The Perils of Selling Stuff Online

There's a strange mentality at play when trying to sell items online. Several sites on the Internet have become a virtual garage sale. While eBay is the most successful, it's often easier to use sites which focus on local sales, such as Craigslist or Kijiji. Shipping items is a hassle, and it's often easier to receive payment when meeting around town. There may be fewer people interested in your product though, and there are also very obviously those who will try to lowball your asking price.

I recently sold a Nikon SB-400 flash online. Ken Rockwell may love this flash, but it's not flexible enough for my use. I listed it for just over a hundred dollars, which is what a rough look at successfully completed eBay auctions closed for. Within a day, I had two offers for my asking price, as well as this gem:

Hi si i offer 50 dolar cash, if you think let me come and get it

Brilliant! I'll sell it to you immediately... Wait, no I won't. Your offer is ridiculous. If you're trying to get a deal, here's a few tips:

  1. Look for items more than a few days old.
  2. Use relatively correct language. Try using a spellchecker.
  3. Try to explain why you should get a deal.

Try actually being persuasive. If you're lucky, it will work. If not, at least you're not like to be fodder for blog posts.