(Money) - Bargains and Bucks – Your Guide to Online Buying and Selling

We all have a lot of stuff – after all we live in a very materialistic society. 

That being said, recently there has been a shift in perception from wanting to have to wanting to be – to be free from stuff dictating and cluttering our lives.

So what better way to make a little cash than to sell that, which is no longer serving a purpose in our life?  You might consider something trash but to someone else it is quite often a treasure – a treasure that you can make a few bucks on.

Many people find obscure or vintage things they’ve been wanting on eBay – a few years ago I found a vintage 1980’s Optimus Prime there for my husband– something he often fondly talked about having in his childhood – it was a wonderful surprise for him.  To think someone was still holding on to this after so many years and just decided to sell it.  To me.  Everything has a buyer.

I’ve only had a few experiences buying (never selling) on eBay so I’ll leave the specifics of that to others out there – many resources found with a quick google search.

Still, I have had much success selling on Gumtree – the local online buy and sell here in Australia.  Similar to Craigslist and Kajiji in North America, Gumtree provides a space for people to connect in their area to find or trade almost anything including jobs, services and rentals.

There is even a free section where some awesome things can be found if you’re willing to watch the site closely and are ready to act quickly.

My husband thinks I’m a bit of a gumtree addict but I have to proudly admit I have gotten some amazing deals on things we needed and also sold things we didn’t – often times at a profit.

The best part is – it really doesn’t take much time. 

When I’m looking to buy something it’s best to have a clear picture on what you want and then watch the ads for a week or so and see where the price point for that item lies.  This is the best way I find to determine how much I am willing to pay for an item – sometimes free if I see the same thing consistently being posted in the free category.

For our wedding, my husband and I wanted a sit down dinner at one large table for our 30 guests.  We held the wedding in our backyard and therefore needed to source tables to make this happen.  I kept seeing free outdoor tables on Gumtree for free and since we had some time to make it happen we managed to acquire 3 large tables (exactly what we needed) with very little effort and with no cost other than our time to pick them up.  I consider this a win.

I also picked up a queen bed for our spare bedroom from a lovely woman who was moving to another city – it was free and from our guest reviews, also very comfortable.  We still have it.

Over the holiday season we had extra guests and were looking to add a futon to our home office.  I kept an eye on what was out there – prices ranging generally from $50-$100.  When I saw an add for what we needed in quality condition for only $30 I jumped and was once again successful.

The trick is to know both the typical asking price and what you’re willing to pay – for some this might be a bit more but I generally love a great bargain and am willing to wait on it.

Lately, I’ve also become quite adept at selling (on Gumtree specifically) as well.  Once again the same principle applies – understand the price point.  I find with just a bit of ad watching it’s easy to track – you also always have the option set a price and include the option of negotiation so you don’t lose the interest of buyers who perhaps want to pay a little less.

Again, be confident in what you will accept and be willing to say know at the people who negotiate a price that’s barely worth entertaining.

It’s even better if you have the time to wait on a sale.

Just yesterday I had a response to an ad I posted a month ago and had almost forgotten about.  I haven’t made the sale yet but it’s all lined up for tomorrow.

I also love getting more value for an item than what I paid – again; in some cases people value things differently.

I had a long bench seat from the wedding that I posted and almost immediately started getting responses.  I posted it at $10 more than what we paid and from the interest saw that I probably could have asked for more and still sold it but was happy with what I got.

Oh, and that futon I mentioned above – we recently moved and no longer had space for it so I sold it on the same site I bought it – at a profit of $50.

My gains/ losses on Gumtree is currently at about $55 in profit which doesn’t include things I still have that were received for free.

I’ve heard from people that it can be a bit of a hassle and people are often flaky but I haven’t had any issue with this, do the right thing and take your ads down when they’ve sold and everything will work out just fine.

It’s not going to make big bucks but it’s a fun little game that I play to clear my space of excess stuff and gain a little money for a nice dinner out or a few coffees at the local café.

There are also many specialty Facebook pages or forums to sell more specific items including Lululemon apparel and Crossfit gear to name a few I am a part of.  A quick search and I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you.

What’s your favorite online buy/sell resource?  What bargains have you found or great sales have you made? Let us know in the comments.