A Beginner’s Review of the Letgo App

I recently downloaded the free Letgo App in an attempt to sell a few unwanted things to make some extra cash.  At first it seemed easy enough—open the app, snap a photo of the item to sell, insert a price and suddenly it’s on the market!  However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.  As the days went by I learned some lessons that made my selling easier and more profitable.  I’ll share a few tips for you:

About the ad:

Add more details after you make the initial listing.  Select the category of product from the drop down menu and add a detailed description.

Update the auto-generated item description.  The algorithm identifying your product is uncannily accurate, but at the same time the descriptions it produces aren’t always very helpful.  For example, the auto-generated description might look something like “two yellow and black kitchen tools.”

Manage your customers’ expectations up front.  Write your terms for the sale.  For example, I write this at the end of the description:  “For pickup only in downtown in front of the _____ restaurant after 6pm on weekdays.  Only cash is accepted.”

Add as many photos as you can, and especially add photos of any damage so buyers know what to expect.  Beware that the first picture you snap is by default the only one on the listing page which potential buyers are scrolling through, so you want it to be the best, most comprehensive picture.  This picture is essentially your advertisement, the buyers will only see your description and other photos if the first photo gained their attention enough to click on it.

Mind the background and lighting of your photos.  Ideally photograph your items against a plain background, like a wall or floor, and make sure the item is not blurry or hidden in shadow.  This will keep the focus to the item, but it also makes the ad look more professional and credible.  Most importantly, don’t show your potential customers that mess of a garage behind the item you’re trying to sell—they’ll automatically think your item wasn’t taken care of very well.

About the sale:

Talk to the buyer more than necessary through the app.  I’ve found approximately half the contacts who agree to a time and place to sell the item don’t actually show up, and then they suddenly disappear off the app and never reply to you again.  You can report them, but that doesn’t do anything to get back the time you’ve invested in messaging them and going to the sale location.  I’ve learned sending the buyers messages requiring more than a simple answer will usually separate out the spammers/deadbeats from the interested buyers.  For example, ask them why they like the product or ask why meeting at a certain location is better than another location.  If they make the effort to respond to an open-ended question with a half-way decent, original answer then they are more likely to show up.

Set your price higher than you want to sell it for.  This seems obvious, but I’ve gotten more ridiculous low ball offers on this App than other platforms for the second-hand market.  It seems the most common question asked after “Is it still available?” is “What’s the lowest price you’ll take for it?”  It appears less important what the published price actually is as long as the buyer received a steep discount.  I’ve simply countered this by raising my published price about 25% and then write the actual sale price I want when they ask me the question.  They’re happy and I’m happy.  Oh, and occasionally people pay the marked-up price and I gladly take the money.  I suppose that makes up for all the wasted time on those that never show up!

Don’t give out your phone number.  There is no reason to as the messaging can be done completely within the app which keeps you somewhat anonymous and protected.  I’m surprised how many people offer their numbers or want me to give mine.  I assume they are trying to harvest my personal data and tell them no thanks.  Same goes for email addresses.

Mark your items as sold instead of simply deleting them.  This shows potential buyers that you’ve made sales and gives you some street cred that you’re a reputable seller.  It also stops people messaging you to ask if it’s still for sale.

About the account:

-I recommend only using your first name (or a made-up name).  There is no accountability for names, but there are enough malicious people on the app that I don’t want them getting my real name.  Since you only meet buyers for a few seconds then they don’t really need to know your full/real name.

Verify your account, or don’t.  You can verify the account with Google or Facebook, supposedly to make your profile more reputable.  I find that even people with “verified” accounts still flake out on the meeting times, or mysteriously drop off conversations as a deal approaches, so I don’t really weigh a verified account more than an unverified one.  Same concept with adding a profile picture.  I don’t have one and have closed plenty of sales.  I just describe to the buyer what I look like right before we are scheduled to meet.

-I recommend approaching this tool with a defensive mindset about your cyber security.  I assume every new message rolling in has a malicious intent until their conversation convinces me otherwise.  It’s kept me out of trouble and rolling in the dough.

A few quirks within the app:

Message notifications are oftentimes slow.  If you’re waiting at the sale location and expecting a message from the buyer, keep closing and reopening the app which forces the feed to reset. 

-There are a notable number of inexplicable errors when you’re listing items.  Sometimes you hit publish you just have to cancel the draft ad and start over.  This is annoying, but at the end of the day redoing the add only takes a few seconds if you copy and paste the text in the description.

-People like your product.  I find this feature fairly useless and distracting.  I don’t want people to like my product, I want to sell it!  The one benefit is theoretically the more people like the product, the closer it’ll stay to the top of the list of items for sale.  I just wish the app developers would make this prioritization happen in the background by the number of clicks your item receives instead of the number of likes.

Overall:

Despite a few oddities within the app itself, and a decent amount of malicious people, spammers, and flakes, I still recommend using this tool.  It has allowed me to quickly convert old, unused things into cold, hard cash, and does so with a much easier interface than Craigslist and without correlating your social media profile to your items like Facebook’s Marketplace.  Within the first two weeks of using the app I’ve pocketed about $400 from stuff that was otherwise unused sitting in my home.

Did you like this post?  If so, check out www.minmylife.org!

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