The web has made it easier to buy and sell… sort of

When is the last (or first) time you sold something online?

It’s been a while for me and, seeing as I just filed my paperwork as a plaintiff in that class action lawsuit against eBay’s Paypal (true according to Snopes (a trusted source according to a very close source of mine), I thought that it would probably be best if I stuck to my virtual neck of the woods to set up my little market stand.

And there’s nothing closer to home than Craigslist.

It’s where we scout our good local talent for short-term jobs, and today, where I’m testing out plying my trade in an odd lot of items including an unused tripod and (sniff) a no-longer needed pet carrier.

That’s when I discovered that filling out the admittedly simple form can be a harshly competitive exercise. It’s when you realize that no one is likely to buy your item with your concisely worded description sans photo. It’s when you roll up your sleeves, turn into a photo stylist and start researching your product.

The business of online selling is no simple thing if you want to enjoy even a hint of success. Hundreds of ads get placed everyday, and the ones with the attractive layouts, photos and appropriately detailed descriptions stand the best chance. Of course, it also takes an interested buyer.

I can now confirm that I know much more about the things I am selling than I probably did when I shelled out the bucks to buy them in the first place! (Praise Google.) Who knew the titanium anodizing treatment had so many advantages, or that the industry photographic journal dedicated an entire article to my tripod, or that my pet carrier wasn’t the deluxe model, but the ultra?

Well, the marketing job is done. The goods have never looked that good or sounded that atttractive — hey, if I needed them I buy them back. What am I saying?! So if you’re in the market for a tripod or a Sherpa bag, I’ll meet you in Midtown to make the exchange.



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