Be it real estate or a piece of electronics on Craigslist, everyone wants to get as much money as possible for items being sold. In the sea of online ads, getting that best price can feel practically impossible. A few simple things, however, can help ensure you get more money when you sell.
1. Pay attention to photography
Most online buyers start their search by looking at photos. In fact, more than 83 percent of home buyers will decide whether to visit a house based on photos online. While snapping a quick picture with your cell phone camera is easy, good photography has been shown to increase sales price between 5 and 30 percent. Make sure the item you are photographing is well-lit, and use a tripod or a fast shutter speed (or “sports” setting) to eliminate blur in the photo. If you are selling a high-dollar item, it could well be worth the $100-$300 to get professional photography.
2. Avoid flowery language
Straightforward, concise, clear copy describing the item you have for sale will go a long way. Rather than listing the “seriously awesome camera that will make your photos 1 billion times better,” describe the item in concrete terms: “10 megapixel camera with full manual settings to control the photo.” It sounds better, and it will sell better. Do use numbers, statistics and specifications. Do not use more than three adjectives per sentence. A professional copywriter could cost you $50 to $100, but having a grammar-nerd friend check over your listing is worth calling in the favor.
3. Do your research
It’s OK to be hopeful about the sales price, but asking too much can put off potential buyers. Do your research on what similar items are selling for and adjust your prices accordingly. If you are asking for a higher-than-going rate, be sure to explain why. If you are asking for a lower-than-going rate by a significant amount, you should explain that too. Deviations from the norm in either direction are going to be noticed, and answering the questions right off the bat makes your listing more attractive to buyers.
4. Don’t become a spammer
It can be tempting to post your item for sale twice a day, just in case someone misses the listing. Most online services, however, have search functionality. Posting your item multiple times just gets annoying to viewers and makes you look desperate. Only re-post your item if you make change to the price or the terms. Don’t take the time, effort or money to list it multiple times in the same place.