16 April 2010

Random thoughts about online buying/selling

16 April 2010
Over the past few months, in looking for a house and looking for items to fill said house, we've done a decent amount of online browsing, and in so doing, have learned a few things...

Adorable, Sweet, Darling, Cute: TRANSLATION = Pocket-sized
Lots of character, Charming: TRANSLATION = Old as dirt
Starter home: TRANSLATION = Disappointing but livable
Great Investment Opportunity: TRANSLATION = Don’t go near it unless you have a lot of cash, a lot of time & an inner Bob Vila.
Unique: TRANSLATION = Don't bother. There’s a good chance it’s purple with neon green trim.
Contemporary: TRANSLATION = Tacky. 80's.
Historic, Vintage, Retro: TRANSLATION = Plumbing, roofing, mold issues, etc.
Totally remodeled: TRANSLATION = Risky. Might look nice aesthetically, BUT…
Solid: TRANSLATION = Eyesore.
Spacious: TRANSLATION = Old or cheap (at least in our price range).
Must See: TRANSLATION = Don’t tell me what to do. :)


  • Beware of the fancy ads with lots of stars, swirlies, and “WOW”s in the subject. They’re usually spammers.
  • It’s a red flag when, instead of the product, they’re posting pictures of a Visa and Mastercard.
  • With CL, it’s best to deal locally. Don’t trust the ads that mention shipping.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it is.

  • Stage your items. Your lawn doesn’t count. Buyers don’t want a couch or mattress that you’ve thrown in your front yard.
  • Spell-check! Maybe it’s just me, but there have been times when I’ve actually been turned off of an ad b/c of grossly misspelled words. Ie. “Sweat Art Deal”, “Qeen Bed”, “Duvay Cover”, “Kwilt”, “Intertainment Unit”, “Ellegant”, I've even seen a "4 bededroom"...
  • Always include a photo with your ad. Why would I want to buy your couch or even look at it after just reading a basic description with no photo? Many times the photo is disappointing next to the description, but sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise. Either way, at least it’s a true(r) representation of what you’re selling. No matter how good your description is, the buyer is going to want to see it before buying so there’s no point in fabricating or hiding the truth.
  • Bonus points for a decent quality photo. Borrow a camera if you have to. And don’t post a picture of your queen-sized mattress with your 5 y/o spaghetti-faced son jumping on the bed while your large, dirty dog is sniffing at it.
Shopping online can be a funny thing, but ultimately, I'm a bargain shopper who doesn't really like to shop, especially in crowded, over-priced stores with pushy salesman (or realtors) so I think shopping/browsing online is a fabulous option. Sometimes you just have to know what to look for and how to navigate.


Brower Family said...

This was hilarious and so true. Thanks for the good laugh today. It was much needed!

Darcy said...

That was so good and funny! You should submit that to a magazine to be published!