Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Easy Product to Sell on Craiglist / Kijiji?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 25th, 2011 10:47 pm
Tags:
None
Deal Addict
Apr 1, 2004
1582 posts
28 upvotes

Easy Product to Sell on Craiglist / Kijiji?

I'm looking for a product that I can easily sell on Craigslist / Kijiji, not to make money, but to give myself a reason to use, in practice, an online booking website (that I help develop). I've noticed in the past that everytime I've actually used the site to schedule real appointments, I've noticed a number of usability problems and/or helpful new features. For example, based on my experience renting out a condo recently (and using the site to schedule viewings) we completely revamped how we send messages related to an appointment request.

Accordingly, I'm trying to think of a product that best fits the following criteria... thoughts?

- Reasonable volume of purchases/appointments (e.g. 10 a week)
- Stable value products (e.g. I want to be able to stop selling when I'm busy, without worrying that my inventory is depreciating in value)
- Wide demographic of buyers (e.g. renting a downtown condo put me in contact with mainly young, educated professionals; giving away a free couch resulted in a lot of somewhat questionable people. I'd like to interact with a broad cross-spectrum of customers)
- Relatively small (I live in a condo and don't have much room to store stuff)
- Value ($20-50 range) since I want people to actually follow through with appointments. I've noticed when selling really cheap items that people flake out a lot.
- Easy supply (since I don't want to need to spend much effort acquiring inventory to sell)
- Breakeven (I'd like to at least breakeven on each item that I sell, and it'd be amazing to actually make some money, however marginal)

My thinking so far has been to try to identify items that aren't cheaply sold in Canada, but that can be acquired in bulk from the US for relatively cheap and resold in Canada for less than the Canadian pricing..... but really, I don't have a good idea yet. Hoping this community can help!
5 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 16, 2007
6686 posts
504 upvotes
Toronto
Buy lots of nursing scrubs from the states/asia and sell lots of 4 for $20. Will attract psws, nurses, maybe some doctors, so it should cover your socio-economical range. Doesn't go bad, fairly easy to store although patterns/sizes may be difficult. Fairly cheap to acquire.

On the other side of the coin, I think its a terrible idea. Why bother doing this? Why not offer the service to a customer for free, gain feedback & testimonials, while emerging yourself in "bookings". You obviously know how to develop a site, so go find a massage therapist, tell them that you will run their online presence for free in exchange for them using your booking system and working with you to develop it.
Jr. Member
Nov 10, 2009
112 posts
29 upvotes
matdwyer wrote:
Aug 25th, 2011 6:21 pm
On the other side of the coin, I think its a terrible idea. Why bother doing this? Why not offer the service to a customer for free, gain feedback & testimonials, while emerging yourself in "bookings". You obviously know how to develop a site, so go find a massage therapist, tell them that you will run their online presence for free in exchange for them using your booking system and working with you to develop it.

Amen
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 1, 2004
1582 posts
28 upvotes
matdwyer wrote:
Aug 25th, 2011 6:21 pm
On the other side of the coin, I think its a terrible idea. Why bother doing this? Why not offer the service to a customer for free, gain feedback & testimonials, while emerging yourself in "bookings". You obviously know how to develop a site, so go find a massage therapist, tell them that you will run their online presence for free in exchange for them using your booking system and working with you to develop it.

We do this as well, of course. I'm just trying to come up with a way to be a "end-user" as well. Essentially, it's great to have other people telling you what they need, but I'm looking for a reason to beta-test myself as well. (Kindly like how practically all RIM employees beta-test the Blackberry).

As an example, I remember early on people telling us that the way we handled messages was kindly funky, but noone really knew why and we couldn't figure out a better way to do it. It wasn't until a few months ago when I was renting out the condo and dealing with 20-30 messages a day did I truly understand the problem and was able to come up with a solution.

I dunno, could you imagine if a designer of the iPhone didn't have a smart phone?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 16, 2007
6686 posts
504 upvotes
Toronto
Icedawn wrote:
Aug 25th, 2011 7:16 pm
We do this as well, of course. I'm just trying to come up with a way to be a "end-user" as well. Essentially, it's great to have other people telling you what they need, but I'm looking for a reason to beta-test myself as well. (Kindly like how practically all RIM employees beta-test the Blackberry).

As an example, I remember early on people telling us that the way we handled messages was kindly funky, but noone really knew why and we couldn't figure out a better way to do it. It wasn't until a few months ago when I was renting out the condo and dealing with 20-30 messages a day did I truly understand the problem and was able to come up with a solution.

I dunno, could you imagine if a designer of the iPhone didn't have a smart phone?

No, and I couldn't imagine if AirBNB didn't try some of their hosts either.

But you're not doing that - using your iPhone example, you're saying "I'm going to learn how to make my own phone so I can write iPhone apps better". I can assure you this backfires on you. Number 1, there is no money. You will lose money. Number 2, It isn't even your market? No one that sells stuff online on kijiji will a) pay for scheduling and b) need it. You're going to drive yourself crazy trying to do it. Your best feedback is from real customers, not trying to make yourself into something you're not.

Anyway, just my opinion, but you're going to give yourself so many headaches for such little gain. Is the information you gather from this REALLY going to do anything? And if it will, why not do a service or something that at least you won't shoot yourself in the head making no money and dealing with this crap. Offer to mow lawns or do that hole puncher thing or rake leaves or etc etc etc... don't sell something and hope for breakeven, if you have extra time and want extra money, use your skills (ex. sell a 1 hour consultation where you show business owners how to get a website online using free sites/software/templates and meet them at coffee shops, charge $30 for the time and tell them they'll have a functioning website with a free domain at the end of it... then just set up a quick wordpress site, template, and buy them a domain, show them how to edit and boom you've solved all your problems, become your own customer, at least got a few bucks, maybe some new clients, etc.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 1, 2004
1582 posts
28 upvotes
I think the short of it is simply that, from past experience, we've found that using the site ourselves has proven very helpful, and has helped us identify and solve significant problems that third-party feedback either hadn't identified, or provided us with enough insight to solve. We've simply found the experience sufficiently illuminating that I'd like to, on occasion, be able to do so again.

So you're right, there are two options. I could either (a) sell a product and schedule appointments to pickup, or (b) sell a service and use the site to schedule the service.

Personally, given that I don't need the money, don't want to spend time developing a client base, and don't really want to spend much time selling some random service, I'm not a big fan of (b). Instead, to the extent there is some product that I can identify that could be easily sold, I think that would give me the same benefit of real-world experience scheduling via the site, with a relatively low cost of merely meeting for a few minutes in the lobby of my condo whenever it's convenient for me (since I'm obviously only scheduling appts when I'm home anyways).

And I note, I appreciate your comments and the fact that you took the time to respond. Just sharing my reasoning for why I tend to disagree with you.
× < >

Top