I’m still learning the basics of selling online. During this month of selling computer hardware, I’d find something I wouldn’t mind selling, photograph it from multiple angles, put it in my selling staging area, then forget about the details, and would need to retrieve the item to write the ad. Now, it stays on the photography table until it’s posted. Or at least, until I do the research and write the ad. Then “stage” it.
I have five items I want to sell to clear out some space out of the apartment-mansion, but because they are five different items, I, of course, have posted none of them. Have you ever tried to do five things simultaneously? The most we can do is multi-thread [or doing one action, then quickly doing another action] and not multi-task [doing multiple disparate activities simultaneously]. For posting things online, you can’t multitask. You’ll post nothing.
Would I sell or downsize anything I formerly loved? Any object that once gave me a deeply personal, satisfying, or emotionally positive memory? Sure. If that memory turned negative, then it should go. I have a Nintendo Switch bag I got from an event that I thought would make a good eyeglass bag, since I’ll be “switching” them in and out, but all I can remember is the mixed memories of going to that event.
My rent increased by $70. I would have to sell a minimum of $840 worth of things just to break even for renting a second room just to store things to possibly sell. Now that I’ve learned the discipline of following through with my actions, by writing my first novel, I believe in my ability to achieve this two-pronged goal: sell that amount to make it profitable or sell enough things to propel me into a one-bedroom.
“I’ll start with $10, then $5, then bundle it with that Wang keyboard for $5.” What I’ve been enjoying most about this selling process, other than gaining new experiences to write about later, has been figuring out the values of some things I own or used to own. I’m learning negotiation and strategy. If I want something gone, I’m adopting the retail model from high-volume thrift stores, particularly the one I worked at years back: rotate items quickly.
For the longest time, selling has almost been too weird of a concept. I don’t want to deal with selling products for the entirety of my life, and I don’t want to go garage-saling to then try to make a living, but there’s no harm in just taking photos of junk and posting them in my spare time. Worst case, I don’t have to reply to those emails especially if I set up some buffers…
I posted something to sell and within minutes got a response:
“I would like to buy your Apple Extended Keyboard II M3501 for [50% off].”
“How about [full price]?”
I’ll cover my experiences and perspective on selling throughout this sales series, first starting with my old computer collection then moving into media then toys for the next few months, but rather than focusing on anything negative, let’s use this keyboard as an example of neighborhood exploration.
In the 5th part of this essay series, outlining selling an Amiga Commodore A500, let’s use this introductory space to narratively flashback before we jump ahead. Throughout these essays, I’ve covered: deciding to sell this retro computer, the importance of clean photography, being physically fit enough to sell, and thoughts on posting ads online. I had eight prospective buyers reach out offering to buy and I had to decide between first-responder “Ben” and high-baller “Dan.”
Within minutes of posting this Amiga, I had a responder, which was a future problem. “Ben” was interested. He would drive across town to pick up the computer. I was so ecstatic to get any offer that I agreed. Others then started reaching out with their interest and offers. One person was also willing to drive across town, but since I had promised it to “Ben,” I told this anonymous other it was already sold…
When you sell something, you have to be physically prepared for anything that goes your way. There’s no running portion of the buying/selling transaction, however in case things get dicey, you should know your escape routes. I bought a retro computer from someone and his wife had cautioned him about selling, to which he told her that if things got dicey, he’d just let the buyer [me] have it and run. Didn’t happen; coulda happened.