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What I Learned Selling On Craigslist

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Filed under: Marketing 

Knowing Your Target Market is Everything!
Let me first say, I have next to zero experience on Craigslist. I have never posted anything or purchased anything on Craigslist until today. There is a HUGE marketing lesson here so make such to read the entire post.

Let Me Tell You What Happen…
For the past 2 weeks my iPhone 3GS 16 GB has been burning through the battery several times a day. Thus, I’d have to re-charge my phone 2-3 times throughout the day.

Yesterday I decided to go to the Apple Store in the Forum Shops at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas. I met with one of the Genius Bar guys. They checked the phone and said everything seemd to be ok. I told them that the battery was buring way to fast the past 2 weeks. They did another test and agreed.

They said they needed to replace the battery but the problem was, they no longer had replacement batteries for that phone. He did some research and found out I still had my iphone under Apple Care Protection.

The Good News…
Because they didn’t have replacement batteries, they gave me a Brand NEW iPhone 3GS 16GB! I thought this is great! Then I asked could I upgrade to the Phone 4 at no cost. They said I was entitled to an upgrade but had to pay $199 dollars.

I Then Asked The Money Maker Question…
If I take the New replacement iphone, can I do whatever I want with it? Can I give to my friend or sell it? They said, I could do what ever I wanted with it.

So I Did What Any Good Marketer Would Do, RESEARCH!
I took my iphone back for a few minutes and did a quick search on ebay and Craigslist for iphones 3GS for sale. Yes, there were a number of iphone 3GS for sale, but I didn’t see any Brand NEW ones.

If I sold it, I just wanted to get my money back ASAP.

So…
I took the New replacement iphone and purchased the New Apple iPhone4 for $199 plus $60 dollars for another Apple Care Protection Plan. So now I’m into the new iphone4 for $284 with tax.

Fast Forward To This Morning:
I searched the the Apple website for photos of the iPhone 3GS 16GB phone. I took some screen captures from their site with Snagit. I wrote up a quick adds. I priced my phone at $290 dollars.

There were a number of used ones for $150 – $350. I had the best phone and as a bonus still had 9 months left on this Apple Care Protection which was transferable.

In less than 30 minutes of posting on Craigslist I had 3 HUNGRY buyers…Two wanted a little discount for a fast close. The third guy said I’ll pay full price and meet you in 15 minutes!

My advertisement said, the first guy that brings me $290 gets it!

In less than 45 minutes from posting the ad I had $290 cash in hand. Think about that. Las Vegas has 1.5 million people. I was looking for 1 hungry buyer out of 1.5 million. That means, they had to be online within 30 minutes of the time I posted the ad. What are the chances?

Marketing 101 says, find a parade of hungry buyers and then get in front of that parade and sell them what they want. He needed a phone. What my buyer wanted was the exact one I was selling.

Find a problem and provide a solution at a fair price.

I had no idea this would happen this fast. I was shocked. It further reminded me of the first movie “Wall Street” with Michael Douglas.

Gordon Gekko: “Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another”.

Look At The Cycle of Events:
1. iPhone Battery was not staying Charged
2. Two weeks later I go to Apple Store To get a New Battery
3. Yesterday I walk out of the Apple Store with 2 New iPhones
4. Today I post an ad on Craigslist Trying To Sell one iPhone
5. Got 3 Responses in less than 30 minutes of posting
6. I got full asking price, cash in hand in less than 45 minutes.
7. Bottom Line – I got my new iPhone4 for FREE!

It’s just another reminder that when you have the right product and the correct price, you don’t have to sell anybody. The buyers are already sold. They just need to be able to buy it easy and fast.

BTW – I LOVE my new iphone4!

To Your Marketing Success,
Robby LeBlanc