As you all know I bought a new bike back in January. Obviously I did not need 2 motorcycles. So I started passively selling my SV650S. My passive selling strategies were pretty much limited to posts on craigslist, conversations with my friends, co-workers (neither of whom owns a bike as of yet). And that was pretty much it. Friends and co-workers did not provide much leads. The only leads craigslist generated were low ballers. I listed my SV650S at $4500. In my craigslist ad however said that it was my asking price and it is negotiable. Apparently that was some sort of a secret keyword for all the low ballers out there. Over the course of February I don’t think I’d gotten a single offer that was higher than $3200. Then I went away for my Thailand trip. When I came back I decided that my new sales strategy was going to be like this. I was going to make a pretty ad and place in on craigslist again. If that was fruitless I was going to use cycletrader and buy their most expensive ad package ($60 and it never expires unless you take it down).
If you ever used craigslist you’d know that you have the ability to upload pictures to ads you post. The problem is that they limit the file size and allow only 4 pictures to be uploaded. So you can’t possible have high resolution pictures there in your ad if you use their image upload feature. The good news about craigslist is that they allow to use HTML in their ads. So being an high-tech internet industry professional I came up with a simple HTML page for my ad with high resolution pictures of my bike and a short description of the bike and why was I selling it. My HTML rich ad went up on craigslist last Friday night. It also went up on a couple of motorcycle forums such as svrider.com and advrider.com.
Within the next 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) I received 6 phone calls and 2 people came out to see the bike. One of the 2 was a little faster and there fore got lucky. We made a deal on Sunday, he left me a deposit and we had agreed to close the deal on Thursday. 5 minutes after we made a deal the not so lucky prospective buyer called me. Unfortunately he as 5 minutes late.
Now here is the lesson - presentation does matter. My crappy basic ads on craigslist did not attract any viable buyers. However when I spent one hour making it look pretty people immediately noticed it and good leads came in. Happy with my craigslist success I posted another ad there. I wanted to sell a cell phone that I’d bought some time ago. Due to some circumstances I never used it and ended up buying another one. I also made an HTML rich ad with high resolution pictures. The phone sold the next day.
Last night I dropped off my Suzuki at its new owners home. Hope he’ll treat my first bike as well as I did.