I just sat on six large filing cabinets for over three weeks. Nobody called, nobody emailed. I dropped the price, still nothing. I couldn’t figure out why in the world no one would want these nice metal filing cabinets. That’s when it hit me late one night that it’s 2014. People aren’t searching for filing cabinets anymore. So I changed the title and sold all six of them in less than a day.
First, my original title wasn’t bad. It simply said “6 Metal Filing Cabinets” and had a picture of one of them. I got no responses. I thought it might be the price, but when I dropped the price by over 50%, (I wanted to get rid of them) I still got no response. So I naturally just thought there was no demand for them and started thinking about just scrapping them.
Late one night last week it occurred to me that they would make great metal storage cabinets. That was it! I needed to change the title to “6 Metal Storage Cabinets”. Once I changed the ad, all 6 of them sold for $100 in less than a day.
What did I learn?
Focus on what people are searching for
Yes they are technically called filing cabinets, but they are functionally metal cabinets with drawers that slide in and out nicely. They could be used to store all sorts of things. If you have an item that serves many purposes, pick the one that people are searching for. For filing cabinets, referring to them as storage cabinets was the ticket. For 55 gallon former vegetable oil bins, referring to them as rain barrels will find takers much quicker, especially here in eco-friendly Portland.
Review your ad before you give up
I needed to change my title. Other things to check when something isn’t selling include; price, description, pictures, season of the year, proximity to a holiday and anything else that could have an impact on potential buyers. Sometimes there is just no demand for an item, but make sure you check these other items before you give up.
(Side note: I’ve thought about offering an ad review service for a small fee ($5?) where I would review your ad, answer questions you may have about it and make suggestions that I think would help get the highest price/and or the quickest sale for an item. Would this be a valuable service? Would you be willing to pay for it? Email me your thoughts or suggestions. )
It’s easy to go through the motions and not put much thought into how you try to sell something, but a little creativity can go a long way. Tell people why they need to buy your item. Sell it. Tell them they will sleep better at night or that it will improve their social life.. Still give the facts, but be creative when you are making your ads. A few words can make all the difference between something selling, and something sitting.
Have you had any experiences where changing the title helped sell an item much quicker?