Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
Every single one of us has a few items laying around the house that we'd like to sell, but sometimes the more conventional methods of transactions can be a bit sketchy. Craigslist often has a few crazy individuals stalking its boards, and eBay typically provides ample opportunities for scammers. Wouldn't it be better to sell items to the people that you already know and trust?
With social media, you can do just that. Using Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, you can sell your gently-used belongings. You may even be inspired to start your own online business using these existing services. For your information, below are three ways how to sell on social networks.
Create A Facebook Album
I'm stealing this idea from my mother (but don't let her know). For many years, she would occasionally hold garage sales in an effort to get rid of all our unwanted belongings while grabbing a little extra cash. It was typically inconvenient, though. Sometimes we would sit for hours and no one would show up. Other times too many people would show up, and we would end up with some very odd individuals (such as the elderly woman with a punk-rock haircut). However, using the power of social media, my mother devised a plan to run the garage sale without the garage.
By creating a photo album consisting of images of the items she wanted to sell, she was able to post her items as if they were a Facebook auction. Her friends could clearly see the items, and they would even share the photos with their friends. When the item was sold, she simply deleted the picture. It worked quite effectively, too.
Set Up A Pinterest Board
In a similar manner to Facebook, you could pin items to your Pinterest board that you are wanting to sell. Personally speaking, I believe that this would be a bit more effective for small online businesses. Those of you who craft jewelry and other homemade items may find a bit more success here since it's more of an artistic outlet, and people who use Pinterest would already likely be on the lookout for various artisan products. Besides, Pinterest is already used in other unique and innovative ways.
If you are an Etsy user, this would be a great way to complement your Etsy shop. Art-lovers already flock to Pinterest, so why not go where they go? Of course, don't limit yourself just to Pinterest. Be sure to share your cool Etsy crafts using other modes of social media, too. This just seems as if it would be the best place for it.
Tweet Your Items To The Masses
Twitter is a great tool for getting your items out to people, but it would be best for you to make sure your followers are actually paying attention. If you have a decent following on Twitter, you should have no problem Tweeting a picture of your old armchair and getting it sold. However, if you aren't much of a Twitter user, you may have a bit of difficulty. If you feel as though your audience is a bit limited, hashtags like #forsale and #selling could be used to your advantage.
On the other hand, if you plan on selling items as a business entity, you can't go wrong with Twitter. However, do not use the service to only promote your items. People hop on the little blue bird so that they can build relationships with friends, celebrities, and brands – not just for advertising. With that said, you must market yourself as if you are not marketing yourself. Be conversational, Tweet things that other people would be interested in, and try – with all your might – to be human. Then you can start promoting the stuff you want to sell.
So there you have it, folks. You can use social media to sell whatever you have on-hand, and with a bit of time, you might even upgrade your wares. Major businesses already use social media to promote their products. Why can't you?
Now it's your turn to talk.
How do you sell on social networks? Has social media been an effective vehicle for your to sell your belongings? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Image Credit: Ian Mutto