eBay & Gumtree survival guide

We’ve done quite well selling a lot of our soul, life and random bits and pieces on these two sites. I remember when we tried selling stuff by hanging a notice in the shopping mall with detachable phone number tabs when I was a kid. This was not much different.

We used this to sell smaller, popular items, such as consumer electronics, brand clothing and accessories, games, etc. To be successful with the least amount of hassle, simply:

1. List your item at the lowest price you are willing to accept as a starting price for a 10 day auction
2. Always add your own images of the item
3. Describe it accurately and in detail
4. Allow local pick up and shipping options that you won’t lose money on
5. Allow for 2 business day handling time, to give yourself time
6. Don’t ship until you are paid, send the buyer a message to remind them
7. Be clear in your return policy, I recommend no returns
8. Once they paid and you shipped, mark it as such and leave them feedback

Gumtree (the green tree of eBay)
We used this for large items and mainly furniture. This is a great tool for selling stuff. Since eBay has bought them the paid options are everywhere.

1. Take your own photos, describe the item clearly, ask people to reply with their name and mobile number if they are interested.
2. Make your phone number available (most people seem to prefer texting or calling you as opposed to emailing) – Thanks Em for this tip
3. Email replies come from a replier address to hide the identity of the potential buyer, this causes some interesting threading issues in email programs, just be aware

Mostly a positive experience, with the occasional email reply reading “Hi” or all capitals yelling demanding to know ALL ITEMS YOU ARE GETTING RID OFF. Well you see… Most people won’t barter once they have comitted to come and take a look at your item. It’s best to agree on the price over the phone first. Check the cash they give you just in case.

A lot of enquiries were about delivery. If you are not willing to deliver, it’s best to specify this in the listing.

Your ad will slip down the list and eventually end up on page 10+. You can pay to push it back up, but the best way is to relist, by copy and pasting it into a new listing.

Now it is all gone, all sold. The feeling is great.

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