The Problem with Selling Apps

Apps that allow you to sell items similar to Craigslist like OfferUp, letgo, 5miles, VarageSale and so on have several similar problems.

Buyers that are only semi-interested and waste your time with endless questions
The problem is that these apps are real-time, which can lead to a faster sell, but sometimes people just ask if its available or ask questions to find out more but really aren’t 100% ready to buy. So you end up wasting time. I’ve had people ask me 5 or more questions only to find out they don’t even have the money to buy it.

People expect low prices on these apps
People on these apps rarely want to pay what something is worth and are looking for a deal and will give very low offers. It’s hard to sell something for even near its value and really expect to sell something half its value at most. It should go without saying, your used items are never worth retail price and are only worth 50% of retail when used for most items (excluding Apple gear and some other categories)

Buyers want more and more
Many buyers not only are interested they want things delivered. I always put in my listings if its pick up only, as some items the prices are too low for me to even waste gas to meet anyone. If they want something for $10 or less, they need to pick it up. Also many people expect you to deliver furniture or will ask, make sure to put “pick up only” to try to prevent getting asked this. Otherwise not only will you get an offer at 20% of what you are asking they will want it delivered also. I’ve had people want me to sell them a used recliner for $20 and deliver it across the city.

Buyers aren’t checking the distance first
This is a big one, these apps should calculate the distance between the seller and buyer and let the buyer know beforehand. Many times it gets close to the sell then I they find out how far I am and aren’t interested anymore.

Resorting images is a pain
If you want to change the #1 or main image you can’t. This should be made easier so we can refresh our items.

Quick Overview
letgo has a quick “I’m interested” button, however sometimes people accidentally hit it when they are scrolling through. It does allow you to post items from the app or through their website which makes it easier to copy your listings from Craigslist. Details and map are hidden under another “more info” button, which means some people may not take the time to read it. The app also only lets you put 1 image at a time with no description in its “post it fast” user interface. However, I always want to put in a description to prevent unnecessary questions (like the size, telling people if its “pick up only”, etc). I end up waiting like 10 seconds after the initial post to go in and put in the description and extra images. It ends up being slower. While its nice the app tries hard to put in decent titles for you by analyzing your picture, 50% of the time its wrong.

OfferUp allows you to set a firm price so there is no negotiation. They only allow you to post items from the app.

5miles only allows you to post items from the app. They also recently now only allow square images. Another problem I’ve had lately is many images now show up as black, I’ve reported it but they just told me to reinstall the app and I did, but it never fixed anything. I’ve kind of abandoned this app, because of this issue and the requirement of square images as I don’t have time to make sure my images will work like that, the app should do it for us or allow us to crop them.

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