Finance-Side hustle numero dos, OfferUp

Yeah, I don’t know why I had the urge to speak Spanish, but I did. Anyway, this gig isn’t what you’d typically call a “gig”, it’s more like a method, but it helped me get closer to paying down my debts!

I don’t remember where I first heard about OfferUp because I listen to so many personal finance podcasts and read so many personal finance blogs, but I’m glad I did. Think of it like an app for eBay. You post things to sell, it goes into a Pinterest board-like feed, and people message you to buy it. Here’s a screen shot of what that feed looks like.

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You create a quick profile and you can verify your account if you want. I haven’t verified mine yet, but it’s not necessary.

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Adding something and editing listings are super easy. You hit the camera button in the middle of the home screen (pictured above). Give it a title, description, price, whether you’ll negotiate, condition, and pictures.

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Then, you wait. Often electronics get really quick responses. I’ll go over tips at the end, but sellers will send you messages with offers or more questions. Here are some of the messages I received for the Note 3.

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I say that I’m willing to negotiate, but if someone responds with a low ball I come back with a number $5 less than my listing price. I’m not eager for the money, so I have an advantage. If you’re eager, then take it. As you can see I have a few low ball answers at half the price and I think I ended up selling it for $75. You can choose to ignore these messages, too, but people get angry so get ready.

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What I like most about this app is the safety. It has a ton of features to keep you safe. I still use common sense, obviously. The reason I sold my Macbook Pro to the guy I did was because he had me meet him at his business. We took care of everything in the store and I knew he wouldn’t risk his reputation. At the end of every exchange you pick who you sold the product to from your messages and rate them. I think I’ve given 5 stars to everyone except one person who paid me less than the agreed upon amount at exchange. I almost rated the macbook guy with 4/5 because he made me wait at the location despite me verifying the time, but he redeemed himself by being overall pleasant to work with. Otherwise, I think I had 20 messages from people about my MacbookPro.

You can see in that conversation feed there’s an option to report a user. There’s also the TruYou verification option. For one person I sent them my phone number and the app reminded me not to send personal information to people, which I appreciated. Your location is basically private (yeah, I know, the government can figure out where I am, and probably your average hacker).

There are other cool usability features like you can favorite things to “watch them” and if there are any price drops it will notify you. It shows your past history of things you’ve bought and it’ll list things you were watching that had been sold. If you get a message about an item the default notification sound is “ca-ching“. Here’s a picture of my current offers:

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Income totals from things I’ve sold:

  • Sony action cam-$60
  • iPod Classic 120GB-$70
  • MacBook Pro 2010 no hard drive-$200
  • iPod Touch-$35
  • Samsung Note 3-$80
  • Samsung Note 2-$50
  • Nike Watch-$50

Total so far- $545

Here they are in my archive:

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I haven’t had any luck with clothes, but I think those are tough and not really worth the effort anyway.

Here’s some tips to walk away with:

  • Be patient if you can. It took me three months to sell my Nike watch for a reasonable price. It took me a couple months to sell the iPod touch. I sold the Macbook the same day.
  • Start high on electronics. If you list it with too low of a price will be will think you’re not smart or you’re super motivated. Always list it $50-$100 higher than you think. I do a little research before I list something (eBay, Amazon). I didn’t with my first phones and I regret it. You will get swamped with offers.
  • People will still low ball you. Refer to tip one, if you can be patient be patient. They’re trying to make an easy buck. I am telling you someone will come close to your asking price (I think $30 lower is the furthest from list I’ve ever received).
  • Put in key descriptors in title. Think SEO (Search engine optimization). I also put anything that is super important because people don’t take time to read the description. For my MacbookPro I put “NO HARD DRIVE”. For my phones I added “unlocked” and “cracked screen”. Side note, unlocked phones are a super hot commodity, which I should’ve realized when I posted them.
  • Be courteous and include chargers, but if for some reason you can’t be clear in the description.
  • I have had about 50/50 ratio of people driving to me and vice versa. If people reveal I need to drive to east chuckabanga to deliver the item I’ll negotiate the price back up (think gas, tolls, and inconvenience).

I have used the app to buy something, I bought TRX straps. They cost ~$180 retail and I bought them for $50. Best purchase I’ve made in a while.

Never did I think my old, cracked screen Samsung Note 2 would be worth $50 but it was! In the spirit of my Minimalism game this was an aptly timed post. If you’ve been following you will notice a couple things in my pictures that I’ve sold. Bonus!!

What can you sell that’s been laying around to pay off debts faster? Something to consider-Even if it’s a $50 phone that’s $50 less of interest accumulation!

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