26-01-2017 yppirT said...
Selling your PC Online: Some tips & Stories
So, times have changed and you need some bucks fast, or you need a pc and don't have the bucks to buy that out-of-the-box system with all the bells and whistles. Point is, when it comes to selling or buying Computers and parts online, it can turn into an emotional roller coaster with your funds and confidence caught in the balance.
First off, I am coming from a point of experience and I have purchased parts and computers online and for this thread I am going to focus on second hand.
Now, as I mentioned above, sometimes it is cash flow that limits our options when it comes to buying tech. In all honesty, it is not as scary as it used to be, however I must stress this one important rule -> research, Research, RESEARCH. Knowing what it is you want, what it does and what its spec is forms a huge part of considering an online deal. Now for some basic fundamentals when navigating the online second hand market:
1. Always read the description -> especially for any fine print or alternate pricing, as well as location.
2. Ensure the deal comes with pictures of the actual item in question, not web images. If there are no images, make sure to request them before proceeding.
3. Never provide your actual location when communicating with the seller.
4. Unless you are willing to pay for package insurance, never opt for postage and even then- just don't. Whenever you want to make a purchase, if you cannot hold it in your hands physically be extremely cautious. I learnt this the hard way.
5. If you are going to meet the buyer, make sure it is in a public space and you have someone with you or at least some one who knows where your are going.
6. Do not be afraid to contact companies who sell the product new for important information and their price as well as warranty policy.
7. This is a big one: Do not be afraid to walk away from a potential deal, even if you have the funds ready, you are at the meeting place with the item in your hands and are moments away from owning it. If you are not 110% satisfied leave it be.
8. Check for valid warranties on the item. If it is null and void and the owner is asking an unfair price, don't be afraid to point this out to them. There is no harm in bargaining.
When buying tech, especially PC's or parts, there is always a huge risk of being let down or complete disaster, so take your time and scan the market thoroughly.
I have posted a variety of items, ranging from old PC parts to fishing gear and hobby models, sometimes just for my own research. What I have learnt is that there is no shortage of time wasters, trolls, kids with credit cards and individuals who can border on harassment. Either way, this is what a common seller has to go through in order to get things sold.
Part 1: Contact Info
While many online platforms offer a message system, sometimes its nice to communicate over the phone, via email or even Whatsapp. I often use these forms of communication because they are easy and mobile, but exclusively for buying. I only give out my personal mobile number once I am sure the individual on the other end is legit and not a 'No show Nancy'.
This is usually how I do it:
1. Provide an email address
2. Wait around 2 weeks to a month depending on the item and how much activity it stirs up.
3. Sift through the trolls and identify serious buyers.
4. Respond to them and block any time wasters.
5. Identify 3 - 5 serious buyers.
6. Provide a phone number for SMS or Whatsapp, Whatsapp preferably.
Then it is just playing the game. By 'game' it could mean anything from a person willing to pay more, or put in the petrol to come and see the item, again please consider your safety and avoid using your place of residence. Even when selling, try to avoid postage, some people can get really aggressive if things do not go according to plan, even if it is not your fault.
Part 2: The Post
This is where sellers stuff up.
Often, a post consists of two things at first -> Brief Item Description & Picture. To often people write a Facebook length update and the description gets cut short, so a buyer has no idea what is being sold or for how much. Next is the picture; as mentioned above, avoid using web images like the plague, any serious buyers will glance over the post, even if you have legitimate images in the full description. You do not need to be an expert cameraman, but do your best to get a quality image and avoid taking pictures in the bathroom where you keep your toothbrush and toothpaste.
Short description -> e.g AMD Radeon HD 7700 Graphics Card
Actual picture of item -> In focus
As far as putting the price in the brief description, I have had limited success as I find this scares people away.
In your full post, you can post the product spec from the company's website, but only place it at the end or middle section. Your top paragraph should be brief, have important details like warranty and age, reason for sale and price. You have no idea how many people forget to put a price in the description. Buyers who actually send a response are only going to ask one thing, 'How much?' and any response from you can be a deal breaker or a complete waste of time.
Part 3: Multi Posting
Not going to lie, I make as much use of the different platforms as possible. Just note that serious buyers do their homework and will quickly pick out a repost. To help with this, use a different picture and slightly reword your brief description, even if they spot the repost immediately it gets your posting a view, making it that much more popular. Just be prepared for the storm of communications and the confusion that comes from different platform users.
Part 4: Payment
This will vary, but my preferred method is in cash by hand, counted and recounted before exchanging and completing the deal. I have used EFT in the past, but I find it can be annoying when transfers come from different banks. Some people use PayPal and that is also a pretty decent system, but again cash in hand is more comforting.
My Experience with OLX, Gumtree & Carbonite
I find OLX the most straightforward platform in general. The only issue with this is that it is saturated in some areas with spammers, fraudsters and overpriced items. This is all part of the process, be patient.
- I have bought GoPro's, DSLR Camera's and containers off OLX
- I used this platform as a way of gauging the value of my Warhammer 40K Model collection and was overwhelmed by the responses
Gumtree is a tad confusing at first, the app version is probably the best, however using a big screen makes it a little easier to navigate.
- I mainly use this site for research and comparisons
Carbonite is by far the best place to search and sell components. The whole ethos of the forum is kept in check nicely and it is by far the best place to find quality parts at a decent price. Things do move very fast and it does seem outdated at first, but there are way less spammers and sellers/buyers are serious.
- Purchased a high end GPU with a warranty. GPU Overheated, however the supplier replaced the card with a better one with full warranty afterwards.
I have used Bid or Buy once, was not a friendly experience. I find you might score on the product but you get destroyed by the delivery fees.
- Bought a headlight for 50 bucks- paid 155 in delivery to get the thing to my house...
PS. Spamming on facebook can really make people mad, however there are some incredible groups that function superbly when it comes to buying and selling quickly. if you are into airsoft I can recommend the Boneyard Buyer and Sellers page.
Also, my worst experience: Attempted to buy a second hand Mac, seller used a burner phone and number, used a stolen ID, false utility bills and addresses as well as two bank accounts under different peoples names. Got scammed epically, but lesson learned- Just don't buy a MAC ever...
01-02-2017 yppirT said...
Re: Selling your PC Online: Some tips & Stories
Another couple of tips for people who want to sell their rig
- If your PC has lighting, do not take a picture of it in the dark and use it as the cover photo. If you are looking for cash- chances are you do not have a fancy phone with a 20 meg camera, so often the image is distorted, if you do however, avoid it.
- Do not use 'Gaming Beast' in your description...overused and often the unit is just an i5, buyers will know to avoid these posts.
- Detail is always good, in your own words.
- Try avoiding selling it in pieces, unless you are willing to offer a date in which you plan to consider it an option.
- Avoid using a name like Rico979797lolgtfo, keep it simple, a lot of buyers look at a name as part of their assessment.
- For emphasis-> NEVER EVER use pictures from a product website. People are instantly disappointed when they see a dusty PC as apposed to a shiny brand new PC case and components.
- Laptop sellers beware, buyers can spot a quick resell, even if the laptop is a couple of months old. On a side note, if you own an Alienware; don't be an idiot and ask for three grand less on a unit that is two years old already, but you feel that because it is a designer brand you can charge almost full price. Also, buyers know that the battery is crap, so you may be better off keeping it.