Today I completed another successful transaction using Craigslist. Over the years I have sold several large ticket items and many smaller items through their free classified service. My experiences have always ended well. I think my luck with this so far is great. I also know that not everyone is so lucky.
The real question today is whether selling items are worth the hassle of the Craigslist coördination. What sale price makes them worth it? Especially if you have to drive somewhere to meet someone (highly recommended for safety on all items that you can move around easily).
If you factor in the cost of gas, use of your vehicle or other mode of transportation, time and the hassle of meeting and dealing with new people, selling a $10 item is not worth it to me. What about $20 or $50?
Today I sold a vanity light from my bathroom remodel. It was nice enough, but not really our style. Vanity lights in the big box stores and even online have a huge variance in price. I have not found one of decent quality for under $30 on average. I sold mine for $20. The guy was very nice. He did ask if I would meet him somewhere further south. I just told him the Wendy’s 2 minutes south of my office. I did not think it worth a trip to another city, taking time off of work, etc. to sell a $20 item.
I did end up waiting about 30 minutes for him to find the meeting place. The whole time, I was thinking that there is no way this is worth it. The temperature outside is almost 100 degrees, I am hungry and I might not get off work on time because of this.
Then a funny thing happened. The guy showed up, took one look at the light, put it in his truck and handed me $20. That was super easy! I was so amused by making $20 just like that. This was an item that was of absolutely no use to me.
Now instead of getting rid of a perfectly useful product in the trash, someone else gets use out of it and I am worth twenty dollars more than I was an hour before.
I have typically started to think that $50 is my breaking point with Craigslist listings. $50 dollars is still pretty useful and can offset the hassle for Craigslist coördination. Then again, I did just make twenty dollars in a relatively easy way.
Most financial advisers and bloggers talk about getting rid of unwanted possessions. Craigslist is an effective way to do this.
What’s your take on it? Where is your breaking point? Do you have any horror stories from Craigslist terrors?