For sale: one bed of indeterminate value
August 21, 2013 8:33 PM   Subscribe

When I moved into my apartment, the previous tenant left behind his kid's twin bed, which has been sitting in a corner covered with books for the last year. I want to finally get rid of it (on Craigslist or similar) but I have no idea what the asking price should be. Details inside.

After a bit of research, I was able to find that it's an Ikea "Brekke" bed, which is no longer for sale. It has a more solid frame than most of their offerings, three pull-out drawers underneath, and a mattress and box spring that I'd ideally sell along with it. I've checked Craigslist for similar sales of Ikea beds (and skimmed Ikea catalogs for current items that seem similar), but prices seem to fluctuate wildly; ditto for mattresses. I'm in between jobs and trying to save as much as I can, so I'd really like to maximize my return on this sale, but I have no real idea what it's worth. I'm open to any advice the hive mind may have.
posted by Merzbau to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Someone's selling one near me for $150 (without mattress) but I think that's a stretch - I think that thing retailed for $149. As a rule with IKEA (and similar), you're not going to get more than 50% of the retail price, and that's if it's clean and in good condition.

Assuming it's in good shape, and the mattress is in excellent shape, you might be able to get $100 for it. You'd do yourself a favor to have the mattress as an option rather than a requirement - say $75 for the bed, $40 for the mattress, $100 for both, to make it look like a deal.

If it doesn't work out, you can always re-list it at a lower price. That's what I usually do, if I'm not in a rush to get rid of something.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:46 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, to the above except I think top price is $75 to $80 for the whole thing.

List it at $85. Frame alone $75.

Kids mattresses are cheap, so a used kids mattress is basically garbage unless it's in a really good waterproof liner, which I'm betting yours is not.
posted by jbenben at 8:52 PM on August 21, 2013

Are you able to deliver? If not, I'd offer it for 50.
posted by spunweb at 9:08 PM on August 21, 2013

In my 'hood, anything in good condition gets listed for 2/3 of the original price, without delivery. I would really look at CL prices in your area, as it really can change. For example, where I live, items in the city go for more than those in the burbs because people in the burbs don't want to drive out to the big box stores in the first place and have smaller cars and tend to prize things that are already assembled. But you won't get much for the mattress. Sell it with the bed or you will be stuck trying to dispose of it. $75 if you want it gone fast. $125 if you are willing to wait and negotiate.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:16 PM on August 21, 2013

Generally, a used mattress is somewhere between 'free if you pick it up' and 'garbage'.

Don't expect to get a lot - it depends on your area (a lot of families, you'll get more. A lot of renters/inner-city - beds often go for 'if you take it away, free.') You'll also get more if you can deliver.
posted by Ashlyth at 11:02 PM on August 21, 2013 [5 favorites]

Oh, and if you don't do a lot of big-ticket Craigslist selling, note that a lot of CL jokesters looove to show up with less cash than they said they would pay you. If you agree to a price, make it very clear that THAT'S THE PRICE. If they show up with less (or saying they have less), obviously it's up to you if you just want to let it go, but in my experience if you stand firm they'll usually give up. After all, they drove all the way out to you to get this thing - are they really going to go home without it?

(also definitely others are right about delivery, especially with a big, PITA item like a storage bed. If you're willing to - carefully - deconstruct it on request, so it'll fit in somebody's Civic, that would help too.)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:37 AM on August 22, 2013

The fair market value is the price at which it would change hands between a willing buyer and willing seller, each knowledgeable and not under duress.

Since Craigslist ads are free to post, why don't you post how much you'd like to get for it (say, $200), then see if anyone bites. If not, lower the price by $25 a week later. Repeat until sold.

FWIW, I sold a used (approx 3 yrs) queen mattress in NYC, which had been in a pets and smoking home, for $600 cash and carry.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:29 AM on August 22, 2013

Ikea stuff loses value very quickly unless you're in an area where used furniture is not plentiful. If the bedframe retails for $149, $150 doesn't just seem optimistic, it seems silly unless you're offering to deliver it and include the mattress. I would probably list it at $90 and accept anything about $60 as long as the buyer picked it up.

Don't deconstruct it. Since it is Ikea, you'll probably destroy it while doing that, and part of the purchase appeal (for me at least) of used Ikea stuff on craigslist is that I don't have to put it together myself.

The way I sell high-value things on craigslist (and I sell quite a few) is simple. Take good pictures (clear the clothes and junk out from around the bed, take actual pictures of the bed not stock photos, take pictures in the daylight with a decent camera or phone), have a good description (include measurements and accurate condition description).
posted by arnicae at 9:08 AM on August 22, 2013

When you list it, note that the mattress has been unused for X months, and if your home is bedbug-free. Even so, many people do not want a pre-owned mattress.
posted by theora55 at 10:00 AM on August 22, 2013

Heh, at a place i briefly lived one of my friends was trying to unload his nearly new seriously barely used bed frame+mattress. And between the frame and mattress i think he had dropped close to $800 on it.

I think he ended up selling it for less than $200. I don't remember the whole story, but that really does sound right. New value doesn't have a huge effect on resale with furniture. The only stuff that's actually worth a lot used was either seriously high end, or is something very cool and vintage or something like an Eames or a nice Morris chair that's iconic.

If you paid $0 for it, take $50. It'll get out of there decent fast, and it allows you to stand firm on "no i won't deliver it, no i won't help haul the thing or split it apart. Show up ready to haul it with cash in hand and a friend or two ready to help you break it down and haul it out".

Everyone knows that most ikea stuff that isn't certain metal items or solid wood starts to disintegrate the instant you try and take it apart and transport it to put it back together. People are willing to pay for it accordingly.

I'd also advise against the "post at a high price and work it down" strategy. As soon as you've bumped it lowering the price for a few weeks, you'll start attracting serious lowball vultures who will offer you $20 while also driving away most people searching for something in whatever category your item is in because they'll be thinking "Geeze, why is this still on here for so long? There must be something seriously fucked up with it since people must have gone and looked and either passed or offered less and been told to pound sand". You end up self selecting for the worst most irritating type of craigslist customer.

$50 for something that cost you $0 which you don't want in your house and is taking up a lot of space would be like, a bajillion percent profit to me personally. And i'm like a freaking Ferengi when it comes to buying and selling stuff on craigslist/ebay. This just isn't something with great value, and it's also in a category of stuff that's really irritating to actually get to sell.

If you're really adamant about getting more put it up for $75. I realize you need the money, but putting it up for more will either cause it to take forever or just attract a bunch of the "Well hmm, would you take $120? i only really brought 120..." types that you really just don't want to deal with.
posted by emptythought at 1:48 AM on August 23, 2013

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