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Friday, April 1, 2016

Selling Unused Personal Stuff Through OLX

I had caught the ad for OLX on TV around a year ago. It had a call to action that appealed to me as there were a few big ticket items that had been laying around the house unused for years.  In the interest of spring cleaning and clearing up precious floor space, I though it was worth a try.

Starting-up

  1.  First step was to set up an OLX account online. It was a easy 5 minute process which only required an email address and mobile phone number to complete.
    • It is important to be mindful of the details you register as these will be made public.
    • Security is key. If you have a dedicated email and phone number for your OLX endeavors, I believe it will be better for your overall safety.
    • I made the mistake of putting my postpaid and instantly felt vulnerable after numerous inquiries came in.
  2. You can also opt to download the app, making checking and replying to chats easy. If you take your photos through a tablet, as I do, this makes uploading the pictures a breeze as well.
  3. Take a picture of the item.
    • Take a current photo.
    • This way you can indicate that on the description and save yourself from repeat inquiries on whether the picture is an "actual" one of the product.
    • If possible, take back and front photos at the very least.
  4. Upload the picture.
  5. Take the time to completely lay out/outline your product description:
    • Price
    • Bundle price, if any
    • Negotiations: possible or not
    • Your location
    • Viewing: possible or not possible
    • Meet-ups or pick-ups only
    • The condition of the item, especially any damage or repairs needed
  6. Once sold, immediately take down the ad.
    • Save everyone involved the hassle.

The results:

I ended up selling a used car and a CPU case. However, I was not able to dispose of my books and my old non-working printer (scanner still worked).


Learnings:

  • Many people inquire but very few actually follow through. You have to go through a number of missed appointments and near-sales, so it is important to remember that you have little control over this. You can't control your potential clients.
  • Some customers can handle some down time on replying but others have very little tolerance for it. Ideally, you should aim to answer as soon as you can. However, when the inquiries come at midnight to dawn, you can cut yourself some slack. I had a potential customer who berated/lectured me about my late reply. I was actually travelling at that time and had no cell access. To buyers, remember that sometimes unexpected events happen to sellers too. Don't take every late reply personally. It's not you, it's them. And with OLX a lot of sellers are not professional salespeople (it's a side job), so managing your expectations can work wonders. Oh, and I didn't reply to that client after her outburst. She wasn't the type of customer I wanted to deal with for a P100 book. Sorry, not sorry.
  • This customer made me pull out all of my remaining book and printer ads. For the small ticket items, the hassle and aggravation of the inquiries didn't seem worth it for me.
All in all, though, I was very pleased with my little OLX experiment. Their "big picture" concept of selling your unused items for cash worked for me. I tidied my home and made some good cash. I'd recommend the site to anyone who asked. I also would do it again in a heartbeat if I discovered anything else around the house worth selling. And by worth selling, I mean anything above P1,000.

For those who have thought about OLX, give it a try!