Whether getting rid of old stuff or buying and selling stuff on online classifieds such as Gumtree or OLX you’ll often encounter the same questions time and time again.
1. Why are you selling? (often just a one liner question)
I personally have never understood this question, and to be honest it irritates me. If a person is selling something for some nefarious reason are they really going to be honest about it?
How to answer: It depends on the item being sold, if it’s just a random item say it’s because you don’t use it and want to sell it so you can get back some of the money you paid for it. If buying and selling is your business, say that you do it for a living. If you selling a car say that you are upgrading, or a house, say that you are moving to a different neighborhood for whatever reason such as work.
2. Are you negotiable (when you’ve explicitly stated that you’re not)
Another question I hate, yes, I know negotiation has been around for centuries, but if I have explicitly stated that I’m not negotiable, then it means the price I am asking is the lowest price I am willing to accept. What I hate even more is people sending me messages with arbitrary but lowball amounts.
How to deal with this: Firmly point out that the ads states “not negotiable”.
3. Can you keep it for me? (until x)
You’ve probably heard it before: can you keep it for me until I’m in town/my next payday etc.
The simple answer: no. I’ve kept things for people that don’t show up, and I have sold stuff when person said they coming and don’t pitch and then they contact me a day later asking when can they come. Avoid all the drama will a simple policy: first come, first served. Unless someone says they are on their way right now. Don’t keep it for them.
4. Are you willing to swop it for (something totally random)
Sometimes I get this strange request even though I set a fixed monetary amount and mentioned nothing about a swop.
How to answer: Simply say that you need the cash money and that swopping will put you in the exact position that you currently are: having to look for a buyer for an item.
Now I’m not going to lie to you online classifieds attracts a lot of time wasters. One of the most prolific questions is the “Is the item still available?” Firmly state in your ad “if this ad is still up then the item is still available”. Believe me you will get a LOT of that questions and when you reply saying yes it is you will never hear from that person again.
Selling on classified sites can be a lucrative endeavor but also a frustrating experience especially if you really need the money. I hope these tips make selling online easier and hopefully help you separate the timewasters from the genuine buyers. And remember even if you get 99 timewasters for a product don’t be rude to the 100th person enquiring they must just be a genuine buyer.