Category Archives: Selling on the Internet

The Wild, Wild West of the Internet

My husband and I decided to simplify our lives and reduce the quantity of furniture, collectibles and paintings that we have acquired over the years. Honestly, most of it was collected by his parents and no one else in the family is interested in sorting through and dealing with the good, the bad and the ugly. So, I  have been assigned the task of venturing into E-bay and Craigslist–scary territory! Selling things over the internet is like the Wild, Wild West. The rules seem to be sketchy at best.

The first thing I did was spend some time seeing if any of the items we are trying to offload are actually worth anything. So far, I have found a few of the exact same items for sale on E-bay but they were priced very high and never sold. I decided to list the furniture on Craigslist for a quicker sale. I really have no clue what I am doing but the school of hard knocks has taught me some of the rules of the Wild, Wild West:

1. Haggling is the norm. If you list something for, say $150, expect the buyer to only want to pay $120 max. So, list price should be above what you want to get. My first buyer looked over a pristine piece of furniture and said, “Wow, this is a lot older than I thought,” and “It may be smaller than I want,” followed by, “Would you only take $X for it?”

2. Keep your identity and contact information confidential. If you don’t want a ton of phone calls, you need to use the systems provided that allow you to communicate without the other person being able to track you down. Having the doorbell ring at any and all hours of the day and night can be quite irritating. They don’t get my information until they are ready to buy!

3. Cash is king. Don’t take personal checks or cashier’s checks. The dishonest people have figured out how to work the banking system. You want cash to be safe.

4. Retro is cool. I had no idea that people actually are believing that cheesy 60s and 70s furniture is worth something. I gave away many, many retro items to Goodwill over the past couple years. I still have some very “special” pieces (joking, I think they are hideous) that I plan to sell. My friend’s brother just got back from Las Vegas where they “retrofied” an entire hotel. So, pictures of those orange mosaic tile end tables are getting posted soon, followed by the retro green sofa.

I will let you know if I make big bucks or discover something worth millions. So far, I’m ranging from $20 to $300.  Hey, I’ll take it, and enjoy a simpler life any day!