Pricing for local selling


Back in October, in my Tricky Topic blog, I wrote about the art of pricing things to sell.  In this blog I’d like to focus on pricing for selling locally, as on Craigslist.

As I mentioned previously, you want to research what the item goes for online (Ebay, Amazon) and locally (Craigslist, classified ads).  When people buy online they usually pay shipping costs, so people may be willing to pay more for an item locally since they won’t need to pay for shipping.

Determine a price you’d be happy to sell your item for, we’ll call it the HAPPY PRICE. Your HAPPY PRICE should not be more than what the going rate is online (including shipping), unless it’s something significant to the local community, like tickets to a concert.  Your HAPPY PRICE also shouldn’t be a lot more than what people are offering similar items for locally.  Figure out what your minimum  price is for the item, we’ll call it the LOWEST PRICE.

One of the nice things about listing items on Craigslist is that since it’s free, you can keep your item listed for as long as you want, with the hope of getting your asking price.  Your listing will expire after a set number of days, usually about 30.  My plan of attack is to start my listing at my HAPPY PRICE.  If after a few weeks I am getting no bites, I will lower my price.

If you want your new price to be seen, it is best to delete your item listing on Craigslist and resubmit it at the new price. This will put your listing at the top.   If I know the price I’m asking for is a bit of a stretch, I may also add the phrase “Willing to accept offers” in my listing so people know that I am negotiable on price.  Of course, this approach works best if you are not in a big hurry to sell an item and you are not paying for your listing.  Continue to lower your price over time until your item sells or you hit your LOWEST PRICE.

If it’s still not selling after lowering the price, you may need to consider whether your timing is wrong for the item you are selling.  For example, you probably won’t be able to sell a pool in the middle of winter, no matter how low your price might go.   If you’ve had your item listed for a while and you’ve had no takers, consider taking it off the market for a while.    You might have better luck in a few weeks or a few months.

If you are paying for your local listing, I suggest you set your asking price to one that is most likely to sell, probably closer to your LOWEST PRICE.   You may also need to do this if there is deadline by which you need to sell your item, like a concert date.  Otherwise your item may not sell and any listing fees may eat up much of your profit.

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2 thoughts on “Pricing for local selling

  1. Pingback: Pricing for garage sales « How to maximize money for your stuff

  2. I have a great tip for people using online marketplaces or garage sales to trade used goods. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing the research yourself, you should check out this new startup I’ve just signed up for called Statricks. It is a pricing tool where you get price reports and fair market values for almost all used goods, so you know what you should price your items for – or you know you don’t overpay when buying something.
    I’ve just been invited as a beta user, but already find it very useful. I would recommend signing up and checking it out!

    http://www.statricks.com/craigslist-used-pricing-tool.html?lrRef=FYHr0

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