Want to Know How to Sell Things Online Fast?  Just Ask My Wife to Put It on Facebook!



How to Sell Things OnlineThis week, thanks to my wife, the MMD household made a ton of money on the side.  But this wasn’t our usual passive income or blog revenue.

Nope.  This was different.  This week my wife completely schooled me in the art of how to sell things online fast – all by using Facebook!

Who knew these days that’s all it would take.  I can still remember the days of the dark ages (i.e. about 20 years ago) when I used to go looking through the newspaper (remember those?) classified to find guitar gear.

In more recent years I’ve really been a fan of using Internet sales sites like Ebay and CraigsList.  But even those sites were a huge improvement, they still had their own fundamental drawbacks.

Fortunately things like high-speed service and social sharing websites have completely revolutionized how to sell things online.  You can list things for free and people can find your items for sale pretty quickly.  It’s a pretty great system.

So what was it that my wife was able to sell on Facebook?

 

Sale No. 1 – All Our Kitchen Appliances:

About a week ago we had decided it was finally time to upgrade the appliances in our kitchen.  Most of them were going on 10 years old and starting to really show their wear.  In their place we were getting brand new stainless steel units.

So what to do with the old ones?  One option was to have Home Depot haul them away never to be seen again.  Another option was to try to sell them on Craigs List and try to mess around with having people come out to dicker on the pricing.

My wife decided to simply go ahead and put them on her Facebook page.  $150 for the fridge and $75 for the stove.  (The dishwasher we just simply had Home Depot take away since it was so far gone).  Amazingly within hours she was sending me text messages that she had just sold both things online to people we knew.

I was so happy to see them gone and not have to worry about them cluttering our garage for weeks on end!

 

Sale No. 2 – A Pool Heater:

For as long as we’ve had our pool, we’ve also had a pool heater that for whatever reason we’ve never hooked up.  This summer we finally decided to give it a shot and you know what?  It looked horrible!  Because of the way our yard is relative to the pool, it just looked like a huge piece of trash lying in our grass.  It had to go!

Unfortunately we had foolishly waited 3 years to take it out of the box and find out we didn’t really want it anymore, so we were way past the statute of limitations on taking it back to the store.

Again, online my wife went to Facebook and sold the sucker in hours.  And she got reasonably close to the price we originally paid for it!

 

Sale No. 3 – Concert Tickets:

How to Sell Things FastWhat do you do when your husband gives you concert tickets for an upcoming tour of music that he really doesn’t even care to go see but he knows how much you like them?  How about decide you don’t really want to go!

Just kidding.  Actually my wife really did want to go to the concert.  However, it is in another city far away and the logistics of someone watching our kids, watching our dog, finding a hotel room overnight, etc was too much to make the event worthwhile.  So we decided the better thing to do was to try to sell them online and see what kind of money we get for them.

The first place we tried was StubHub.  In the beginning we set our ticket price for almost twice what we paid for them since most of the other seats were right around that price range.  But then as the concert date got closer, we unfortunately had to keep dropping our asking price lower and lower and lower.

We got to about 4 days before the concert and were starting to panic.  Again my wife decided to put Facebook to the test and within a few hours someone she knew had re-posted and sold them.  Before I even got home from work the transaction was already complete.

 

Why Knowing How to Sell Things Online Using Facebook is a Success:

Why is it that all this stuff sold online using Facebook so incredibly quickly?

First there is the obvious factor (which doesn’t really have anything to do with Facebook): We probably priced it too low.

Usually whenever I sell anything online using something like Craigslist or Ebay and it sells immediately, my first reaction is “I should have asked double the price!”   But then again we weren’t really selling these items to make a million bucks.  We just wanted them to sit in our garage for another 3 months!

Realistically I believe that when it comes to selling things online, Facebook would have one giant advantage over everyone else: Trust.

Think about it.  You have one of the most captive audiences you could ever ask for.  Everyone who bought from us knew us (or knew someone who knew us).  So they knew we were good people (i.e. not serial killers) who take good care of their stuff and have good items to sell.

When was the last time you had that kind of confidence with Craigslist?  My wife and I joke (but are also half serious) that whenever I sell something on Craigslist and someone comes over to pick it up, if I don’t come back in 10 minutes to call the cops.

The other way I think Facebook makes selling things over the Internet a breeze over other methods is because it is practically instantaneous.  It’s free.  You don’t have to register or enter any codes.  If you want to respond to something, you can chat with that person if you see they are on Facebook right now.  Even if they’re not and you message them, a lot of people use their phone to reply back within in minutes.

Ever tried to get an immediate response with Craigslist?  The other day I both emailed and called a local guy about buying a used Nintendo Wii.  After a week I still have yet to hear any sort of reply.

Readers – What are your tricks for how to sell things online like a pro?  Has anyone else had as much success as my wife with using Facebook to sell their stuff?  Any good Craigslist horror stories?

 

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

    • says

      It was surprising how quickly things seemed to move. When people know who you are and how you live, I’m sure that helps give them confidence that you take really good care of your possessions and that will encourage them to buy.

  1. says

    We have a neighborhood facebook page and it is the BEST place to buy/sell things. I love it! I got a free chair off of there and sold some of my kid’s toys! It’s super convenient too since it’s a closed group full of people from our neighborhood.

    • says

      Now that’s an idea! Neighbors swapping stuff? That’s practically what happens when you have a neighborhood garage sale. That’s pretty resourceful.

  2. says

    Interesting about FB versus CL. I posted a coffee table on CL recently with NO bites! I think I’ll have to try FB. I even posted it on freecycle to just give the damn thing away (it was given to me for free) and I still can’t get rid of it! Ahhhhh!

    • says

      Craigs List is somewhat hit or miss. I’ve always had mostly good luck with CL, but every now and again I’ll post something that gets no bites also. That’s kind of amazing that even after you made it free still no one wanted it :)

  3. says

    I have never thought about using Facebook, but I imagine that it would be really successful. The biggest benefit that Facebook gives you is that most people probably already know you personally and a number are probably close by to you, so those are two great first steps when selling something. We have had success on Craigslist, and I honestly have no idea why because it just seems like a cluster.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted..Music Mondays – I Would Do AnythingMy Profile

    • says

      I’ve always thought Craigs List seemed like a giant cluster as well. It’s simple – I’ll give them that. But how anyone actually finds my posts I’ve got to wonder sometimes.

  4. says

    The drawback about Facebook is that your audience is pretty limited — just as far as how many friends you’ve got or how many groups you’ve been in to promote your stuff. Nevertheless, if you don’t care so much about it as long as you can sell your stuff fast instead of building a business around it, I think it’s definitely a great place!
    Suburban Finance recently posted..More Free Stuff for Grown Ups!My Profile

    • says

      True – the audience is pretty small; even if you have +500 friends. In a large city you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of potential buyers on Craigs List. But I think that it gets back to trust. CL has a lot of skepticism when it comes to who you’re dealing with and the postings are so random. Part of what I think makes the FB phenomenon work is the fact that usually your friends are a lot like you and like the same kind of stuff. Therefore when you’ve got something to sell, you’ve got a somewhat relative audience that would be way more interested than strangers you might find on CL.

  5. says

    It’s amazing how social media is taking over from traditional sales portals. I recently purchased a couple of items from small, boutique businesses halfway around the world, simply because I liked the look of their stuff on instagram. I’m funding that selling stuff on eBay is beneficial, but I’m wasting about 10% of my stock on “lost” items and buyers “gaming the system” by making complaints. The Facebook trust factor is a huge plus!

    I’m about to set up another side hustle and it will be almost completely reliant on social media to drive traffic and buyers to my site!
    Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz recently posted..A packet of Lifesavers costs $20My Profile

    • says

      I completely agree how incredible it is that you can find and buy something from half way around the world with just a few clicks of the mouse. 20 years ago there is no way that would have ever been able to happen the common person.

      Good luck with that new site! I’ll have to check in on your progress.

    • says

      I know what you mean. Old CD’s and books just aren’t worth your time when it comes to eBay. It has to be something large and worthwhile in order for you to make any cash.

  6. says

    I’m not on Facebook anymore, but my husband is. Maybe we’ll start using that instead of Craigslist! I understand there are actually groups that sell and buy things on there now…the ones I’ve heard the most about are for kids’ clothing.
    femmefrugality recently posted..Another Way to Cut the CableMy Profile

    • says

      My wife has gotten in on a few of those before and she’s made a killing selling our old children’s clothes. We both felt she made a ton more money than if we had tried to do a garage sale.

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