Hello, it’s me, Rita. I write Stephenson County Spotlight and I’ve been a home-based reseller on local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups since 2014. Here’s the pinned post on my Rita’s Resales business page:
All items sold on a FCFS (first come, first served) basis. No holds. Ask if the item is still available when you have the ability to pay and pick up. Inspect items before you buy. All sales final.
It’s not uncommon that I will get people who comment on my ads stating that they want an item, but then it comes out that they don’t have the money then or transportation to pick up an item. Huh? After I wonder what I’m supposed to do about that I tell them to contact me when they DO have their funds and transportation in order.
Interested! I don’t know where it came from, but there’s an unwritten rule on the buy/sell/trade/free groups that the first person who comments gets the first chance to get the item. I don’t think that works well because it could just mean that the person has time available to type. I don’t consider something sold until I have the cash in my hand.
I continue to see the frustration other sellers have with people who don’t follow through with buying what they indicated interest in. No-shows are common. Though it is easy to make a quick call or send a text to let a seller know they won’t make it, no-shows choose not to. The reasons have nothing to do with you and you have no control over it. Move on quickly from those people. “Bump” up your post or move on to the next person.
Some of us who sell things on Facebook really need the extra money. I used to get anxious and discouraged because I didn’t know if someone would actually do what they said. Even with things that are offered free, it would be iffy if the person who showed interest would actually pick the item up when we arranged.
Other people not doing their part of a transaction is something that I don’t have to worry about because I learned to take control of my own time and set simple rules that serious customers have no trouble following.
How can you do business and negate the amount of time spent on people who don’t value yours by dropping communication or not showing up at the agreed time?
Here’s the big game changer: Instruct them to call you (or text you) to let you know that they’re on their way for sure close to the time you agreed on. This is especially important if it’s someone you’ve never dealt with before. If you don’t get that call or text, you know they’re not going to follow through. I don’t get the item ready and start looking out for them to arrive until I get the call.
Considering the many items I process, crafts and art that I create, I do things in a way that’s convenient for me. All of my for sale ads show that the items are for pickup in Freeport. If they really want it, they’ll come get it. Several times I’ve had a serious buyer send someone else on their behalf if they could not make it.
Another thing I usually do with new prospective customers after we have moved from the group page to private messaging is instruct them to call me to speak to me on the phone to set up the pickup arrangements. Hearing your voice lets them know that you are a real person with a real life!
Serious buyers have no trouble calling and following instructions. You won’t have to chase after them trying to find out if they’re still interested.
When serious prospective buyers drop the ball because of unforeseen circumstances, they either let me know what happened by calling or leaving a message on Messenger. Either way, I’m not put out because I proceeded with making the item available to others when they didn’t call. How many chances you want to give someone to get something is up to you.
Red Flag Alert: You just posted an ad and already got a comment showing interest. Someone who is impulsive will not be able to give you a specific day or time for when they can pick up because they didn’t work it out before involving you. Tell them that when they do know for sure, they can contact you and ask if the item is still available. I can not recall anyone ever actually doing that after they replied that they would.
It’s not that hard. Generally, if arranging a pickup becomes more complicated than arranging a doctor’s appointment, you can expect that it will not be a smooth transaction if it ever happens at all.
If you’re not interested in engaging in complicated, saga-length communications, tell the person that you don’t think you’re the right seller for their needs and that you’re choosing to opt out. A store that is open 24/7 might be what they need to fit their schedule.
It’s sooo much easier and more pleasant to sell things to people who know that commenting on a post means they have to get their butt in gear soon to get what they want.
Sellers, would you like more help? Read this article that helped me learn how to spot people who don’t value a seller’s time: Time Wasters and How to Spot Them
If you liked this Stephenson County Spotlight post, share the heck out of it. Also, check out my resale page where I’ll be spicing things up with contests. Remember to Like and Follow Rita’s Resales if you want to receive unsold inventory giveaway notices in your newsfeed.