My 'Kleinanzeigen' Guide

August 17, 2016 | 10 Minute Read |

A few days ago a friend approached me via chat: β€œdude, you’re like a master of selling shit on ebay kleinanzeigen, right?” So I explained him how I play it. With this post I am sharing, learnings on how selling unutilized stuff, based on what I developed over years of occasionally selling stuff on eBay Kleinanzeigen.

Why Kleinanzeigen

You may be wondering why selling it on Kleinanzeigen - in particular eBay Kleinanzeigen - rather than on eBay.

The main difference is, it's not an auction. So first of all you do not need to worry about losing on the price. You can just set your price. Secondly, there is no need to wait until the auction ends. If you are lucky, somebody will buy your stuff the same day you put it out.

This biggest advantage for me though, is not having to ship the stuff. While you might get asked to ship it, I always just refuse to. To me it's common sense, that usually the buyer will pick up the items form the seller's place. Alongside with this advantages eBay Kleinanzeigen also is free of fees. Finally it offers the ability advertise giving away items for free. If you are wondering why you would want to do that - I'll get to it later.

If you live outside Germany, replace eBay Kleinanzeigen by your local platform. I am also aware of alternative plattfroms in Germany. However, eBay Kleinanzeigen has been working the best for me so far.

Choosing what to sell

While the platform would let you sell just about anything, I have learned it's better to consider a few general criteria.

Firstly, what is your motivation of selling a particular item? The most obvious would be, you don't need it anymore and want to get some money for it. That's easy to decide for precious items.

Another motivation might be to just get rid of an object so it does not bother you anymore. The larger an object is, the more likely is this kind of motivation. For instance an old desk or other piece of furniture stored in your cellar.

Lastly you probably have unutilized items that don't really fully match either of the first two arguments. They are neither hidden gems nor bothering too much. Those usually have been living in the cupboard waiting for a never coming opportunity get used again for quite some time. You either finally made the choice to get rid of them (congratulations) or might be thinking about it.

If you're thinking about whether to keep an item or not, putting it on a online flea market could be a great help. In case you get prospective buyers for a decent price, it might help with this decision. πŸ€‘

Doubted Items

So should you consider selling your items, that do not completely match either of the first two arguments? Answer yourself the following questions to guide your decision.

How quickly would you like to get rid of it?

  • Immediately: The item should be gone withing the next 48 hours.
  • Short-term: You can live with it for another 2 weeks.
  • Medium-term: You can live with it for another 2+ weeks.
  • Long-term: You don't actually care to much, but definitly want to try selling it.

How much money do you hope to make on it?

Think about the price you would like to sell the item for. If you have no idea about the price, check for similar existing advertisements or look up prices on Amazon.

How valuable is the item and do you think people might buy it second hand?

Think about the potential demand. If it is something rather common, which people can buy basically everywhere, there might be no demand for buying it second hand or at least not on an online flea market. In most cases it is actually hard to say - in doubt just give it a try. If you have something super special you can not find on the platform yet try it. You either are lucky to be the only one offering it or it is just to special so that nobody cares (for my stuff the latter happened to be more likely).

Making the decision

Remember we are talking about doubted items you obviously have no strong reason to put it on sale. While the questions seem like there is a formular to put in the answers to get a Yes or No on whether it is worth putting any given item on Kleinanzeigen, I am sorry there is none. Instead use them to think about different aspects.

Ultimately the decision is actually driven by the effort you are willing to put into selling it vs. your desired outcome. Some items are just not worth the effort you would have to put in. For the outcome I usually not just consider the money I can make from it. I also count in the fact that rather than dumping it somebody else can still use it.

For the latter, consider not fiddling with selling it in case you want to get rid of the item immediately and you don't expect it make decent money. Instead just go straight for advertising it as free give-away.

In case you have not answered the timing question with Immediately and you think its worth at least trying to sell it follow on with my approach.

Some strategic notes

Choose a strategy basically depends on the price you are aiming for and how badly you want it.

Depending on your deadline you decided before and again the effort you are willing to invest there are two main approaches.

Quick and Easy

Just put it out for a good, cheap price and hope for the best. That's it.

Strategical and Longsome Β 

With the second approach you likely have to be patient, however presumably you will get more money for your stuff. Selling stuff on an online flea market is all about timeing. Hence the more time you have the better.

If you answered the deadline question with medium-term or even long-term, here is a little playfull opening: Start advertising it for a price that seems ridiculously high to you (keep it realistic though) and see if somebody might buy it for a price you don't expect at all. I was lucky with this a couple times.

Advertise the items again and again in a frequence of your choice, e.g. every two weeks. This is important as adverts are sorted by time and therefor your's will loose visibility. While eBay Kleinanzeigen offers to push your adverts back up again for purchase, you can actually work that fee by just re-posting. To make almost as easy as clicking their purchase button follow my steps below. The frequence basically again depends on what you are selling, but in my opinion less then once a week is not neccessary. Check similar offerings, the less competition there is, the longer you can keep an ad untouched.

Consider lowering the price everytime you renew the advertisement. However, keep in mind it's about timing. So somebody who sees your second advertisement with a sighly lower price might be also willing to pay your first price, but just did not search for it before, whereas somebody else seeing your first ad found it to pricy.

Managing your advertisements

Alright, you have gone through the process of considering a bunch of stuff and finally actually want to make an advertisement. First let me tell you, even-though it is more convenient do not use the mobile app for creating advertisments! Don't! Instead follow my steps doing it on the computer. It takes more work, but in most cases it will pay off later on.

The best is to process multiple items at once. Therefor, the best is to collect items for some time, so you can make all advertisments at once. I have a moving carton / box in some corner. If I find stuff to get rid of I first just throw it in there. When time has come I'll go through the box and make all the advertisements at once. Afterwards I still keep the items in the box, so in case somebody actually wants to come by to pick on up, I know where to search.

Creating Ads

  • Take good pictures.
    • If you have a proper camera use it for precious items.
    • Tip: Avoid extra objects in pictures, e.g. stuff in the background you could easily move away.
  • Take the dimensions of the item and note them somewhere.
    • You might think it's not important. Are you sure? Okay try without and wait for the first person asking for it.
  • [Repeat the first two steps with the next items]
  • Pull all the pictures of your camera or phone onto your computer.
    • Pictures I took with my iPhone are synced to my Mac via iCloud Photo Stream
    • Create a folder for each item with all the pictures of it.
    • Select the pictures you want to use for the ad.
      • Either, delete all other pictures or move them into another folder to have extras in case somebody asks for more.
      • It's important that you can easily select all pictures that should go into an advertisement without thinking about it.
  • Head over to the platform's website for creating the new advertisement
    • Fill the form
    • Include the dimensions taken before (unless you dediced not to include them πŸ˜‰)
    • Add all the picture from you prepared folder
    • DONE πŸ™‚

Re-Posting Ads

As mentioned above you have to submit your ads again and again. This will not just bring your ad back up, but also gives you a oppurtunity to iterate on the price. Fortunately yout have prepared everything nice in (almost) one place on our computer, so renewing an ad take less than a minute:

  • Head over to the platform's website.
  • Find your existing ad of the item you want to renew and open it in a new browser tab.
  • Open the form to create a new ad on a second tab.
  • Check the category of the old ad (instead of thinking about it again).
  • Copy over the details, such as title and description.
  • Again upload the pictures again from the prepared folder (which are just all of them since we filtered the bad ones already once before).
  • Adjust your price if you want to.
  • DONE πŸ˜€

Thanks to the preparation you don't need to check your phone's photos for the pictures.

One final note: When you wait to long before renewing an advertisement, the platform will actually delete it. Therefor you might want to also save the description you wrote in the folder with your pictures. However, eBay Kleinanzeigen emails you 'Verkaufsschild' PDF to print out just after posting. So you can just either drop this PDF file into your item's folder or trust on finding it in your email archive in the unlikely case of actually needing it in the future.