I’ve written about this particular lawn mower before having sold it twice for £25 and had both sales fall through. They say the third time is a charm and that proved to be correct.
I had it listed on eBay for £40 with best offer. I had it up for the entire summer lawn cutting season and each time I sold it, it fell through. I had it relisted automatically upon receiving final value fees. I didn’t drop the price as autumn set in and people stopped mowing their lawns and to be honest didn’t expect it to sell.
Then I get a question about the item.
“Will you bring it to me?”
The buyer lived about 40 mins away and I estimated around £10 in fuel, so I told him if you’re willing to pay my fuel, sure. He agreed and I decided I wanted some commitment.
So I told him to buy the item, pay for it using Paypal and give me the fuel money when I drop it off. He agreed and we scheduled a drop off time and he paid for the item, full price. He also agreed to give me the £10 fuel money when I dropped it off. Bingo.
I arrived at the address, a bungalow with a large front lawn and a back garden too. The buyer met me at the door. An elderly man who with a cigarette in his mouth, clearly he no longer drove a car hence the reason why he wanted a drop off rather than a pick up.
After chatting for a few minutes and me leaving the mower in his house an awkward silence ensued, I was going to have to either leave without petrol money or ask him for it.
I felt quite awkward asking, he was an elderly gent after all but then I thought of the extra effort and time out of my day which I had gone to, and I asked, he gave me the money and said:
“You’ve saved me a hell of a lot of money today, around £200 in fact!”
How’s that? I asked.
“Well before now the council has been coming to cut my grass and they’ve been charging me £30 a month, so I’ve knocked that on the head and paid £50 for your lawnmower and now I can spend an hour every few weeks, cut my own grass when it’s a nice day and feed the grass into the composter which I can then use in the garden, so now I don’t need to pay those highwaymen and I won’t have to buy as much compost”
I went from feeling guilty about asking for my fuel money to feeling valued and knowing that I provided a service worth paying extra for.
He then said, “I asked a few people before you you know”. He had asked people who lived a lot closer than me and none of them were wiling to deliver so they missed out on a sale. They also missed out on the opportunity to help an old man save some money and feel better about the eBay experience.
So consider on your local pick up items offering to drop off items in your local area, if you can. You could be helping out more than you realise.
Think about not only the elderly but stay at home mums with no car and people who rely on public transport to get around. They can’t take a lawn mower or other large items on a bus. You would also be surprised at how reasonable prices are for a courier firms to deliver large and heavy items. Check out my post on sending bulky items for more info.
There is one thing I did not consider when I brokered this deal. My time. It took me two hours to drop off that mower. Then I had to go to the post office, work and another two hour commute to get to and from work. That meant my time out of the house was 15 hours, which left not a lot of time for anything else!
Remember to stay safe when you’re delivering items or offering local pick up.