How to Price Used Items to Sell

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Whether you're trying to cut down on clutter around your home or pawn items you have to make some quick cash, you naturally want to try to get the best price for your things. Though you may have a personal attachment to your belongings or are tempted to set a price that's close to the current retail price, you do have to stay objective. Looking at many different sources of information can point you in the right direction to help you receive the best possible asking price and sell your item quickly.

  • Test the item to make sure that it still works. Plug in the item and turn the power on if its an electronics item, such as a DVD player, television set or computer. Pay attention to and write down how well the item works, whether there are any flaws in its operation or whether the item runs practically like new.

  • Look at the overall cosmetic condition of the item. Look for scratches or tears, dents, scuff marks and paint chips, depending on the type of item that you're pricing. Label the cosmetic condition of an item that has no scratches or marks on it whatsoever as in "mint" condition or "like new." Label items that have very few scratches or tears and no dents as in "good" condition. Label items that have scratches, a couple dents and other flaws as in "fair" condition and items that are in worse shape as "poor" condition.

  • Check unofficial or official pricing guides for the used you want to sell, if any exist. For example, look at Kelley Blue Book's "Private Party Value" if you're selling a used car and want to find out an approximate price that others would pay from private sellers. Pricing guides often list appropriate selling prices for items based on the items' mechanical and/or cosmetic condition.

  • Search for the same or similar items as yours being sold in classified advertisements. Check the classified ads of local newspapers. Search for items being listed on auction websites like eBay or online classifieds like Craigslist. Look at how sellers describe the condition of the item and the item's asking price.

  • Set a price for the item based on your research compared with the condition of your item. Write down what price you want to receive for the item. Set a bottom dollar price-point for the item, reflecting the absolute lowest price that you'll accept for the item you're selling during negotiations with a buyer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask an independent third-party, such as a friend or family member, how much he would be willing to pay for the item to help you decide the selling price.
  • Take your used item to a local dealer or repair store and ask for an opinion on the general worth of your item and how much the dealer thinks you may be able to sell it for.
  • Advertise your used item between 5 and 10 percent higher than you think it's worth to allow room for buyers to negotiate with you and ask you to come down in price, if need be. You can lower this price if you find that you're not receiving any interest in your item.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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