Whether it’s time to for a PCS and you have to make weight or just time to rid your space of the clutter, you need an easy way to sell those used items. Welcome to SargesList – The preferred military online classifieds! The experts at SargesList have put together a few simple steps to ensure a safe and profitable transaction.
Photos are important
Successful ads need digital pictures that clearly show the item being sold. Getting that perfect shot should only require a few steps. ¬†Lighting, backdrop, a clean item and a camera that takes decent digital pictures. ¬†All pictures should show items in usable condition. ¬†If it has a stain that can be washed out, wash it out. ¬†Does the item need a repair of some kind? ¬†Repair it. ¬†Pet hair, lint, your hair, dirt and dust should all be removed from the item.
Backdrops are necessary. Using a wall, a plain, solid colored bedsheet that is not wrinkled or some other type of backdrop will help to focus the buyer on the item being sold.
Natural light is your friend. Most photographers recommend morning or afternoon light for shooting amazing natural light photos. If you are unable to get your items outside or near a window, be sure the item is well lit (not just using the flash) to avoid shadows.
A steady camera takes sharp pictures. Use something to prop that camera and keep it still and focused (rest your elbow on your knee, prop on a table or chair) and fill the camera view screen with the item being sold. ¬†Be sure to shoot from different angles and include any accessories or owner’s manuals in additional shots, if needed. You can use the manufacturer’s website photos of the item in addition to your own photos to show that you are providing the complete item.
It’s all in how you say it
Before you start writing the description of your listing, do some quick research on what similar items are selling for on other sites. Choosing a pricing strategy is another key component. ¬†Do you want to sell it fast at a lower price or leave wiggle room for negotiations? No matter which strategy you use, be sure to indicate in your listing if there is room for negotiation (OBO: or best offer) or not (indicate price is FIRM). ¬†If you are willing to ship, indicate whether or not shipping is include in the price and if it isn’t, indicate shipping charges (ie: ¬†$45 including shipping or “Buyer to pay actual shipping charges. Item will fit in a Priority Flat Rate Medium Box” or “Local pickup only. Will NOT ship.”).
Your ad title should clearly identify the item being sold (“LOT: Girls 4/5 Winter Clothes” rather than “Girls Clothes for sale”). In the description, be sure to accurately list the main features, manufacturer and details of the item and it’s condition. Remember that “Like New” or “Excellent Used Condition” are all subject to each individual buyer’s perception. If in doubt, underrate the condition so that your buyer(s) will be pleasantly surprised with the transaction. Keep the description brief (30-50 words) to keep potential buyers interested. ¬†Do not include any personal info in your listing (phone number, email or physical address).
Be a smart seller
Once you start receiving responses, review them to weed out scammers. Emails with generic inquiries and poor grammar or spelling are usually the result of a scammer. Anyone who offers to pay additional money to have something shipped or to have you pay someone else to have the item picked up or insist on completing a transaction in a method that makes you uncomfortable are likely scammers. Trust your instincts and walk away if something doesn’t seem “right”. ¬†Read our Safety Precautions page for additional information.
Try to meet your buyer in a public location (ie: grocery store parking lot, police station parking lot) and bring a friend. If the item is too big to be taken to a public location and you must have someone come to your home, be sure there is a friend/neighbor (or more) there and have them help you bring the item outside before the buyer arrives. Allow the buyer to only view the item they responded to and if you start to feel uncomfortable, ask them to leave and end the meeting.
Once you reach a deal, only accept cash. If a buyer asks to pay with a money order, wire transfer or check, politely decline and let them know where the closest bank or ATM can be found so that they can obtain cash to complete the sale. PayPal and other online transactions are quite popular and can be a safe way to accept money for anything being shipped/mailed. Be sure to provide proof of mailing that includes tracking in the PayPal transaction and require that buyers pay using the “Goods and Services” option to provide protection to both you and the buyer.
If you are holding a yard sale or selling a lot of items, you may want to invest in ways to detect counterfeit bills, such as a counterfeit detector pen available at most office supply stores.