Selling Things Locally

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…

blog-skeleton-postersLast 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.

blog-logsBut 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.

blog-buffet1

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,

Karen

6 Comments

  1. I tried with Gumtree and also had mixed results.
    I find especially annoying the attempts at hard price-dumping that some prospective sellers play and their rudeness. But maybe it’s just normal 😉
    I’m planning to try other platforms because Etsy seems to become less and less productive (I suspect it may be the localisation factor in their ranking)
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with alternative selling streams

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What other platforms are you trying? I have started to cross-post more of my Etsy items on eBay. And I know I have some purses that would be good for Poshmark though I haven’t taken the plunge there! – Karen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also listing on eBay and Gumtree. Plus will give a go at some apps like Shpock and Vinted (tried the former once with not much result, but only tried a couple of items)

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      2. Etsy traffic (views) seems not v good atm, is it the same for US sellers or is it not due to locality? Hard to get an idea and not willing to invest countless hours on this because vintage items are one-off sales unlike product that can be easily restocked

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  2. Linda Neumann

    Hi Karen, someone locally (other side of town) contacted me about a toy truck I had on Etsy. His Etsy name was ToyTrucks. He asked if he could pick it up to save on shipping. I told him sure…. (my Husband was home and neighbors were outdoors). We “convo’d”back and forth a few times and then he asked for my cell number in case he got lost or delayed. I gave him my Husband ‘s number and told him my Husband would be able to help him better than I could. I never heard from him again. A little disconcerting…..
    Many of the local police departments have lit parking lots with cameras so that people can make safe transactions when selling on Craigslist or Facebook…..also used by exes exchanging kids for the weekend. I tend to be trusting…..but you never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda, wow that is so weird that you never heard from him again. :\ I sold some wood puzzles on Etsy to a gal who lived about 5-6 miles away and she asked if she could pick them up to save on shipping and thankfully it worked fine. But like you I tend to be trusting. Maybe too trusting!

      I’ve heard about those “camera spots.” I should check to see if my city has some. – Karen

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