What's a fair used price for a device you want to sell?


#1

Everyone has their own opinion about how to set a fair used price for a device, so I thought a thread on the topic might be of use. :sunglasses:

And sometimes a device which has been discontinued by the manufacturer will suddenly shoot up in Price because it has a particular feature that a particular group of customers might want. In a smartthings context we saw that with the first generation sensor which could plug-in as well as use batteries, and with the ThingShield.

But in general, once a mains powered device has been wired in, even if it was only used once or twice, the value will fall significantly.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, my own rule of thumb is a pretty simple formula:

  1. look up the item on the camel Camel Camel price checker site (ignore the “used” prices on this site, they are always flaky. But the “new at Amazon” and “new at other third parties” are helpful benchmarks.)
  1. check the “new at third party” price if it is lower than the Amazon price. Note that this is the price someone would pay to get a brand new item unopened in the box, covered by the warranty. So you probably cannot charge that price. Most warranties don’t transfer from the original buyer, so you are selling an item without a warranty even if it’s still an unopened box.

  2. now you have a benchmark to start from. Me, personally, if the item I was selling was still in very good condition, still well within the warranty period ( even though the warranty wouldn’t transfer), and hadn’t had customization or cosmetic changes made to it, I would probably start with a price of half of camel Camel Camel’s “third party new” price and then go down from there if I thought it was appropriate.

If the item has a rechargeable battery and it is near the end of that battery life and that battery is not replaceable (like almost all first generation mini Motes are at this point), I might bring my price down to much lower, maybe even 10% of the camel Camel Camel third-party new. Someone might be willing to take it apart and try to add a new power source, but it’s clearly not the same value as a new item.

similarly, a pico which is eight years old obviously has somewhat less value than a new one since they have a replaceable 10 year battery. That’s less critical than something with a non-replaceable battery, but it still is a reduction in value. (updated to correct the replaceability of the battery as @ogiewon notes below. )

But if I had an extra switch I just never got around to installing and then decided that I wasn’t going to use, half of the “third-party new” Price seems fair to me. Or at least a good starting point.

Well, that’s just my method. I especially like it because it’s really easy to explain to potential buyers where I got the price from. Also, I hate haggling, and the camel Camel Camel method is a good way to avoid that. :wink:

I know people use all kinds of other methods, including the most recent selling price on eBay, just their own guess as to what it’s worth, etc. but it is important to note that the warrantees don’t usually transfer, and I do think a fair price should take that into account.

So what pricing method do you use? Or do you just treat every transaction as a new event and go by feel, so it’s more like a poker game? :wink:

There’s no one right pricing method, I just thought people might find discussion of some of the options interesting, particularly because so many of us do change over as new features become available, so there can be quite a bit of used equipment available for sale.

For sale threads

If you are getting ready to sell some of your own stuff, post your threads in the “deals” category of this forum. There’s already a members thread if you want to use that one, but it’s OK if you want to start your own.

WTB= Want to Buy

WTT= Want to Trade

FT= For Trade

FS=For Sale


(Charles) #2

Thanks, JD. As always, great analysis.

I personally agree with your methodology, but my unscientific observation of items in the WTS thread is much much higher asking prices. Anecdotally, what I usually see are prices that are close to new, undiscounted store prices. That usually means the price is higher than I’ve paid new when sales are in effect. Thus, I always look but have never actually bought from a fellow ST seller. My 2¢.


(Dan) #3

Great Topic, @JDRoberts! Thanks for your insight.

One clarification…

The Pico Remotes I have just started buying appear to have a replaceable battery. Here’s the documentation from Lutron.


#4

Agreed. I think there are two completely separate reasons for why that may be true.

  1. The listed price is just a starting point for negotiations, and the person expects to haggle. (I think this is also why some people report they get really low offer bids from some others on the forum: again, I think those are often just a starting point.)

  2. I think other people don’t take into account the lack of warranty issue. So they price it like construction materials, which often hold quite a bit of value after sale. But for anything with a non-transferable warranty, a lot of value is lost in any item transfer.


(Jimmy) #5

My method is much less unscientific: <=$20 for actuators (switch, wall wart, etc.) and <=$15 for sensors. Granted, I’ve solved most of the high priority use cases in my house, so at this point everything is a nice-to-have use case. So i’m not usually actively searching for used devices. But I do keep a “z-wave” and “zigbee” email subscription for eBay and Craigslist just in case :wink:


(Ed Urbaniak) #6

Set one up for the Facebook marketplace too.


(Jimmy) #7

Already done :slight_smile:


(Ed Urbaniak) #8

I make my living selling on Amazon. I remember when I had this epiphany about Amazon buyers. “The typical Amazon buyer doesn’t shop (for prices) they buy what they want.”

The OP doesn’t mention used items. Yes, you can buy used items on Amazon. Here is a screen shot of search for “zigbee”. Scroll down the left “Show results for” menu and look for the “condition” section.

The “Buy Box” price (Blue circle) is not always, the lowest price. For this item, the “Buy Box” price is $54.20, but right there on the same page, you can see a lower price (Red circle $53.80). However, about 80% of the people will still buy at the buy box price. In some cases, you can see lower prices by looking at the offers page (purple circle - “New (XX) from $X.XX”). Note for this item: the seller is actually charging $57.49, but Amazon has marked it down to $54.20.

The lowest new price may not even show up on the detail page! Click the offers page (purple circle) first. In cases where there is a newer (unproven) seller, Amazon may put their offer on the offers page.

You should have two Amazon accounts. One for personal and one for business. Amazon often offers prices to business accounts not available to personal accounts. Business accounts can also take advantage of and also request quantity discounts. For example, this item is $19.99, but there is a business price of $18.99 and if you buy two or more, the price is $14.98!

Lastly, don’t be concerned about buying from a seller with no feedback or even lousy feedback. You will always get what you wanted (or your money back). If you have an issue contact the seller. If they haven’t fixed it in 24 hours, file a claim with Amazon. BELIEVE ME! Amazon holds our feet to the fire.


#9

That’s because this thread isn’t about buying anything. It’s about setting the sale price when you yourself are selling something, typically a community member listing an item for sale in the deals section of this forum.

The individual used prices jump all over the place, so I personally don’t find them to be a helpful benchmark.

Also, much of the first post in this thread is about the fact that used items typically can’t offer the manufacturer warranty. That changes the value of the item relative to “third-party new.”

The information about business account, etc., is all very interesting, but not really on topic for this thread. Maybe you should start another thread on buying used items. I’m sure a lot of people would be interested in That information. :sunglasses:


(Ed Urbaniak) #10

Sorry, that wasn’t meant as a slam.

I was saying that when pricing things, it is good to look at used prices also.