are buyers more likely to purchase when you deliver the item?

just wondering about this: does anyone think a buyer is any more or less likely to purchase your item if you deliver it vs. have them pick it up (or meet somewhere in between)?


i'm mostly asking because i'm moving soon and sold my car, so i'm asking buyers to either meet at a nearby community location or, for heavier items, to pick up at my residence (which is less of a safety concern because it will be vacant soon). in the past, i had no problem with delivering an item within reasonable distance. it seems that people were more likely to accept and buy the item when i delivered it vs. asking them to pick it up.


it made me wonder if the buyer's psychology was along the lines of, "well, this person went through all the trouble of driving the item over, so i'll purchase it to avoid feeling guilty"...  or maybe people think they are saving a little money by not wasting time and gas by having to pick it up. 


it could also work the other way around, though. a buyer may feel that they've expended effort and money into making the trip over, so maybe they are more likely to buy the item to make it all worthwhile.  people are swayed by strange factors, which is why behavioral economics is a thing.


it would be cool if OfferUp had any analytics on this that they could share.  i'm curious to hear everyone's experiences as well.

Community Manager

I second the want for analytics! I am a huge numbers geek. I'm not sure we'd have any results or anything to share off the top of my head, but personally, I've had more success saying I'll deliver. I intentionally inflate my prices expecting to deliver the item. If I don't have to deliver it and they meet me, I'll give them a "discount" aka, the actual price I would have sold it at haha. 

I do think it has to do with buyer and seller psychology though! or laziness Smiley LOL 

Level 9
@Mj_206, I'll nominate you as our "Queen of Sales". That is great idea, inflating the number. I'll try that next time when I sell Z-centrifuge to Fat Kim in North Korea...
Community Helper
@laszlopanaflex first let me be one of the first to welcome you to the OfferUp Community forum,
laszlopanaflex as for your situation,
I agree, having people come to your residence for heavy items, or meeting at a nearby community location, just keeping in mind safely first, having someone with you in both situations if possible. as for delivering items, yes in the past I’ve just done a few, after checking their profile page and getting a feel of the person I’m dealing with, and how the conversations go. but for me it’s all ways comes down to my gut feeling and if it’s worth the trip if it’s with in a few miles of my location, lately I really don’t, mainly because of people playing games and wasting my time meeting 1/2 way, then I get cricket and no shows. I don’t let people come to my residence, I’ve been meet buyer two minutes from my location telling buyers to message me when they arrive at a sale meeting place, informing them I’m only two minutes from there. and I’m on my way, I know some people don’t have transportation and would like delivery, like the few I deliver to, it’s the other bad apples that mess it up for every one else.
Level 9

Hi @laszlopanaflex ive only had about thirty sales in about four months,,,im pretty casual about offerup,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the majority of my meetups,,,,,,,,my prefered place to meet is only about two minutes from my home,,,,,,,,,but i have traveled as much as  about six miles for one meetup and three or four for a couple others,,,,,,and a mile for another ,,,,,,,,,i try to stick to where i want to meet,,,,,,,,,but the  times i traveled further it was women,,,cept for one,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the women were pretty insistent upon where they wanted to meet,,,,,im thinking its because they felt safer in those areas,,,,,,their home turf so to speak,,,,,,one actualy wanted me to come to her house,,,,but i got her to come about a mile away from that,,anyway,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i think i may have lost some of those four sales if i had not agreed to meet closer to where they wanted to meet,,,,,,,,,one was from out of town and i think they just wanted to meet where they knew ,,,not knowing the town very well.,,,,,,,,,but as a seller,,,,,,,and being as casual about it,,,,,,,,im only gonna adjust my meet up if i feel like it,,,,,,,,,,and there are some places,,,,i dont care what im selling,,,,,,,,,,,,im just not gonna meet,,,,,,,i will not meet down town, like police station or library ,,,,, i will not meet in any bank parking lot other than possibly my credit union  ,,i will not meet where i have to park and carry an item into a building,,,,,,,,i will not meet at mcdonalds again,,,,,i will not meet at walmart,,,,,,,,i dont know about other areas,,,,,,but here in my area ,,,,,i think most people excluding some women that just dont feel safe,,,,,,,,,are willing to travel to the sellers suggested meetup if indeed it is a public place they might go at times anyway,,,,,,,,,,,,,as a buyer i know mself and all my friends ,we just go where the seller suggests.,,,,,,,,,but it may differ in different areas,,,,,,,,,,,differnt micro cultures in different areas

Level 9
I think delivery is more likely to sell, but it's something that can put you in a bad place if they flake, this assumes you travel far.

Do you want pizza delivered or have to pick it up?

There are some users who honestly don't have a ride.

Others are simply lazy and want it delivered and hope you don't ask for gas money... because if you do they tend to lose interest.
Level 7
This is a very good question. It just might increase sales. However, on the downside- you are now in the territory of the buyer and if they are shady--you could end up getting r@bbed. I, personal, would stick to places I know well enough and not far from me.. It makes me nervous going to a buyers house because you never know. The other reason is going to a buyers house may give them the upper hand. They may aggressively haggle you to sell at a lower price because you travelled to them, especially if they are a good distance from you. This will put pressure on you to give into there discount demand (even if the product is new and in perfect shape.) They know that you don't want to waste your gas and your time. So they will use this to there advantage. I think in the end it is a gamble. If the buyer is not a lowballer than this may work out well. Otherwise, forget about it. Right now, I wouldn't do it because i keep running into either no show flakes or lowballers. If you have better luck than me-- than go for it!

weird, i just noticed that my earlier response disappeared.  allow me to attempt to restate:


that's a good Q, @0317 - on CL the listed prices give us a good idea of how much people are paying. it may not be the actual sale price, yes (although in many cases they are), but pricing for an item tends to be fairly clustered around a well-defined range. another way to gauge demand is by observing velocity and aging. if a CL posting has a date of over a month ago and has been lingering around, that's a telling sign. similarly, if over the course of say, a week, you see postings for the same or similar product you're selling come and go quickly, we can make more educated assumptions around the demand elasticity for the product.


on ebay, i never said that it tells you how much local buyers pay for a product -- although it may be possible by limiting the ship-to to certain states or locales. rather, it reveals what the middle of the bell curve is likely to pay for your product.  and if that price is much higher than what locals are willing to pay, then it would make sense to list the product on EB, anyway.  


no one is saying this is an exact science, but that's not really what we need.  CL and EB just help us get into the right ballpark of what a buyer may be willing to pay, and helps us to maximize our sale.