How to sell on Gumtree
I love Gumtree!!
It’s a quick and easy way to sell unwanted or used items. It’s local, so there’s usually no need for postage or shipping. In this piece I’m going to explain how to sell an item on Gumtree, however this is not an advertising lesson. It’s about price setting and gradually coming to the realisation that selling your used items may not make any economic sense at all.
In a nutshell, be prepared to get screwed. Everything on Gumtree is negotiable. A good rule of thumb is to take your asking price and halve it, that’s probably what you’ll end up taking. And if you think that doubling your asking price in anticipation of said halving will do the trick, good luck. You probably won’t get any bites at all. Here’s a few other pointers for setting price…
The item you’re selling isn’t new
It doesn’t matter how new-ish it is. Maybe it’s in new condition, or that you only bought it a month ago. Maybe it’s unopened and still in the box. Or maybe the odometer is only showing 3,000kms from new. It doesn’t matter, it’s still second hand. And if you try pricing your item similar to a new one, people will probably go out and just buy a new one.
The item you’re selling isn’t special:
Unless you’re selling antiques, nostalgia and sentimental value don’t count. Look at your item as objectively as you can and put your memories aside.
The second hand market is dead:
With new consumer goods being so cheap and easily upgradable, they tend to become easily disposable as well. You’re fighting two battles if you decide to sell your old stuff… Firstly, people prefer new stuff. Secondly, you’re competing on price with other sellers with similar second hand items. All this puts downward pressure on the price of your used stuff.
Holding out for a better offer is a gamble:
As discussed, your stuff isn’t getting any newer and there’s probably a lot more of it out there. Do you accept the first offer, or do you wait, hoping for a better offer while knowing that the next offer may be even less or may not even come at all.
Nice guys finish first:
You’ll feel more compelled to discount your price if the buyer seems genuine, is polite, and (most importantly) they don’t waste your time. Make of this what you will, you might decide to be a bit generous with price, or stick to your guns.
It’s not all about money though, there’s personal factors to consider too when deciding to sell your used item:
If your used item is taking up valuable space in your home, then price may not matter as much. Space is a valuable commodity these days with homes becoming smaller. Free up the space no matter the cost!
- Opportunity cost of your time:
Time is also a valuable commodity. If the time it taken to advertise and sell an item is more important to you than the expected proceeds from the sale, then don’t sell. Dealing with tyre kickers, time wasters and no shows can be frustrating.
So those are the factors to consider, in my opinion, when selling a second hand item. Obviously, circumstances will differ slightly from cars to furniture to appliances, or whatever type of thing you’re selling. If the costs of selling outweigh the benefits or you simply don’t want the hassle, consider donating the item if it’s in good condition. If not then it’s probably one for the bin / verge collection.
Remember to recycle!
Antony Monaldi – Snr Accountant
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