Community & Current Events

Tips for selling your stuff online

By: Robin Stevenson and Yuki Hayashi

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

Community & Current Events

Tips for selling your stuff online

By: Robin Stevenson and Yuki Hayashi

1. A picture does say 1,000 words
On Kijiji, advertisements with photos receive five times more replies, notes Shawn McIntyre, community relations manager for the classifieds advertising website. "A photo cuts down on the questions from leads," he explains. "They can see the condition of the item you're selling."

2. It's all in the details
Try to answer all of the questions a buyer might have about the item, says Candace Thomas, cofounder of Junk in da Trunk, an Ontario Facebook buy-and-sell group with 17,000 members. "Post the condition, measurements, whether it's from a smoke- or pet-free home, colour, price and pickup location," says Thomas. "This helps narrow down your customer base right away."

3. Do your research
Are you asking way too much for your used treadmill? Compare the prices of similar items, says McIntyre. Is your item in better condition or worse? See what your competition is before pricing.

4. Be a responsive seller
You might have a lovely patio set for sale, but if you don't reply to potential buyers, they'll likely move on and buy from someone else. "We often hear how frustrating it can be not to hear back from a seller when all the buyer really wants to do is give them money for the item," says McIntyre.

Selling your stuff online? The Toronto Police Service offers these tips to protect yourself during meet-ups.

- Don't meet at home. Always meet in a well-lit, populated public place. Take someone with you during transactions. Keep a phone with you.

- If you're selling larger items like furniture, have someone else with you at home during the transaction and, if possible, move the item to the garage or the back porch. As an added precaution, write down the buyer's licence-plate number.

- Trust your intuition. A number of police services across the country, including Vancouver and Orangeville, Ont., now welcome sellers to complete transactions of high-risk items (jewellery, concert tickets, electronics) in front of the police station or in the lobby as an added security measure.

Are your items donation-worthy?

You've collected a nice-size pile of castoffs, but is your stuff up to snuff? With 12 years of charity and nonprofit experience, Toronto's Rebecca Lee, who has worked at various family-support agencies, has seen the good, the bad and the ugly (not-so-gently used undergarments) when it comes to donations.

Here are her giving guidelines:


- Ask yourself, "Would I put this item of clothing on my own child? Would I proudly pass it on to a friend, a neighbour or a relative?"

- Is this item usable? (A toaster that doesn't toast and CDs that are scratched—not so usable.)

- Is this item broken or missing pieces? (Think a bookcase without its shelves, a damaged doll and chipped dishes.)

- Is this item appropriate for the organization receiving it? (Clothing for seniors donated to a youth organization probably won't go to good use.)

If your stuff passes all of these tests, Lee suggests contacting smaller agencies and charities before dropping off donations to ensure that they have space for larger items.

If you're looking to give away your unwanted stuff, check out where you can donate.

This story was originally part of "Let It Go" in the September 2015 issue.
           
Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
Tags
Share X
Community & Current Events

Tips for selling your stuff online

Login