You’ve listed, relisted and now you’ve got the sale!! It’s so exciting.
You’ve got the payment and the signed contract and you’ve set the appointment for pickup.
All set, right?
You are just getting started with creating a one-of-a-kind customer experience, so here are a few tips to maximize the time you have with customer during the transaction. We’ll discuss more about AFTER the sale in the next section.
Prior to Pickup
- Set an appointment at a time that works for both of you. Make sure you will not be in a rush and that you will have time to take care of all elements of the sale.
- Provide clear and easy-to-follow directions to your location. Prepare digital mini-maps that you can send over, or step-by-step driving instructions from their location. Provide landmarks or other identifiers that depict ‘You’ve gone too far” or “not far enough”.
- Instruct the buyer to bring blankets/sheets/other protective items to wrap their item in.
- Let them know if you will be able to help load the item or if they will need to bring help.
- Prep with copies of contracts and make available the document that states that they are 100% satisfied with their purchase. Have them sign that and be sure to keep a copy.
- If you have the room, take the time to stage the furniture in a well-lit area so the customer is looking at their stunning purchase in a proper environment. The larger the piece, the more important it is to create a showroom effect to insure no buyer remorse.
- If you have an inventory of furniture available to be sold and are ready to offer custom services or if you have furniture in progress waiting to be sold, be sure to have those pieces out and easy to see. Don’t be afraid of showing them your mess or your hoard. Customer LOVE to see behind-the-scenes and it gives credibility to the fact that you are in this from all fronts.
- Prepare a small gift with purchase to surprise the buyer. A matching mason jar, a seasonal item, something handmade that will make them feel special and appreciated.
- Prepare a touchup kit or care kit. This could include
- A care tag with instructions for cleaning and use.
- A soft towel for them to use to care for their piece.
- A small touchup kit if applicable.
- A cute bag or little box that they can store it in.
- A note of the paint and finish used in case they want more pieces created to match or need to touchup down the road.
- Your biz card/contact info for future purchases to include your social media platforms.
- Extra cards for referrals wrapped with a note explaining your referral program.
- Be sure to turn on all outdoor/porch/interior lights prior to appointment. Just as you need to be aware of your safety, buyers are cognizant of their environment and will not feel comfortable driving up to a dark house.
- Encourage your buyer to inspect the piece, open all doors and drawers and in general, make sure that all is well before they finalize the sale.
- Be prepared to wrap the piece with shrink wrap after they have inspected the piece in order to protect it for the ride home. If they did not bring blankets, please make sure to have some on hand for them to use. It is essential that the piece is loaded and protected carefully for its trip home.
- Be sure to drop into the conversation the fact that you have more work in progress and that you offer customer services. Be prepared to show them your items and give pricing on pieces in progress or gather the proper information so that you can prepare a quote for custom services. Don’t feel pressured to provide custom pricing while they are standing there if you are not ready. Simply say “I’d love to provide you some detailed pricing on the purchase of this piece. Can you let me know what finish you are interested in? I’ll sit down after we finish up here and put together a quote and send it over.” This will allow you to make sure you have your pricing right and create urgency in calm communication.
- Help with loading tips to avoid damage. Remember, you are the professional here so if there is a way that works best for proper loading, be sure to help them out.
- If the piece is not going to fit or is going to be out in the elements during the ride home, please stand firm and don’t allow it out the door. Your furniture does not go in the back of a pickup unprotected in a rain storm. Don’t let it happen.
- Remain calm and professional at all times.
- Do not take lowball offers at point of sale.
- Do not accept a lower price because they “didn’t bring enough money”.
- Do not help load if you are unable to or specifically noted that you would not.
- Insure an accident free loading area by keeping items out of the way and hazards removed.
Safety for yourself, your family and your property is your number one concern. Read the SAFETY document in a separate file for tips on staying safe and identifying unsafe situations.
Know Who You’re Meeting
It’s a good idea to review someone’s Praises and Facebook profile before you agree to meet with them. This ensures that both parties feel safe and confident in the meeting, plus it helps you recognize each other!
Meet the Person in Public
Meeting in public allows people to connect in a relaxed and safe local setting. Both parties feel comfortable asking questions and leaving the transaction if there isn’t a good fit between the buyer and seller.
When In Doubt – Use a Safe Zone
Some police stations have now created “safe zones” for people buying and selling online. Your local police station will be able to tell you if they offer one.
Safe zones are a great option if you’re doing a high-value transfer, are meeting someone at night, have young kids with you, or if you just want to feel extra secure.
If You Can’t Meet in Public, Meet Outside or Bring a Friend Along
If you are selling a larger item that requires someone to come to your home, taking some simple precautions can help you feel secure.
If you live in an apartment building, give the person the address but not the apartment number and meet them outside. If you feel uncomfortable with them for any reason, you’ll be able to easily end the encounter before they ever set foot in your home.
If you live in a house, meet the person outside as well. You can also leave your door open during the transaction so the neighbors can hear you. It’s always a good idea to have someone else in the house with you when selling household items.
Or, if you’ve agreed to meet at someone’s house but don’t feel comfortable, you always have the option of asking a friend to come along with you.
If it Sounds Too Good to Be True…
It probably is. If someone is advertising a high-ticket item at a very low price, be sure to ask plenty of questions and meet the person to evaluate the item before you purchase.
Trust Your Gut
If something feels off about a person or situation, don’t show up for the meeting. If you are meeting someone and the person or situation makes your feel uncomfortable for any reason, just leave. It’s better to seem rude or lose a sale than to compromise your safety.