Trading Tips on LYN Part 2: Selling

(I know I didn't post for quite a while. Blame that on my horrendously unstable streamyx connection. It made me wait several days before I could begin to download the episode of Battlestar Galactica that I had waited many months to download.) Note: Part 1 of the article is here.

I thought I shouldn't wait to long to write part 2, or else it might be forgotten. :D Obviously selling things is a lot easier than buying things, since you tend to get the advantage in most things - you get the money first, then only the buyer gets the goods. Of course, the problem is you can't go looking for a buyer in the forums. Although you will occasionally find [WTB] Want To Buy threads in Garage Sales, you will often find that it isn't suitable for you. Most buyers in your target market are likely to not know what they want - you must advertise your goods in order to meet buyers in your target market.

First, you have to post up details on the items you wish to sell. If possible, include a photo. Then, you have to set an asking price. It is in my opinion that you should set an asking price higher than or at the going market price for your item. Note that there are always buyers bargaining lower than most people will go, so do not take these offers unless you are desperate for the cash. You will usually get a better return if you are patient.

Your advertisement should include the condition of your product if it is second hand, or specifications if it is a new one. Always include photos. Sales without valid photos are usually considered by buyers to be less attractive, hence they will entail a lower price due to the lower trust they place in your sale. Items in bad condition should most certainly be sold below market price for the ones in reasonable condition, and should be stated as such. If not, you'll run into much larger problems later when you find that you have been reported as a trade offender.

If possible, do have a bank account for buyers to deposit into and do make available the service to courier the item. This will attract buyers from more places and more buyers will usually mean a better sale price. If you intend to auction off the item, state clearly the conditions and rules of the auction. Be ever ready to respond to queries about the item - subscribe to your sale topic.

Sometimes, buyers will say your price is too high. Look around for similar sales (highly likely that you have competition) and look at their prices. Sometimes, these buyers (or sometimes just plain 'busy body's) are right. If possible, ask buyers for their offers. It is hardly useful for you to reply with a best price when they ask for it since it is likely your best price still won't meet their willingness to pay since they didn't make you an offer.

Occasionally, you might find yourself being sent several similar offers at once. If any single offer looks rationally and justifiably better than another, take it and explain to every other offeror. If they all are the same, you either entertain the first one or you ask them to bid a little higher for your item.

When you have accepted an offer, do not go back on your word for more money offered by another bidder. This should be kept in a very heavy regard especially if you have failed to meet the offeror to complete the contract. Once you have accepted the offer, you are bound to complete the transaction. While on LYN, it may seem like merely an honor-bound agreement, this is not true. Your acceptance is absolute and actually makes it a legal binding contract. While no one will sue you for, say, an ATi Radeon X1800XT since it is a pretty small amount (compared to legal fees), they will most likely get you listed as a bad trader. This is enforced harshly in Lelong by fines, but the situation in LYN has not become that severe... yet.

If you do post something for sale on LYN, please do make sure you have some to sell online. I have known some people to advertise their goods online, just to find that this people have no intention whatsoever of serving the online community and have sold off their entire stock offline while a list of buyers is waiting for a reply on what to do next. This is awful business practice.

Now, you have to safeguard against bad buyers also. Never send anything without asking for payment first. Ensure that you use a bank account solely for trading purposes. I have seen some good sellers run into problems with other buyers just because only one of those buyers cheated him of payment. If you cannot verify the payment, halt the transaction. If you run a bulk and find yourself in a fix over who did and did not pay, meet whoever you can in person to verify that they have paid. If you can't meet the person, and he cannot cooperate completely with you (like give you a clean scan of his slip or PosEkspres it to you) you've probably just found the person that if trying to screw you over.

Do not give discount for CODs. Make people pay for shipping if required, instead. CODs can cost a lot more than you realise sometimes. It might cost you as much or more than PosLaju might cost you to meet with this person, especially if one meeting fails. Discounting CODs convenient for you is clever. Discounting CODs anywhere else is not. It would cost me nearly RM10 to go to and return from LowYat Plaza. That is almost the same as sending the item by courier and saving me load of time. It's no surprise I prefer having my stuff delivered to me by PosLaju. I only have to wait for it to come, and at worst, I'll have to only go halfway to KL Sentral to retrieve from the head office. As for delivering by PosLaju, heck, there are post offices everywhere!

If you don't know what the market price for your item is, ask around for advice from people who would know and are neutral parties. NEVER trust your buyer to know more than you. You must know as much if not more than your buyer about your goods.

(Part 3 on dispute resolution coming soon, I hope. ;) I'll go study LYN's new policies first, then I'll post the ever important part 3. Do read the blacklist and dispute threads in you want to get an idea of what you shouldn't do. :D)