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user13371

Advice to Garage Salers

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Not sure if this a "Garage Sale" subject or a "Geocaching Topic" but I'll put it here because it's more a general discussion of selling thing than a specific item for sale.

 

Often someone will offer used gear in the Garage Sale forum for near or even more than you can buy the same item new. If it's an item I'm interested in, I'll post a low-ball offer and explain why I think the asking price is too high. Unaccountably, some people don't like that. Okay, I admit it's a weakness. I shouldn't poke fun at people when I think they're being silly. But seriously, here is some practical advise for garage salers:

 

  • Check the going rate for new and used equipment before you post. Review recent sales of similar items in the garage sale forum, and recently completed eBay (not current/ongoing) auctions to find realistic pricing.
  • Take the bargain hunters and kibitzers in stride. Realize if you post in a public forum you're going to get public comment -- if not from me, then from other folks around here.
  • If you're really after over-the-top pricing on used gear, skip the Garage Sale here completely and go straight to eBay or craigslist. GPS shoppers here are pretty focused on what they want and many have done a lot of comparison shopping. The wider audience on eBay and craigslist will include a larger likelihood of someone willing to pay your asking price. Just be careful of scammers and flakes.
  • If someone posts publicly in your sale and you don't WANT a public discussion, reply to them in private message to take the conversation offline. Engaging someone in conversation publicly for days and then publicly complaining that they should have made their offer and comments through PM is another silliness.
  • And if you really, really think someones comments in your for sale thread are out of line, hit the !Report button and get a moderator involved. Even if it's me giving my usual friendly unsolicited advice.

 

Any other ideas? I've already heard "shut yer yap" -- so I'm asking any OTHER ideas/suggestions on this topic?

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The advice to check the going rate is critical, especially for anything electronic. A lot of people try to get almost as much as they paid for the device new, not realizing that the price has since dropped and new ones now cost less than half what they paid. The value of a used device must be discounted from the current value of a new device.

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If you're going to include shipping in the price and ship USPS Priority Mail please, please don't say you'll ship to "the lower 48" only.

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Answer EVERY pm/email you get about what you are selling, and if you have sold your item then come back to the original posting and say so.

 

Check your email and PMs daily.

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Often someone will offer used gear in the Garage Sale forum for near or even more than you can buy the same item new. If it's an item I'm interested in, I'll post a low-ball offer and explain why I think the asking price is too high. Unaccountably, some people don't like that. Okay, I admit it's a weakness. I shouldn't poke fun at people when I think they're being silly. But seriously, here is some practical advise for garage salers:

 

It's more than a weakness it's against forum guidelines:

 

Individual negotiations or information exchanges should take place through private e-mail or telephone correspondence, not on this board. Please use the communication tools provided on the site or private email.

 

Also, most other boards I have been on strictly prohibited comments suggesting the posters pricing is too high. If you don't like the price you are free to not buy the item.

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  • [*]Check the going rate for new and used equipment before you post. Review recent sales of similar items in the garage sale forum, and recently completed eBay (not current/ongoing) auctions to find realistic pricing.

 

Shouldn't this be the buyers job. It shouldn't be the sellers job to make sure you are getting the absolute best price around; if prices are better somewhere else buy it.

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James: Guidelines are not carved in stone, and it's hard to control what gets posted in large public forums. If someone really doesn't like a specific post, they can always reply to the poster by PM -- or report the comment to the forum moderator.

 

Ryan: Sure, everybody should do their own homework and comparison shopping, but not everybody does. Throwing a little light on pricing doesn't hurt anybody. A seller is more likely to make a sale when they set reasonble prices; a buyer is more likely to get a good deal.

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It seems to me that negotiations should be done privately. Even if the seller initially entertains your initial public inqiry. As you state, "If it's an item I'm interested in, I'll post a low-ball offer...". I'm not sure what that has to do with educating the buyers and sellers as you imply (I believe to Ryan). You are out for some fun. In fact, you said as much in the thread that this was posted in response to.

 

As far as pricing "reasonably", that may be hard to define. If an item is not purchased, it's likely over-priced and the seller has some decisions to make. However, there is no reason forum users should feel that they can't or shouldn't post items on this board if they want top dollar. The market decides what an items is worth. Just because one wants it at a bargain basement price doesn't make it so.

 

If a seller is firm in their price, you can figure they will reject the low-ball offers. I'm not sure that making a low-ball offer just for sport contributes anything to this board. If one finds a "better" deal than is offered, take it. Badgering someone for a deal is hardly useful: "Given a choice between a used item at $210 from a stranger, or a new with warranty $220 from a vendor who offers money back guarantees... which would YOU choose?" To that I'd say, "run and get that better deal, man!". Totally not productive trying to beat someone down to get the deal you want.

 

For full disclosure, I made an offer on the same item Portland Cyclist vaguely refers to in his post. Like his, my offer was rejected, though I made my offer privately. I noticed that the item sold for the asking price within days. The market spoke and seems it was priced appropriately. The seller and buyer certainly think so. The market is usually right whether we like it or not. Just my two cents.

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J.Oppie, you mean THESE posts:

 

#3 http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=276617&view=findpost&p=4754492

#5 http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=276617&view=findpost&p=4754589

 

Those were serious - but low - offers with honest comments about what I thought the GPS was worth. I will rarely comment on an item for sale here if I'm not interested in it for myself -- I don't do it ENTIRELY for sport.

 

Re your comment the you "noticed that the item sold for the asking price within days" ... The seller reported it sold on 5 July (2 weeks after original listing, and 3 days after he said he was taking it to eBay). No indication of the final selling price. Not a good data point for comparison pricing, though it may be instructive on how asking price affects the time it takes to sell something.

Edited by Portland Cyclist

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Portland Cyclist:

 

The post #20 of that same thread (below) is a good example. After 3 days of haggling / offers with honest comments, the seller say "Price is firm" on June 28th. Yet the honest comments keep on coming on July 1st:

 

This is already into reruns? A new 2GB minSD card costs $4. There are better and more up to date maps available for free online, and they AREN'T locked to the unit. Accessories like that do not add dollar value to a used unit. Given a choice between a used item at $210 from a stranger, or a new with warranty $220 from a vendor who offers money back guarantees... which would YOU choose?

 

This was not a serious negotiation because you must have known at this point the seller wasn't going to fold like a cheap lawn chair. Finally, I wasn't trying to collect data for comparison pricing. The only point I was making is that the seller sold the unit for what he wanted. It was on this board to the person after I made my offer. Good for him.

 

Finally...and this time I mean it: I'm looking for free advice that is worth every penny. How do you copy and past those links to specific forum posts? That is pretty clever and puts my copy and paste job to shame!

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How do you copy and past those links to specific forum posts?

Look at any posting; to the far right of the poster's name is a # sign the post numebr itself, underlined. You can right-click that and "copy shortcut" -- or if you trust the scripting just click it and it will present you with the complete URL to copy.

 

FWIW, I admit I had given up that item much earlier than post #20 -- post #20 was more laughing because he was covering the EXACT same ground when SOMEONE ELSE pointed out the same things I did a week earlier. Paraphrased:

 

- Prospect 1: Isn't $210 a lot for a used GPS that sells for $220 new?

- Seller: No, because I'm also including some outdated locked software and a $4 data card!

- Prospect 2 (a week later): Isn't $210 a lot for a used GPS that sells for $220 new?

- Seller: But I'm also including some outdated locked software and a $4 data card!

- Prospect 1: Haha, we're in reruns already?

 

Maybe others didn't see the humor in that, maybe this'll be clearer:

Edited by Portland Cyclist

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James: Guidelines are not carved in stone, and it's hard to control what gets posted in large public forums. If someone really doesn't like a specific post, they can always reply to the poster by PM -- or report the comment to the forum moderator.

 

Instead of having to rely on moderators (who are unpaid volunteers) to enforce the forum guidelines, why can't you just be mature enough to follow them? Regardless, seeing as this thread has turned into more of a justification for your behavior than advice to sellers (which started when you pointed out your willingness to post a lowball offer) I think it should be deleted or moved out of the Garage Sale forum.

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Portland Cyclist: I love that clip! I haven't seen Life of Brian in ages. Strangely, it does clear up everything for me! :D

Edited by j.Oppie

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James, I apologize for letting this turn into a personal discussion. If you'll roll up a bit in this thread, you'll see it does have several tips for sellers, and it was a moderator who moved it TO this section with a comment to "keep the tips coming."

 

So let's do that. If you'd like to comment further on how and what i post, feel free to hit me in PM.

Edited by Portland Cyclist

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It never seems to hurt to give at least an outline of what area you live and what currency your price is quoted in.

 

I don't mean this to be a dig at you folks in the US but the offenders are usually your side of the water. If you want 100 for something it surely doesn't hurt to put the $ in front so people know that your price isn't pounds, euros or Indonesian Rupiahs.

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