How much are my washer&dryer worth?
May 23, 2006 4:51 PM   Subscribe

How much can I charge to buy my washer and dryer?

I bought them new a year ago for around $900 (I think) including taxes, delivery, etc. They're in perfect condition. I have a couple of people maybe interested in buying, but I don't know how much to ask for. Is there some accepted way of figuring that out?

posted by callmejay to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Look at Craigslist and see what others are charging for similar items. For used items, I think the value is what the market will bear.
posted by JMOZ at 4:57 PM on May 23, 2006

Like JMOZ, I suggest using the various buy/sell/trade sites as a good gauge of value. I often use eBay, simply because with the huge inventory, I can often find multiples of the exact same item (model, etc.) that I want to sell. I look at what the items actually end up selling for. Looking at 2 or 3 of these sale prices will give you a good idea of what you can expect to fetch for the items.
posted by jcummings1974 at 5:06 PM on May 23, 2006

I was in a similar situation just a few days ago. Two years ago I bought a top of the line front-loading Kenmore washer and a good dryer. The washer alone sells for $1000 new. They are in perfect condition. I needed to sell them and so I looked around on Craigslist and only saw really low prices. That made me worried if I tried to extract too much value they wouldn't sell. At 2:00 I listed them both for $500. By 5:00 they were sold and I had received at least 8-10 calls. I had to delete the listing so people would stop calling. This made me realize that I asked too little and that the high end stuff doesn't stay on Craigslist long enough to really be reflected in the prices you see. People told me that they scanned Craigslist daily for high quality washers.

I would probably ask at least 50% of the new value, maybe more like 60%. If you are not in a time crunch you can always repost at a lower price, or indicate in your ad that you would be willing to haggle.
posted by bove at 5:09 PM on May 23, 2006

We sold a stacked washer-dryer unit on Craigslist (DC) about two years ago. The unit was about two years old at the time. We asked for, and got, half of the price we paid. We had gotten it at a scratch-and-dent sale, so we paid only $400, if I remember correctly. One selling point is that I offered to help move it.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2006

The problem with selling used items is that while you may believe that the items are in perfect condition, the (potential) buyer doesn't know that. So the buyer is balancing the savings against the risk that there is really a problem. (Other factors include the lack of, or shorter period for, the manufacturer's warranty, and normal wear-and-tear that reduces the expected remaining life of the item).

There is almost no way you're likely to get more than 80% of the full purchase price (for savings of less than 20%, people will just buy new - after all, there are a lot of 10% savings coupons out there). For year-old stuff, pricing at 50% is definitely too cheap. So you're probably looking at getting something like 65-75% of the original price.

Having just sold a few things on Craigslist, I now know that - if time permits - there really is little penalty to listing something at a price at the top of the range of what you hope to get, and then changing the listing if there is no interest. Or deleting it and posting it again a week later, at a lower price. So I'd recommend starting at 75% (if you're an optimist, 80%) and seeing what happens.

Good luck!

P.S. For things like cameras and electronics, which have easy resale value, the danger of starting high is that the only folks who may be interested at that price could be the fraudsters out there who are essentially trying to pay *nothing* for an item.
posted by WestCoaster at 5:28 PM on May 24, 2006

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