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Saturday, February 2, 2013

1296. Sell used computer equipment online


Marty asked: I've got a bunch of name-brand computer hardware that's a little out of date, and I'm not using it any more. Is there an easy way to sell this stuff? I don't have the patience to deal with eBay selling--I've heard too many horror stories. Are there other, simpler options?

I know everyone has different experiences, but I had a terrible time selling things on eBay. I've had crooks sign up for eBay at the last minute, bid the highest bid on a computer I was trying to sell, and then expect me to send it to them even though they never bought anything on eBay before. 

Because they have no record of buying on eBay, I’m not going to send them an expensive computer without knowing anything about them. There are just too many ways to scam a seller. And eBay is set up to protect buyers, not sellers.

I found selling on Amazon.com to be the easiest way to get rid of slightly used name-brand computer products.  Anyone can sign up for a vendor account on Amazon and then sell anything that already has a page on Amazon.com. 

This means you don't have to take photos of things, and you don’t have to write up sales material and find out all the specs of things you want to sell. All you need to do is list the items.  I have sold thousands of dollars worth of slightly used stuff on Amazon.com.  I have even sold books, although it's hard to sell books because people sell them for almost no profit at all.  (Selling books works best for technical books, or for specialty/art/antique books. Best-sellers have no resale value on Amazon.com.)

You can also be brave and try Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.com)--my brother has had good success selling everything from used batteries to old reel-to-reel tapes on Craigslist. One big caveat: selling on Craigslist requires 3D contact with the buyer, and you have to arrange for the sale to take place in a public, safe place. Because there are no real protections in place when selling via Craigslist, you must be careful about where and how you transact the sale. You’l find more information about safe Craigslist sales online, and in some cases, it’s really the best way to move used equipment.

Of course, I would be remiss were I not to mention our local Swap Shap program on KNCO (http://swapshop.knco.com/). You may find this the simplest way to sell used equipment, although it does limit you to a local audience.

 

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