Are smartphone apps like OfferUp the “next big thing” to use when you need to sell your stuff? If you’ve got a lot of excess stuff you want to unload, a smartphone app might seem like the quickest way to sell your stuff.
OfferUp does let you quickly and easily list your items for sale. Simply take a picture with your phone and type a brief description.
However, OfferUp and other smartphone apps won’t actually help you sell your stuff in a hurry, and you’ll almost certainly get a lot less money for your items than if you sold them on Craigslist or eBay. Here are 5 reasons why.
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It’s Too Easy
Smartphone apps for selling your stuff make it so easy to list items that buyers need to scroll through screen after screen of junk in hopes of finding something they want to buy. Your item will have a hard time standing out from the crowd.
Too Much Competition
Not only do buyers need to scroll through a bunch of garbage to find items of interest, but there are probably tons of items just like yours. Again, it comes down to how easy it is to list on a smartphone app. A person can see something in her garage, snap a picture of it and list it within minutes.
Too Few Buyers and Too Many Lowballers
Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot more sellers than buyers using smartphone apps such as OfferUp. Because it’s a buyer’s market, you get a whole lot of lowball offers.
For example, I listed an item on OfferUp for $40 and got several offers of $20 for it. I later listed it on Craigslist and sold it for $40. I sold another item similar to it but with some minor damage for $35.
Not only is it quick and easy to list your items for sale, but it also takes very little effort for only mildly interested buyers to waste your time by throwing lowball offers your way.
Too Little Detail
Another problem with making it easy to list items is the limited ability to describe your item. Unlike on Craigslist, where you can write a detailed description and provide several photos, a smartphone app lets you submit one photo and a sparse description.
One small photo isn’t really enough to fully show off a nice item. Plus, I’ve found that a better, longer description usually results in a quicker sale for a higher price.
Pay to Relist
Unlike on Craigslist, where you can continue to repost your item for free, OfferUp makes you pay a few bucks every time you want to relist your item and move it up in the list.
If OfferUp is active in your city, chances are pretty good that Craigslist is, too. I’ve had much better experiences selling with Craigslist than with OfferUp, and it’s easy to see why.
Smartphone apps have scads of sellers vying for the attention of only a few buyers. That means a slim chance of selling your item and a low sales price if you do happen to sell it.
Are you ready to sell your stuff while getting the best prices for everything you sell? Check out Cash In Your Closets: The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Excess Stuff Online.