Personal Finance

The best deal for your hand-me-downs

Arvind Jayaram | Updated on November 19, 2014

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Online platforms help you get the best deal for used products, while being pocket-friendly



Is there an item in your house that’s just been lying inside an almirah for years? Are you thinking of getting rid of your ancient television set in favour of the latest model? You can often get better value for your old product through a well-thought-out selling strategy.

Use new-age classifieds

One of the best ways to scout for a buyer for your used product is by placing a classified ad. An ad in a paper usually costs money, which would erode your ultimate realisation from the sale of the product. Instead, post your advertisement on one of the many online classified advertisement sites that have sprung up in recent years, such as Quikr or OLX.

There are many advantages of listing your products here. For one, these sites do not charge you for posting your advertisement, though there is an option to have it promoted for a small fee.

In addition, they allow you to post pictures of the product for sale as well as a detailed description, which could encourage people to contact you. When you’re listing your advertisement, you can also stipulate the price you expect from the sale, though the option to negotiate with a prospective buyer is always open to you.

To make matters easier for prospective buyers, advertisements are segregated on the basis of locality; so you’re likely to attract interest from people within your city or town, though that doesn’t preclude the possibility of eliciting interest from outside buyers.

Facebook is another great resource to connect with people who might be interested in your hand-me-downs. There are several groups for people looking to buy and sell old items, some of them with members from outside India.

Find a peer group that might be interested; post your product details with a picture and sale price and wait for someone to contact you.

Go for specialised websites

Apart from the sell-anything-under-the-sun platforms, in the case of items such as books or music CDs, there are often specialised stores, niche magazines or websites that you could tap in order to sell your stash at a reasonable price.

Take Bookadda.com, a website that aims to connect both buyers and sellers of second-hand books, or kitabguru.com, where students can sell their old textbooks to other students. This can not only attract buyers who are really interested, but also net you more money than the ₹8-10 per kg your kabbadiwala would be willing to offer.

Similarly, if you want to sell your old car or scooter, post your ad on websites such as carwale.com or zigwheels.com and you are likely to get one or two enquiries at the least.

Whatever money you make on the sale will be free of brokerage. Since there are also no charges for posting your advertisement, you have nothing to lose.

Consider online auctions

If you have a large collection of second-hand items and are unsure about what price to charge for your product, you can consider online auctions as well.

Sites like eBay.com have popularised this concept on the web, but do note that there is a fee involved, which is ₹30 for listing your advertisement for a period of 30 days. To use eBay, you have to first register on the site, as well as its secure payments provider, PaisaPay.

Subsequently, you’ll have to indicate the payment methods you’ll accept for your product, as well as how you’d like to pay your seller fees.

Once this is done, list your products on the website along with a starting price which you’re willing to accept for them. If your auction generates any interest, buyers who visit the listing can place their bids on the item. When the listing ends, the product is deemed sold at the highest bid that was received.

Alternatively, there’s also the option of listing items with a “buy it now” price. But given the fees involved, it would make more sense to list on another site if you are not trying to sell through the auction route.

Caveats

Remember, simply posting an advertisement does not guarantee that you will get inquiries about your product. Keep your expectations realistic when quoting a price and be open to negotiations.

Also, remember that a little patience is required, but this could mean the difference between unloading your product for a song and recovering a portion of the cost you paid for it.

And in case an item is over-sized and requires transportation, make sure that the buyer understands this will be at his expense.



Published on June 22, 2014

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