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Craigslist selling

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rc08234

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After reading some good posts on here, I've decided to start a small business that sells stuff for people, mostly on craigslist and I'll take a cut. The way it's going to work is I'm going to try to get them to go to my site, read about it i.e. percentages, how they get paid, and then fill out a form with their e-mail, location, phone number and just a general description of the item. Or have them call a number, and leave their name and number and I'll get back to them.

I do have a few questions I was hoping you guys could help me out with.
Does anyone know have any experiences with cheap phone numbers, not 800, that has an answering machine for relatively cheap? The reason I don't want an 800 number is because I don't want people seeing my sign or whatever and thinking it's so kind of ponzi scheme for fast cash.

Also, my county has about 270,000 people in it. How is the best way to target these people? I was thinking bandit signs, flyers at my wawa (convienet store) and maybe a few signs you stick in the ground by busy intersections. Any other tips or tricks?

Would you pay 50% of you item to have someone come pick up it, list it, sell it, and drop the cash back off?
Or maybe a price structure like
0-99 is 50%
101-499 is 35%
500+ is 25%
I'm not sure which will be more effective.

Any my last question is somewhat about ad copy. For the bandit signs and whatnot.
Something like?

Need Extra Cash?
Got Extra Stuff?
XXX-XXX-XXXX
www.XXXXX.com

Need extra $$$$?
Got Extra Stuff?
XXX-XXX-XXXX
www.XXXXX.com

Any and all help would be appreciated. Another guy had an interesting post about helping stores and stuff help sell extra inventory, maybe I should throw some signs in tryin to target that also?
 
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wade1mil

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The cheapest way would be to use Google Voice, which is free. You could also get an answering service through VoiceNation | Business Voicemail, Virtual PBX, Answering Service or Toll Free & Local Phone Numbers, Faxing, Answering Service | PATLive.com Hosted Communications. If you do it that way, I would use a local number to forward the calls in case you decided to switch services. This way, you can keep the same phone number without losing future leads or having to reprint all marketing material with a new number. I would post flyers at schools, grocery stores, or any other place that seems there are people too busy to sell it themselves.
 

CommonCents

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You could hit all the garage/estate sales and sign them up on the spot for a fee. Take pix, catalog and post their items for a fee on the spot.

I'd target businesses to help sell their obsolete inventory. Prob a more stable, profitable clientele. Businesses are looking for ways to raise cash.
 

Clenjamin

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Its alot of money to go to every customers house and take pics or w.e then go pick the item up and ship it. Then you get 30% idk how much income would come off it.
 
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rc08234

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Its alot of money to go to every customers house and take pics or w.e then go pick the item up and ship it. Then you get 30% idk how much income would come off it.

I would go to the house and pick up it and bring it back with me. I would have some kind of contract stating that I am willing to sell the product, at whatever % and have a description of the product on the contract, like a fill in the blank type of thing, maybe even a picture when I can afford a mobile printer. Then it would state if i didn't sell it in 60 days then I will return the product. We would both get a copy, and when I drop the money off I will have a cash receipt that they will sign so they don't try and screen me at a later date.
 

myboy

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I would post flyers at schools, grocery stores, or any other place that seems there are people too busy to sell it themselves.
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Pete799p

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I would advertise that you take a percentage and then negotiate it on a deal by deal basis. I have found craigslist to be a game of reading people. After a while you will get an idea of what people are willing give you for your services. If somebody asks how much you can tell them that it depends on the item/gross price. You can even throw out a number for example.. Because of your distance away and the low gross price of the item I would be looking for 50% or I would like to make $X (could be 50% of the expected price) or because of large number of listings I can offer you a discounted rate etc. Feel them out on how motivated they are to sell and then meet them in person to negotiate the final commission. After a while you will be able to apply your market data to develop a standard fee schedule.

I like everybody's idea of looking for commercial clients.
 

CommonCents

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Do not take possession of items or pick them up from individuals. Offer an easy listing service for people and let them sell items themselves. That can be scalable. You'd have too many headaches picking up/dropping off, handling negotiations for a $50 product or whatever.

Commercial accounts could have thousands of dollars of inventory to sell.
 

rc08234

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Do not take possession of items or pick them up from individuals. Offer an easy listing service for people and let them sell items themselves. That can be scalable. You'd have too many headaches picking up/dropping off, handling negotiations for a $50 product or whatever.

Commercial accounts could have thousands of dollars of inventory to sell.

I don't think people would pay 50% or even 25% for me to show up take pictures and just list if. Maybe a very, very, select few that have no idea how to use a computer. I'm not sure thought, anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 
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JEdwards

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I don't think people would pay 50% or even 25% for me to show up take pictures and just list if. Maybe a very, very, select few that have no idea how to use a computer. I'm not sure thought, anyone else have any thoughts on this?

You would need to pick it up.. take pics, help find the buyers, set appts, sell it, take the money, etc..

If you only take pics and post then they have to deal with meeting up with the people.. that no work.
 

wade1mil

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I don't think people would pay 50% or even 25% for me to show up take pictures and just list if. Maybe a very, very, select few that have no idea how to use a computer. I'm not sure thought, anyone else have any thoughts on this?

It's definitely more scalable, but I see the some problems with that as well. One, if you list it and they break it, sell it, lose it, etc. when it's in their possession, you're out a deal. Two, you would be relying on the sellers negotiating skills to pay your commission. Three, after you sold it, you would then have to collect payment after a service has been rendered (which people feel has diminished value, thus less likely to pay). I've heard to term "prostitute theory."

If you do it that way, you would be better off charging an up-front fee based on the listing price just for listing it regardless of whether it sells or not. Specialize in the ad itself, simply drawing traffic and converting that to emails or phone calls to the seller. If you did this, I would definitely not take pictures or even leave my office.
 

CommonCents

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You would have their items in possession? You'd be responsible for them. that creates multiple headaches. If they didnt sell, you could get blamed for damaging them etc... You'd also have to go back and forth on negotiation etc...You'd have to charge for shipping etc.... A lot of work for low $$ items. I'd think the only way you could do this is if you just outright bought the items from them and did the rest on your own.



I don't think people would pay 50% or even 25% for me to show up take pictures and just list if. Maybe a very, very, select few that have no idea how to use a computer. I'm not sure thought, anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 
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Clenjamin

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You would have their items in possession? You'd be responsible for them. that creates multiple headaches. If they didnt sell, you could get blamed for damaging them etc... You'd also have to go back and forth on negotiation etc...You'd have to charge for shipping etc.... A lot of work for low $$ items. I'd think the only way you could do this is if you just outright bought the items from them and did the rest on your own.

Ya maybe have ads saying we buy (what ever you want to buy) dont have the hassle of trying to sell your items we will buy them for you or w.e and hire a appraiser who comes prices the items and you buy them on the spot. You would obv buy them for cheap thats why the people would use your service b/c they need money quick then you can re sell on craigslist amazon or ebay.
 

rc08234

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So I made a website and flyers and all. I've listed a few things of my own, various items from a powered sub woofer, to shoes, to cologne to a dvd player.........NOTHING HAS SOLD! The only thing I sold was my xbox 360....deff rethinking my idea. So far I've only wasted 10 bucks on a domain and a few hours of my time.

There were about 30 xbox's for sale...and I got 5 or 6 replies. I had them sold within a day. So changing gears maybe I'll focus on that as my niche. I'm thinking maybe I'll start to buy broken PS3's, fix them and sell them.
 

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