Nothing New to Sell? Sell It Used Online

By George Farris
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – “Hello, this is Tradio. Are you buying or selling?” the radio DJ asks.

“I’m selling a five-horsepower lawnmower from Sears. It’s six years old and in good condition. I’ll take $35 or best offer,” the caller replies.

“Thank you. Hello, this is Tradio. Are you buying or selling?” the DJ asks for the 27th time this hour.

“Um, I want to offer $15 to that fella selling the Schwinn 26-inch bicycle.” declares the caller.  

Tradio was a popular talk radio format AM radio stations used in the 1960s and ’70s. Listeners called in to buy or sell items. The concept is analogous to classified ads in local newspapers, Wikipedia says.

Callers could advertise, for free, a limited number of items. Or they could request an item to buy from another listener. The caller then gave a phone number so that listeners could contact the person for information.

With the growth of the internet, these types of shows, along with their newspaper counterparts, have all but disappeared.

REBIRTH OF RE-USE, RESELL

The concept of selling used stuff never disappeared. Unless you live under a rock, you have heard of, if not used Craigslist or eBay to sell, auction or buy somebody’s used (or new) stuff.  Those stalwarts have been joined by dozens of others. 

Poshmark, based in California, provides a social-commerce marketplace where users in the United States, Canada and Australia can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes and accessories.

Poshmark charges a percentage of the sale price. Its ads proclaim, “Millions of shoppers. Virtual shopping parties. 700,000 sellers. Fashion at 70% off.”

Etsy is the premium marketplace for handmade and crafted goods. Selling on Etsy affords significant benefits: You won’t be competing against waves of low-value junk. Etsy attracts a clientele that often willing to spend more money.

Craigslist hasn’t evolved much since its creation. It’s still got the 
same plain type. It’s still all over the place but that might be part of its charm. It’s like the garage sale of the internet.

Facebook Marketplace looks like a slightly more organized and regulated version of Craigslist. It works well for piecemeal sales of  used items. The social aspect of the platform means sellers can vet a buyer by stalking his profile (assuming it’s not private).

OfferUp began as a sort of “anti-Craigslist.”  Its infrastructure and item variety are very similar to Craigslist but it features a clean, modern user interface

Meanwhile, cars are selling like crazy on the web. Car sellers Caravana, Vroom, Autotrader and Car Guru join eBay, Facebook and other full-spectrum sellers.

SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEM = NO PROBLEMS

While the supply chain problems have been wreaking havoc in fashion and new cars, the used versions of the same products thrive.

AdAge reports Poshmark had a 22% increase in revenue to $88 million and Carvana recorded a second-quarter increase of 198% after seeing total revenue for 2020 rise to $5.6 billion.

It only makes sense to try to sell your used goods instead of tossing them out. And it’s getting easier every day.

American consumers want to buy more stuff – new or old. My cousin Jimmy, who has been selling products on eBay since the site came online, put it this way, “People are gonna spend their money on something. I just want to provide that something.”  Used goods resale websites make that possible. 

George Farris is CEO of Farris Marketing. Email [email protected]