This 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:
What 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?
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