From time to time, I buy vintage items that I know will be difficult (a nightmare!) to ship so I hold back from listing them in my online store. Recently I finally decided to try and sell them locally. Which for me right now means posting things on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or similar and arranging meet ups. NOT my favorite thing to do for a variety of reasons.
Here’s how it’s turning out so far…
Last week I posted my large plastic vintage medical charts on Craigslist.com for $10 each with price negotiable if you buy more than two (I had 40 at the time). I was immediately contacted by “Jim.” Jim didn’t live in the area, but would be nearby in a few days, and wanted to see the charts. I offered several time frames to meet on the Friday when he would be local and suggested the parking lot of a popular restaurant as a meet-up spot. He said he would text me when his business was finished on Friday and he could meet. I never heard from him again and no one else has contacted me about them.
Then I posted the charts on Nextdoor.com. This site is mainly used to connect neighbors to discuss issues, share information, etc, but also provides a “For Sale” feature. Within a few hours of posting them I was contacted by “Daisy” who she was “happy to buy just one.” Super. She gave me her phone number and asked me to text my address. Now normally I wouldn’t give out my home address, but with this site you have everyone’s full, real name and the general area they live in and I feel more comfortable. Daisy lived in my town (about 2-3 miles away) and I replied that I’d be home all afternoon and gave her my address. She immediately texted me back asking “What are you offering?” Now at this point I was scratching my head. What the heck was she talking about??!! After a minute I wrote back, “You want to buy one of my charts for $10…true?” I never heard back from her. I’m guessing she expected me to offer a lower price. Humph.
But I was not deterred. A friend gave me a huge bag of vintage Lincoln Logs to sell. As online prices for similar log sets were all over the place, I decided to list them on Nextdoor for a modest $20. “April” contacted me right away and wanted to buy them for her son to use with his autistic clients. Fabulous! She lived a few towns away and rather than set a meeting time I said I would leave them on my front porch in a bag with her name and she could leave payment in the book on the porch. And do you know what happened? It worked like a charm! April came sometime in the afternoon, took the logs and left a twenty-dollar bill with a sweet note. Now that was more like it!
I haven’t tried Facebook Marketplace or LetGo yet, but from what I’ve read experiences are likely to be fairly similar to Craiglist or Nextdoor. In other words…mixed. Folks will contact you saying they are interested then never follow through. Or you set up a meeting time/place and they don’t show. Or they decide they don’t want to pay your listed price and show up with less cash than agreed upon. BUT thankfully once in a while it goes off without a hitch and everyone’s happy. 🙂
So I’m going to try and sell a few more big items locally. I’ve just posted this very cool, moody 1968 Bernard Buffet “Le Pont Neuf” Paris lithograph print on Nextdoor.com.
I’ll let you know how it turns out. Another option I’m considering for this litho is eBay Local where you can offer items for pickup/cash only.
I’ve also been toying with renting an antique booth. I contacted an antique mall owner two towns over about the costs of her spaces. She didn’t have any booths available, but tried to steer me towards a locked cabinet for $160 a month plus 11% commission. But a locked cabinet was not what I needed or wanted. So for now I am booth-less.
Would love to hear if you’ve had any interesting experiences selling locally…good or bad!
As always, happy hunting,