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How to Sell a TV

The Definitive Guide to Selling a TV

If you're trying to sell a TV, you'll quickly realize it's a whole different ball game than hawking off smaller electronics, such as smartphones.

First of all, the television is heavy and bulky, so it's going to be hard to mail it off to a third-party seller, and the shipping costs might be too high. The smartest option would be to sell it to the buyer directly. Secondly, there's a lot of information on selling gadgets, but not specifically TVs, which require a different approach. And lastly, it's hard to put a number on it because of the big discrepancy between prices in the used-TV market.

Where to Sell

Although people sell their TVs on sites such as Amazon and eBay, the best place to unload them is Craigslist. After all, you can arrange for buyers to come pick it up themselves, so you don't have to mail it off. Since it's also a potentially bigger financial transaction, you might prefer to ask for the payments in cash, which is possible with Craigslist.

Cut to the chase: Sell it on Craigslist.

Read on for more.

How to Price

As a starting point, you can check out online appraisal sites like WorthMonkey and GadgetValue. WorthMonkey doesn't have a big database for TVs, so you might not be able to find the model of your TV on there, and the predicted value on GadgetValue isn't exactly accurate, since going prices for used TVs are much higher. You should use the GadgetValue appraisal value as the minimum amount to sell the TV at.

After you've done that, search for similar used TVs on Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. It's easier to compare prices if you look for used TVs with the same make and model. Since you're most likely selling on Craigslist, I would price your TV closer to the market rate on the classifieds website. I would either price it the same or slightly lower for a better chance of selling it more quickly.

Cut to the chase: Sell it at the same or lower rate that similar models are going for on Craigslist.

Seal the Deal

To sell your TV, it's best to:

  • Make sure it's in good working order. Don't try to sell something that's wonky.
  • Be honest. Any scratches or minor issues? Make a note of them in your listing, and provide photos of them if you can.
  • Take great pictures. This means the photos should be very clear and in a bright and clean setting. I find people gravitate toward personal photos of the actual product you're trying to sell, particularly if you've had the items for years.
  • Price it reasonably and competitively. The price of your item will depreciate dramatically while it's in your hands, so be reasonable about how much you want to get for it. As mentioned above, the best way to figure out the pricing is to see what's out there. In my opinion, I like to price it slightly lower (at least $10 less) than what it's going for.
  • Do it early. It's going to be hard to get a good price if you're short on time. That's because listings on Craigslist expire after seven days, and you might not be able to find a buyer in that time. Don't feel discouraged if you can't sell it in a week; you can keep renewing the listing until you find a buyer, which is why it's better to have more time to sell it. Wait it out for a better deal.

Cut to the chase: Sell early and at a competitive price, take great photos, and don't try to scam other people.

As always, be careful when you're dealing with strangers on Craigslist. Try to meet the buyer outside of your home, and don't let them into your home if possible. It's also smart to have someone with you when you're meeting a stranger.

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