Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Preloved - the Joy of Secondhand

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When times are tough, you can make money selling your unwanted items, or save money by buying secondhand. Here is one way to do both and even make friends at the same time! 

Prelovedwww.preloved.co.uk , established in 1998 is much more than an online classified advertising site. People can advertise unwanted items for free, and Preloved employs the tagline, ‘The Joy of Second Hand’, to celebrate the various elements that make the selling and buying of second hand items such a positive proposition for anyone.

Today, Preloved has more than 2.6 million visitors a month and a membership approaching the one million mark. It promotes its belief, that by buying second hand, people can make substantial cash savings.

Buying and selling seconhand also encourages a more sustainable way of living as it is one of the most effective ways of recycling unwanted items, which cuts down on unnecessary manufacturing and lessens land fill.

Preloved has around 120,000 new advertisements  every month - ranging from cars and clothes, to furniture, caravans, houses and sailing boats.  The sheer diversity of the items for sale makes it a vibrant hub of second hand activity. Just as importantly, there is a clear community feel fostered by the site that aims to encourage and share users’ enthusiasm for turning unwanted clutter into cash.

Managing Director of Preloved, Ian Buzer, explains, “We work hard to ensure that the site has a distinct community feel and a real personality. We aim to connect people through buying and selling. We have numerous members who have made lasting friendships by being involved with Preloved.”

The site automatically prioritises advertisements to members in their local area. Ian says, “Rather than having to buy from someone on the other side of the country, it’s more likely that buyers and sellers will live close to one another, even in the same town.” Such an approach encourages more face-to-face contact, often between people who share a common interest. It also means that during a visit potential buyers can inspect the item for sale and find out much more about it before handing over any cash.

Angela's Story

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Angela Beebee lives in Rugeley, Staffordshire and has been a member of Preloved since April 2009. As a regular user, in the last two years she has placed over 100 adverts on the site, selling everything from a kettle, rice steamer and cycle carrier, to camping equipment, a dishwasher and Volvo estate car.

“I sold the Volvo to a very nice man from Essex who travelled up with the cash. I told two of my friends about Preloved and they both advertised cars which also sold on the same day as they were put on the website,” she says.

Angela believes that one of the key strengths of Preloved is that, unlike other online auction sites, it brings buyers and sellers together in the real world which means there is less time wasting and people are more likely to be interested in making a potential purchase. “You are going to meet buyers face-to-face, so they tend to be more genuine people. I use it regularly and nearly always have something on there.” She continues, “It’s a very useful site to use and it makes you feel safe as it’s usually someone local who is buying from you, within about ten miles of here.”

“It’s a really friendly site with a totally different atmosphere,” says Angela. The site’s more personal approach to buying and selling also encourages users to form friendships with the people they meet. “I’ve made one good friend who lives in Preston, Lancashire, and we keep in contact via email and speaking on the telephone.”

Since joining the site, Angela says that she has made about £2,500 selling items. She saves the money she makes to put towards family holidays and buying presents at Christmas.

For those who are considering advertising on Preloved, Angela has the following advice. “Put as many keywords as possible in the title. If you use lots of keywords the item will come up in a wider search.” Furthermore, she advises users always to include a good photograph of any items for sale. “It’s also a great idea to make it clear that you are happy to send more photographs if requested by potential buyers.”  

Do you have a story about buying, or selling, secondhand? We would love to hear from you.

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