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Friday, 7 December 2007

How to Sell Used Stuff in Korea

For those that are near the end of their teaching contracts in Korea, there is always one big question that stays in the back of your mind: "How am I going to get rid of all my stuff in my officetel/apartment?" After living in a country for a year, you tend to accumulate a lot of "things". These could consist of plants, kitchen utensils, furniture, books, clothes, kimchi cutters, chairs, etc.

Well, I'm going to tell you what I did to get rid of our stuff after our year of teaching English in Korea came to an end. To start off, we didn't really need anything in our officetel as it came fully furnished. We did end up acquiring some "things" over the year and by the time it came to sell or give away our stuff, we realized we had some work to do!

There are a few ways for you to sell your used "junk"...they've worked for me in the past so they might work for you too.

1) Dave's ESL Cafe: Buy/Sell/Trade Korea Forums - if you haven't registered for an account with these forums, I suggest you do so. The website receives a lot of steady traffic, so by creating your advertisement "post" there will generate some sales. Lots of goods are bought and sold through these forums (just watch out for some of the bitter and lonely weirdos there! Avoid them like the plague!).

2) Work N' Play Classifieds: these forums don't have as much traffic, but it's worth posting as I have sold and purchased items here in the past. It's a great way to find some good items for cheap as some moving sales are posted here, but nobody shows up--leaving the deals for you!

3) Facebook: Ahh, Facebook. What would my life be without you? Here, you can take advantage of the massive Korea network and post your stuff up for sale. Then, once you get a lead, you can "poke" (or Superpoke!) the other person to death until they give in and buy your third-hand rice cooker that doesn't really work. Awesome!

4) Craigslist Seoul: Ahh, Craigslist. The perfect marketplace for shady transactions, such as that discounted iPod that "fell off the back of a truck". I'm surprised there aren't more people using Craigslist in Seoul. Looking at the Books & Magazines section, there have only been 1 or 2 ads every 3 or 4 days...it's still worth a shot.

5) Post a list up at work...this is one of the easiest ways. New teachers are always looking for kitchen appliances and other stuff.

Okay, so you've read my long-winded rant about the above marketplaces. Now what? I'm going to make this easy and list it for you step by step.

1. Pictures: You need some decent pictures of your stuff, so try to at least clean or make your stuff presentable, then snap a picture of it. If you're running Windows XP, download and install the free Image Resizer from the Microsoft PowerToys page. Resize your pictures (this makes the biggest difference in the world when you're emailing them to someone) to 640x480 resolution.

2. List your stuff with pictures: go to the above mentioned websites and start listing your stuff. Make a brief description of what you have for sale (its condition) and how much you want for it. This will save you time answering emails from strangers. Willing to take offers? Add in "OBO" (or best offer). Post some pictures by hosting them for free at ImageShack. Take a picture of a few items at once to save time...Put down a contact number or email so people can contact you.

3. Sell smart: try to sell all your kitchen stuff for a flat rate, or all the plants you have in a set. This makes it easier for you and the buyer.

4. Give away stuff: mention that the first three buyers will get something for free to attract attention.

5. Have your buyers come meet you close to your house. Trust me, you don't want to be the one lugging a toaster oven half way across the city to make 20,000w.

6. Too lazy to sell? Good on you, and welcome to the club. Just pass on the good fortune to the next group of teachers coming to your school. That's what we did we the stuff we weren't able to sell. This will keep the circle of love going...yay.

Remember this bad boy I picked up off the streets coming home from a haircut? Well, with all garbage in Seoul, you're supposed to get a sticker so the garbage men can come pick it up. We didn't have time to get rid of this with packing and all, so we ended up abandoning it in the lobby of our building the night before.

We were like ninjas as we gingerly moved it downstairs and into the corner without any of the security guards spotting us. Yes, I know, we're bad, slap me on the wrist for the idea. I'm sure someone will pick it up and make good use of it--I hope!

Happy Selling (or happy littering your stuff downstairs in the alley next door)!


Jon Allen said...

Excellent details as always gdog.

When we left Korea we had a ton of stuff to get rid of. We didn't get a furnished apartment from the hagwon ( long story... don't get me started) so we had a lot of furniture and plenty of odds and sods that were not worth transporting to Japan.

A good friend of my wife was keen to take everything but she was so hopeless at arranging for transport for the stuff we nearly had a nervous breakdown with just trying to get rid of it.

In the end we still can't figure out if she thought she was doing us a favour by taking our stuff or vice versa!

I think the moral of the story is that some people just don't value something if it's being given away.

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