In the past, between eBay, Craigslist and other such venues, as well as the traditional garage or yard sale, you could move pretty much anything you owned in good condition.
That’s changed. With the US economy still a mess, more and more foreclosures, bankruptcies, job losses, job cutbacks and generally bad stuff happening, it’s getting tougher to move used goods.
Decorations, art, collectibles, items that are not perceived as necessities, well, good luck selling those.
Recently, though, we decided to sell a used vehicle. This was a minivan with over 150,000 miles on it. It had belonged to my husband’s parents, who used it for years to travel back and forth cross country from their summer to their winter home.
They passed it along to us, and we put more than a few more miles on it. Our son used it for a few months after he had an accident that totaled his car, then used it to move from Florida to upstate New York. My husband used it to haul lumber, brick and dirt for home improvements and landscaping.
It ran ok, but was not in perfect condition by any means.
We priced it $50 under the Blue Book value and I listed it on Craigslist. Before the virtual ink on the listing was even dry, I had three emails in my inbox inquiring about it. . . Then a dozen more over the next hour. My phone was ringing off the hook.
Three hours after I put the listing up, I took it down. The van was sold for the full asking price, no dickering, to a young man who needed transportation for his young family.
We probably could have priced it about $200 higher with the same results, because apparently there’s nothing driveable in our area for under $1,000.
Lesson learned: if it’s really a necessity, the buyers are still out there.
Of course, most of what we have to dispose of doesn’t fall into that category: books, art, decorative items.
Now. . . how to persuade someone that they really, really need my white elephant.
Have you found venues to sell non-necessities? We’d love to know about them! Click the Comment link below to share your experiences.