In the first article in our series about buying and selling on KSL Classifieds we gave you some tips for staying safe. Part two outlined what it takes to make the perfect listing. Now we’re going to look closely at pricing your item. If you’re a seller, you want to find the sweet spot where you move your item quickly but don’t rip yourself off. If you’re a buyer, we’ll help you be an expert in item values like one of those people on Antiques Roadshow so you can negotiate a good price.
No matter how perfect your listing is, no matter how flawless your photos (with the light streaming through your blinds in diagonals across your used Xbox), no matter how clever your headline, how solid the grammar and spelling—none of it matters if you don’t price your item strategically.
It’s obvious, right? However, we do have a little experience with this stuff (we run the biggest classifieds site in the region after all), and we have a few words of wisdom to offer.
First, when you’re pricing your item, leave your biases at the door. Buyers don’t care about sentimental value, nor do they care how much you owe your friend who fronted you the money for hang gliding lessons. It’s best to poke around a little and get a general sense of what the flat screen (or whatever) you’re selling is worth. And while you search, remember not to fantasize about your item’s condition. That’s why dad told you to take care of your things: for resale value.
Do your research
Now it’s time to do your homework — a fun kind of homework, where you get to feel like a detective. Obviously, the best place to start is to check out your competition. Look around on KSL, eBay and Amazon to see the price range on similar products. You’ll probably see some outlier prices on the high end (3x the retail price for a Vitamix signed by Karl Malone!) and the low end ($5 for a Vitamix from some scammer!), but you’ll get a sense for the median price and the current market value.
Remember that the going rate on some items can vary quite a bit by region (SCUBA gear in Moab!) and season (iPhone 8s as soon as the iPhone X comes out), so the more local and current the listings you compare, the better. And if an item has been listed for months and has lots of views but hasn’t sold, that might be a clue it’s priced too high.
Some other sites that can make getting an accurate estimate pretty quick and painless:
http://www.checkaflip.com/ (specifically for price tracking on eBay)
camelcamelcamel.com (specifically for price tracking on Amazon)
Know your terms of sale
The terms of sale are also key aspects to pricing right. Think of this as your own personal pricing and payment policy. It’s important to state your terms clearly up front. If it’s negotiable, then say so in the description or headline. For example, “OBO” = Or Best Offer, means this is your price, but you’re open to what people offer as well. If you’re firm, say that as well. If you’re open to a trade or barter situation, by all means state what you’re willing to swap. For example, “I really need some exercise. Would consider trading my Xbox for a mountain bike.” Point out your preferred payment method: “Cash only,” “Trades considered,” “Venmo,” etc.
Roll the dice
Finally, there is another element of pricing that we can’t help you with. And it’s what makes buying and selling on KSL Classifieds super fun: luck. It’s kind of like going garage sale-ing (or garage sailing depending on your level of enthusiasm). Regardless of what’s stated above, there is always that chance you’ll get a crazy deal or you’ll sell for a significant profit.Comment on this story
And who knows, if you price well, maybe you’ll meet some people who share your interests. Fellow nerds, perhaps. People who understand how awesome your dirt bike upgrades are, or why those Garbage Pail Kids collectibles are heirlooms. A connection like that is priceless.
So what are you waiting for? Start testing your pricing skills and list that item, or be the savvy negotiator you’ve always wanted to be by using the power of KSL Classifieds. And stay tuned for the final installment of our Classifieds how-to series, which will be published on KSL next Friday!