Open Thinkering


Tag: selling

HOWTO: Roll your own #twebay

Having sold individual things sporadically via Twitter (usually after mentioning I was about to put them on eBay) and finding myself needing to raise funds for a rather magnificent Sony Vaio P series,  I thought it was about time I developed a system. Enter #twebay.

(I hate the elision of ‘Twitter’ and ‘eBay’ as much as you, but it’s a convenient hypocrisy…)

Here’s what I did:

1. Set up and published a Google Doc and passed it through Pro to get This includes my details (including avatar and photo), a rationale for selling, and details of the items.

2. Configured and tested a Google Form (via Google Docs) to collect information from those interested. I figured the important information was the person’s name, email address, bid amount and a box for any other details they wanted to give me.

3. Publicised it and asked for retweets.

4. Checked the spreadsheet attached to the Google Form at regular intervals and replied to those making bids.

I managed to sell 3 items within an hour with an additional one that I’d forgotten later in the week. These were all to people who I’ve known a while on Twitter but I’ve never met in person.

The advantages of this method?

  • No eBay/Paypal fees
  • Buyer knows it’s going to a good home, seller knows where it’s come from
  • Time spent listing items for sale is massively reduced

Possible drawbacks?

  • You need a fair number of followers to gain traction/interest
  • There’s no formal feedback system
  • There’s potential to damage existing relationships when money becomes involved

We’ve sold!

House soldWe actually sold our house last Monday (10th March) but it feels a lot more real today. Firstly, because I had to take the huge pile of forms you have to fill in, proof of ID and our 56-page HIP (Home Information Pack) to the solicitors today. Secondly, because when I returned home today I was greeted by the sign to the left.

Where are we moving to? Don’t know! We’re probably going to rent for a year to see how things go financially. We’d love to be in a situation where Hannah doesn’t have to work and we can afford a house with a big enough (enclosed) garden for Ben to mess about in. I’m also going to really miss my study in the converted attic unless we find something similar.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how the house-selling went. We’ll have made about a 20% profit when all’s said-and-done. We had an offer before we even had the house on the market and then in 5 weeks we had 6 couples visiting 9 times making an additional 3 offers. Perhaps it’s time for us to give up teaching to become property developers… 😉