Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ICE TO ESKIMOS: Selling Your Used Paintball Gear

       Some people have mad skills at selling their gear off, other folks slap some one line classified ad together in under a minute, post it, and wait months for so much as a nibble. There are a few things that make for a good advertisement: a well maintained and complete package that people want, a well written ad itself, and good media of what's actually in the ad. Most people's greatest interest is selling off a big ticket item, like a complete marker or gear bag package in a hurry. Maybe it's a pricey Milsig, or an Ego, a high end vest, loader, pile of magazines, or things over 200-300 dollars in general. A lousy advertisement can ruin someone's odds of selling a very fetching item, and a stellar ad can help sell something mundane in less than a day. It all depends on the presentation.

An eye pleasing ad shot,
though I'm biased because it's my own
Click to enlarge, quite ugly when you see the whole shot!
       Maybe you just started dabbling in selling things online, or maybe you already do but can't move your wares, either way you're probably reading to find out how to get the most back from an earlier investment. So what are some of the best things you can do to help sell something off quick? Providing lots of details in the ad is a good place to start. Some really neurotic people won't give an ad a second glance if the only info inside is your forum alias and “xxx.xx$ O.B.O.” Let people know that you will provide them with your email and phone number on top of the return address on the package. If you're a private person and keep your number and email to yourself, then make sure you give them some additional means of contacting you to put their mind at ease. It looks good if you're on top of that and they don't have to ask you first. List EVERYTHING that's coming in the box you ship it in right down to barrel condoms and extra nuts and bolts. Listing every item you plan to send will make your offer look beefier, like there's a lot more to it, and prospective buyers will be more interested. Throw in a few odds and end you wouldn't otherwise consider throwing in too, extra lubes and o-rings, other things in your gear bag you don't actually use to make the deal appear more awesome; you don't need them, why not put them to use in garnering you a bigger return on your used wares? If you're planning on selling a big marker, buying a brand new maintenance kit to add on to the deal might be a good idea to get a much bigger return on what you sell. No, it's not swindling. Selling your gear is like selling your house, if you a throw a bit more stuff into the deal (like new appliances, floors, or paint the walls ahead of time) you can get a lot more back than you invested in sprucing it up.
        Be honest about the products too. Some might want to overlook problems they had with their marker or other gear and never mention them but disclosing any previously encountered issues makes you seem like a more honest sort of fellow. Make sure people know of any scratches or dings, that you think might disappoint them when their gear arrives. Even if your gear isn't in mint condition, people will be happier with the purchase knowing exactly what's coming without any surprises. Lots of forums also have formats which they ask users to post their ads which ask for things like location shipping from, whose paying shipping, and age of the product. TechPB has one of the better lists which you should follow regardless of where you're posting an ad and you can read it by clicking here. You can't even post an ad without their “must have” information and they have the right idea making you follow their BST rules.
400 CAD or less this one can be had for
       Onward! No one wants to buy unless they can see the thing you're selling first right? At least a picture? At most a video of it? What needs to be done now might be pricey for you but it will pay for itself if you use it appropriately: buy a camera. Don't use a point and shoot, and definitely not your Iphone. Ideally you should invest in an SLR or a hybrid camera somewhere between an SLR and point and shoot at least. Lousy pictures like the one of the Alpha Black will do your ad more harm than good. The one of that painted Paradigm is one I took of my own gun, that package sold for close to 1200 in less than two weeks, and I had the buyer interested in less than two days. A good DSLR camera can be had for as little as 400 CAD, less if you find one on sale or in a classified ad of it's own. That's almost as little (or as much) as a high end point and shoot! Everyone has a camera of some kind, buy a good one next time you're on the market for one and remember: DSLR's hold on to their value much better than point and shoots. Also remember the composition of the picture can do a lot for the ad too. Without getting too artsy about photography here, just let me say that your marker propped up in nature or a close up of it in action will up the bad-ass factor more than a picture of it on bedsheets or your sofa will and help it move faster.

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