Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Should You Be Selling Items Locally On OfferUp or Craigslist During the Covid19 Pandemic?

It might be a natural thing to want to avoid people these days.  Or it might not be.  That about sums up the political ideology regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.  Let me just say this...

I get it, things are bad.  Don't think for a second I believe the economic figures being printed in the media.  14.7% unemployment?  Bah!  The real numbers are scarier.  So the urgency in people to want to reopen, go back to work, resume a semblance of their old lives, and so on, is to be expected.  People are desperate, and desperate times call for risk-taking.  This doesn't mean you should not look after yourself or your family, of course.  If you don't need to be out and about, or at work, then staying home is the best you can do for society.

I put that out there cuz I'm not tryin' to be judged here.  Feel free to judge me, but remember I can bark back.

Found Two Wheelsets!

As you may know if you've read some of my other posts or About Me page, I love to road cycle.  I haven't stopped doing it!  And I don't wear a mask.  I tried, but didn't like my warm breath on my face, so I took it off for good.  I ride solo, no longer drift off other cyclists, and keep my distance from others when I pass.  The city of Oceanside, County of San Diego, does NOT require masks while exercising outdoors, walking, running, whatever.  I'm not breaking any laws.  Am I taking a risk?  Sure.  But that's my choice.  Since I'm a teacher, I haven't had close contact with other people besides my family since March 13th, until this week that is.

Last Sunday I was coming home from a sweet bike ride, traveling down a gentle slope at around 30 mph when I saw this from the corner of my right eye:

Bontrager RL Wheelset 1660 grams with Shimano Ultegra 11-27 cassette
Tires were worn out
Spun silky smooth and freewheel purred like a kitten!

Fulcrum Racing 5 Wheelset 1760 grams with Shimano Ultegra 10-25 cassette
Two replaced spokes on each wheel; Continental & Michelin tires in good shape
Spun true and freewheel sounded great

On the bench of a public bus stop were two wheelsets!  I came to a smooth stop, so as not to kill myself flipping over the bike, and proceeded to ride back to the bus stop.  At first I thought it was a prank.  I repeatedly screamed, "Hello!"  But no one came out of the bushes or from behind any trees.  I expected to be zapped or shocked by a prankster's apparatus upon touching the wheels to examine their condition, but nothing happened.  Someone had left them.  Wtf?  I thought to myselfWhy would anyone leave seemingly good cycling wheels, of decent cash value, just sitting on a bus bench?  Whoever had left them was apparently too rich to care.  They weren't going to waste their time selling these on Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, OfferUp, etc.

I put my ride on pause and called my homie, asking him to come to my position immediately.  I waited for at least 30 minutes.  Still, no one came by.  Well, the bus finally did and I had to wave the driver off.  I couldn't believe my luck though.  I did some quick eBay searches while waiting and found the same Bontrager wheelset with cassette being sold for $199.  The Fulcrum Racing 5, a 2010 product, was being sold for about $100 for a set.  Because the Fulcrums I found had two replaced spokes on each wheel, I knew I would have to sell them for under $100.  Still, I figured I'd found about $250 in value.

Once home, I cleaned the wheels and checked spoke tension.  All was good!  The Bontragers were better than the set of wheels I was riding on!  So I decided to keep them.  I rode with them today and boy was I happy.  These wheels were extremely responsive.  Can you say..."ACCELERATION"!  Here are the Bontrager wheels on my 2007 Bianchi:

What the heck does this have to do with selling items locally?

Well, now that I was up to my neck in wheels (I had a spare set of my own already at the house), I had to sell some to leave space for my wife's SUV.  Just kidding...there was plenty of room in the garage.  Just being dramatic.

I don't like Craigslist.

It's too cumbersome.  There are still so many steps to take before you can post your crap.  First, you have to find the correct link.  In my case, "bike parts."  Then you need to click, "post."  Then specify the area, and the type of posting.  Then fill out the form.  I can go on and on.  The online platform hasn't changed in years!  They just recently built an app which I have yet to try so things could be looking up. has a great review on Craigslist and rank it as the 8th best spot to sell your stuff.  Buying and selling things locally is your best bet with Craigslist.  You don't have to worry about getting shipping costs correct, or losing your money to a scam sending someone a payment, if you stay local and follow their safety guidelines.

Of course eBay is ranked number one.  You can't go wrong as both a buyer or seller on eBay.  Yes there may be issues, but eBay is the most reliable platform online in my mind.

OfferUp sucks, yo!  It has appalling reviews.  Wait, appalling is too nice.  88% of 433 users rated the service as "Bad."  That's bad!

I've sold and bought items locally using OfferUp and have never had an issue.  When my son needed used Tae Kwon Do sparring equipment, I used OfferUp and got what I needed.  Then when my son was over Tae Kwon Do, I used OfferUp to sell that same gear.  No issues.  Sure, there were flaky people who said they were coming to my house to pick up items but never did.  So what...I didn't lose anything.  Not even time because I kept on with my life.  I always gave potential buyers a time frame when they could come to the house.  

I like how easy it is to get a product to sell posted on the OfferUp app.  In four easy steps, you can have your item up on the platform for viewers to see.  That's convenience.  It's also very easy to edit your post.  If I need to bring down the price, I can within a matter of seconds.  I also like that I can rate my buyers.  Immediate feedback is great.

But I see from the reviews that OfferUp has some serious issues as a platform.  It's seemingly dangerous to buy anything not locally.  The number of issues, scams, fake posts, never getting a product, horrible customer service, etc., do not make OfferUp a virtual place to go to for frugal buyers.

Sold Two Items This Week On OfferUp

This week already I've sold one of my spare rear wheels, and a small kid's bike that belonged to my son.  This means I had to meet two adults outside of my garage door and speak with them, albeit, for a short time period.  Before stepping outside my house, I put on a mask.  Surprisingly, both visitors weren't wearing a mask.  How do they know I don't have Covid-19?  Hey, I took care of me.  That's on them if they don't want to take care of their own health.

The 2010 Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels are still sitting unsold at $60.  I've had 107 views so far.  So people are interested.  I'm not going lower than $50.  We'll see if I get a buyer soon.

Should You Be Selling Locally On Facebook, OfferUp, or Craigslist Right Now?

I'm not going to tell you how to live your life.  I'm not hard up for cash, getting paid monthly still by my school district and other income sources (rental properties), yet I sold items.  Probably out of boredom.  But you might be in a worse economic state.  You might need cash quick.  If you're going to take the plunge, here are my tips for safer interactions:

1.  Wear a mask.  Preferably a surgical mask.  Double up on cloth ones and cover your eyes with shades or glasses.
2.  Don't shake any person's hand when you meet.
3.  Try to talk to the buyer from 6 feet away.
4.  Place the item you're selling somewhere first and let them inspect it while you wait at least 6 feet away.
5.  After the deal is made and you walk inside your house, immediately wash your hands since you touched cash.
6.  Take your mask and eye wear off carefully.
7.  For extra peace of mind, change your clothes.
8.  Wipe down your product if you didn't get a sale.  This means you'll have to wash your hands again afterward.

Now, I'm not a doctor.  So don't take my previous tips as effective ways that can help you avoid getting infected by the Coronavirus.  Again, I understand these are difficult times.  People need to make rent, pay bills, and eat.  So, if you're reading this, and don't agree, keep it moving.  It's hard to judge someone if you've never been in their shoes.  And with that...I'm out!    

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