If you’ve ever compared the amount of gear you own vs the amount of gear that you actually use, you’re probably pretty shocked at the amount of gear you have that is rarely used. This often leads you to consider getting rid of a hefty chunk of it but how do you go about it? The answer is quite often selling it on the online forum. The forums are full of likeminded players who are looking to buy some gear at a good price. However, selling on the forums can be a tricky business, with lots of rules and regulations in place that you need to follow. In this guide, we’re going to guide you through selling on the forums so that you can get a return on your old gear.
Selling is the most troublesome part where most people will be concerned. People are afraid of getting scammed or ripped off, or they simply don’t want the hassle of listing and posting something in the mail, especially if it’s a RIF.
The first steps are all about preparation and it’s the most important part of it. Failing to plan is planning to fail and all that.
1.Make a list
Begin by making a note of everything you wish to sell, its condition and how much it can be bought for elsewhere online. This will give you an idea of your inventory and how much potential value you can re-gain.
2.Get an appraisal
Many online forums have ‘appraisal’ sections. This is an area for people to post their gear / weapons / parts and the community will use their combined experience to tell you how much they think you could reasonably sell it for. This will give you a clear and simple value for you to move forward with. Of course, you can use your experience here, if you think something is being over-valued, because you’ve not mentioned the scratches it has, you shouldn’t value it at the whole price. Additionally, if you think it’s undervalued because appraisers aren’t grasping the condition or something extra, then you should use your discretion on the value.
3.Take quality photographs
Taking a clear and informative photograph of the item you’re trying to sell will make the world of difference to a buyer. The buyer wants to see the condition of the item and everything that’s included, you could also take a leaf out retail’s book and throw in the odd lifestyle photo.
A unique photo (often with your forum username written on paper next to the items) will show a potential buyer that you are a genuine seller – not someone who’s trying to scam them out of their money with a generic googled image.
4.Upload your images somewhere else
This is something that only veteran forum sellers do, but it’s something useful for first time sellers also.
Take your photos and upload them to a hosting platform that allows you to edit the image. Why? If you’re uploading a large number of items, you can go to where the group image is hosted, and edit the image with a ‘sold’ symbol (something that you can’t do if it’s hosted on the forum). This serves as a visual indicator to prospective buyers that the item is no longer so sale.
Instead of uploading the image directly to the forum, embed the image in your post from the image hosting platform and remain the ability to edit as you go. It doesn’t seem like much, but you will be thankful when you get 20 messages asking if you’re still selling X item.
5.Check the forum rules
Just before you start posting things on the forums check their rules. Forums have different rules and some of them might not be intuitive for a first time seller. Some are simple; clear images, good description, must display a price with fees included etc. Some are less so: Images must include your username handwritten on paper next to the item, specific category restrictions for parts, descriptions must be written in iambic pentameter, etc.
6.Make a listing
Make a post ensuring that you follow the rules of the forum. Often, the forum will supply a template for you to follow, to ensure all information is included.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve got a huge number of items that you wish to be selling, lump them all into a single post (up to a limit, usually set by the forum)
Top-Tip: Make your listing at a busy period of time, usually early evening during a weekday. A simply way of checking the busy times is to log in every now and then and check the ‘active users’ section. This will tell you how many people are online currently and give you an idea of the busy periods.
7.Vet all enquiries
After a time, you’ll get a few enquiries for the products you’re selling. Deciding whether to accept their offer of purchase is down to a few variables:
- Is the price right for you? Only you can answer this.
- Are you happy to sell to them?
Particularly if you’re selling a RIF or IF on a forum, it’s important to work out if you’re happy to sell to them. Buying and selling replica imitation firearms is a serious business and, for the safety of our sport, it’s important that everyone is legitimate when selling.
You’re probably aware of the VCRA and defences required when buying RIFs in the UK. When it comes to second hand, YOU the seller need to ensure that the buyer has a valid defence. A valid defence can be anything from registration on the UKARA database to a museum curator. You simply need to be sure that the buyer is using the RIF for legitimate means.
Also pay attention to how long the user has been on the forum, and whether they have any feedback and post contribution. If the account is brand new, and their first post is enquiring about your item, you might wish to do some extra enquiring about their legitimacy.
Payment is obviously what you’re doing it for, so you want to ensure that you get paid. The buyer should always pay for the item before you send it, don’t let them convince you they will pay once it’s received. Most sellers will opt to use a service like PayPal. It will allow the buyer to send over funds simply and it puts them at ease due to the buyer protection they put in place.
Ensure that you clarify who is paying for the transfer fees and for postage, and make sure that you receive the funds (by actually logging into your PayPal account and verifying) before shipping the goods.
This is the part where you split with your toys. If you’re sending anything that isn’t gun shaped, batteries, pyrotechnic or liquid, you should be fine shipping it via most courier and mail services. However, if it is any of the aforementioned, you will need to find a courier that handles your type of parcel. Whether ship your kind of package should be clearly displayed on their website.
Ensure that you wrap the box up well, with the content well-padded to avoid any breakages or lost parts.
If you happen to be shipping a RIF/IF and the buyer has supplied a UKARA database number, it’s often best practice to have this clearly printed and fixed to the box, near the address – just in case.
10.Update the listing
Use your external web hosting platform to edit the images that you uploaded with your listing to ensure that you no longer receive enquiries for a part that has already been sold. This is help you remain sane and make sure that enquiries for other items don’t get lost.
When the buyer receives the package, encourage them to leave you a review on your profile (a good way to do this is to review the buyer yourself). A good review from a buyer goes a long way into showing new prospective buyers that you are a reputable seller who can be trusted and should help you shift the other items much faster.
In the market to buy a different primary? Take a look at our Top 5 Methods to Finding Airsoft Gun Deals.