Guidelines For Selling Used Items Online, Such As On Facebook Marketplace or Carousell

Like so many of you, I also love purchasing used items online. So far, I've bought second-hand shoes, clothes, bags, laptops, cameras, smartphones, and even a vehicle from fellow Filipinos through the internet.

I love doing this mainly for these reasons:

1. I like supporting small online sellers and resellers.
2. Some of the new items that they offer are hard to find in malls and even in online stores of big brands.
3. I love buying vintage items and legacy releases.
4. You can save a lot of money by buying slightly used items - especially gadgets - that are very expensive when they are brand new.
5. Many online sellers have become my friends and they have even linked me to other sellers of hard to find items.

JRS, Selling Used Items

Just last week, I purchased a Nike Air Max 95 Triple Black in my size - 9.5 - which I couldn't find in malls or even in the official Nike website.

I collect Triple Black sneakers and I'm in love with this particular model because of its "human anatomy" design story and its interesting history as the top getaway shoe of crime rings.

Nike Air Max 95, Used Shoes, Selling Used Items Online

I found this used pair via Carousell from a seller based in Bacolod. At first, I was hesitant to send payment via Cebuana Lhuillier before seeing the shoes in the flesh but he was able to give me enough reasons to trust him completely like by adding me on Facebook and sending me a photo of his driver's license -- and it was worth it. After receiving the payment, he immediately sent me the pair via JRS Express and I got it just two days after.

That was one of my best deals with an online reseller this year -- but not all of my transactions were as good. Some were so disappointing that I ended up returning the item I bought or cancelling the deal pre-maturely for one reason or another.

As a buyer of used items online for many, many years now, I'd like to share a guideline for second-hand resellers on Facebook Marketplace or Carousell (formerly OLX) based on my own experience. If you are one, you might want to follow these to avoid the hassles of dealing with angry and disappointed buyers.

1. Be honest and transparent.

Trash the "maybe they won't notice this damage" mindset and just be completely transparent about the condition of the item you are selling. Disclose even the smallest imperfections and don't fool your buyers into believing something that's not true about what you're selling. If it's just a replica, don't pass it off as the genuine article. If it has been repaired, don't tell the buyer that it's practically brand new. When it comes to selling used items online, honesty is truly the best policy.

2. Send actual photos of the item to manage expectations.

All of our smartphones have cameras. Take images of the item from various angles and capture its minutest details. Send shots of its flaws and imperfections to the potential buyer so there are no surprises. Even one photo can speak a thousand words.

3. Gain the trust of potential buyers by not looking shady.

If a buyer who's already sure about purchasing your item asks for your full name or a photo of your ID, I think there's nothing wrong with disclosing those provided you also get his or her full name. Personally, I even add sellers as friends on my Facebook account, which makes it easier for me to ask them questions about the product.

4. Be responsive to the inquiries of potential buyers.

For me, an online seller who takes several days or even a whole week to answer inquiries on Facebook Marketplace or Carousell is a big turn off and is a warning sign that the deal will be hard to complete.

5. Prepare the items well before delivery or shipment.

If you're selling gadgets, do a factory reset and make sure that the buyer will get all standard  accessories that go with it if you still have them. If you are selling clothes, wash them first and fold them neatly. If you selling shoes, clean and disinfect them before putting them in the box.

6. Offer a guarantee or even after-sales support for a short period.

Whenever I buy a rather pricey second-hand gadget like a smartphone or a laptop, the seller usually gives me a seven-day return deal in case I find issues with the item. I think that's fair. As for damaged clothes and shoes, the good sellers usually offer immediate refund through meet-up or bank transfer and shipping.

7. Be willing to refund payment or to negotiate a swap in case your item fails to meet the expectations of the buyer because of hidden damage and other factors.

Be professional in your transactions and graciously handle challenging situations such as when the buyer is not happy with the item and wants to return it. Keep in mind that returning a purchased item is also a big hassle for the buyer so try to be as diplomatic as you can. I've dealt with sellers who have suggested just swapping other items for the damaged product that they sent me instead of giving a full refund and in some cases, it worked well for us.

So there you have it! These are just my suggested guidelines for second-hand sellers online. Do you agree with them? Do you have other suggestions that you want to add? Share your thoughts with me through our comment section below or by messaging me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Let's talk. Cheers!

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