
If you are selling items in a saturated niche, like certain electronic items or certain basic appliances, you need to increase your inventory. Let me explain. If there are 100 iPad’s for sale and they are all comparably priced, what will cause one to sell before another? Whoever lists their iPad last will have the best chance of landing a buyer. It’s like fishing in a lake with 100 fisherman standing side by side trying to catch the same fish. Sure there is a chance that anyone with a line in the water will catch a fish, but the guy that casts his line in more times throughout the day will catch more fish. So the person that has five iPads listed is going to have a better chance than a person that is selling one.
As a side note, I often hear people complaining about how long it’s taking to sell their item. Sometimes it’s just a very common item and it’s buried under 50 other listings of the very same item. It will probably just take being relisted, or figuring out a way to set itself apart. This can be done by better pictures, price, possibly delivery, drawing attention to it’s condition, grouping it with another item etc.
It’s unbelievable how many appliance sellers won’t touch up little blemishes on the appliances they are selling. A few minutes and a little appliance epoxy can greatly increase the value of an appliance. Maybe it’s a stain on a piece of furniture that you need to scrub out. Maybe you need to spend a few minutes cleaning the item and making it look really nice. Often times the difference between someone being willing to pay top dollar for an item or not rests in the little details.
3. Get people to come to you
We are starting to experiment with encouraging more and more people to bring their old appliances to us in exchange for a discount in the price. It saves us a lot of time and gas and also makes us much more productive as we can be working and preparing more machines for sale while we wait for customers to arrive. If you are confident in the condition of the item after talking to the seller, it might be worth asking them to deliver it for a slightly higher price. This is especially appealing for really low priced items where there is almost no risk. Just ask yourself how much your time is worth plus your gas. It’s worth at least trying out.
This past week Peter and I purchased 8 very nice washers and dryers in one pickup. The average pickup is 2 appliances and takes about an hour to hour and a half. We saved ourselves the three pickups. That’s a lot of time and gas. For appliances you can search out people that are remodelling and selling all their appliances. The same goes for other categories as well. Search for other listings by that seller by copying and pasting their phone number into the search field on the main Craigslist page for your area. This is very good way to increase your profit per hour worked.
1. Figure out a way to get free trade-ins
Selling something and making money is great. Selling something and getting the same item back that needs to be repaired is even better. If you sell a lawnmower, offer a discount if they bring their old one. If you are delivering an appliance, offer to do it for free in exchange for their old one. This one simple tip could revolutionize your business. It makes your time twice as productive as it greatly reduces how many separate pickups you need to do.
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Need help getting started in your Craigslist venture? Check out my coaching page.