Are you looking to sell a pool table, and want to make the maximum amount of money possible from the sale?
While getting rid of a billiards table is easy enough, actually reaching your full profit potential requires a bit of strategy.
Thankfully, there are just a few things you can do that can massively increase the perceived value of your pool table, and help you sell it as quickly as possible, at the highest possible price.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to sell your pool table.
1. Assess Your Table’s True Value
The first thing you need to do is research the true market value of your pool table.
This can vary wildly depending on its model, age, and condition. While some pool tables require more work and couldn’t be given away even if they were free, others can fetch a surprisingly high price.
In fact, rare models of classic pool tables can fetch for thousands of dollars!
When it comes to pool table valuation, look for the exact model number if you can find it.
If not, look for other similar pool tables that share the same brand, and were built around the same time period.
Note that any tables between 10-40 years old may be considered ‘old’, without being old enough to truly be ‘classic.’
Pool tables around this age also tend to start having issues, unless they’ve been fixed at some point after manufacturing.
Note: All working pool tables should fetch at least $3-400, as long as they don’t have any issues. This is true even for pool tables without strong names behind them – as new pool tables still cost significantly more than that.
It’s Probably Worth More Than You Think
If you see your model of pool table going online or less than you’d hope, don’t worry.
People assess value in a number of different ways, and the reasons people shop for something are not always what you might expect.
Your pool table may fetch more than what it’s being sold for online, simply due to the convenience of being able to get it more quickly – or inspect it before buying.
I’ve sold items in the past in which the buyer paid hundreds more, just to have it shipped one day quicker.
Speaking of shipping, pool tables that you sell locally do not incur the shipping costs that come with getting it across the continent. This alone can allow you to fetch a much higher price for your pool table, specifically for cheaper models.
While we’re going to discuss both online and local selling later on, understand that’s it certainly possible to fetch a higher price than what’s listed online – even for the exact same model.
Note: Many people sell their pool tables without included balls, cues, and other accessories. Be sure to include these in the sale prices as well, if you’ll be selling them with the table!
2. Clean It Thoroughly
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the table is in its best possible conditions.
While you may consider budgeting for any necessary repairs, you can still go a long way even just by cleaning the table a bit.
This won’t take more than a couple of hours, but can drastically increase the final sale price of the table – and generate much more interest in it as well.
Make the wood nice and shiny, and clean any stains out of the felt with cool water.
If your pool table is expensive, there is also felt cleaner you can buy that can do an even better job, without damaging the delicate felt of the table.
Important: Never use hot water to clean your pool table, as this can damage the felt and cause bubbling issues.
3. Take High Quality Photos
Once you’ve got your pool table looking as nice as possible, the next thing to do is to take high quality pictures.
As someone that’s worked in eCommerce for over 10 years, let me tell you – pictures are what sell the product. They are just as important – if not more important, than what you actually write when listing the product.
This is especially true for products that are ‘wants’ – pictures generate the emotional reaction in people that drives people to buy.
They will not be thinking as much about the technical aspects of the product, such as what type of wood was used, or how old the pockets are. Instead, they’ll be imaging what it will look like in their homes, how they’ll feel when they have their buddies over, and what it will be like to develop their skill at pool.
So, never skimp on your pictures. The same pool table can be perceived as a luxury piece or a piece of junk depending on the pictures that you take.
If possible, have photos taken with a real digital camera rather than using your cell phone, especially if your cell phone is old.
Additionally, remember to keep the background in mind as well. When people are looking at your pool table photos, they aren’t just looking at the table itself – but the entire aesthetic. Just like food looks better on a nice plate and table rather than a cinderblock for example, your pool table will look better if the room surrounding it also looks nice.
Once product photos have been taken, consider paying someone to digitally enhance your photos, or learn to do it yourself using software like Adobe Lightroom.
To hire someone, the cheapest place to do so is on Fiverr, and you can view photo enhancing offers by clicking here.
Keep Your Sale Price In Mind
Excellent photography becomes more of a priority as your sale price grows. That’s because product photography can act as a multiplier.
Even if excellent, professionally edited photos only added 25% to your final sale price, this would be $250 at $1,000… or $50 at $200.
So, the more money you expect to make from the sale, the greater of an investment it is to pay for professional photos enhancement.
4. Determine Where To List It For Sale
When it comes to listing your product for sale, you can either list it locally, online, or both.
Selling Your Pool Table Online
Online will expose you to the highest number of potential buyers, but it is not without its own issues.
First of all, you’ll have to ship the product, which can result in hefty shipping fees. This will eat into your profit, and the buyer will certainly factor shipping into the pool table’s price if you ask them to pay it.
Secondly, because of shipping, it is possible for the pool table to show up damaged. Depending on the terms of the sale, you may be liable for this.
Finally, if selling on certain marketplaces or in certain countries, you may be required to accept returns for products sold online.
All-in-all, it can be a hassle.
Still, it is worth listing your table online anyway, even if you do so at a higher price to offset these risks and additional fees.
Some places we recommend listing your pool table are:
- Pool forums
- Dedicated pool table websites (some will even arrange shipping for you, for an additional fee! Because they are professionals however, they may pay less than you’d get elsewhere.)
Selling Your Pool Table Locally
When possible, we also recommend listing your pool table for sale locally.
This may help you maximize your profit from the deal, even if it is a little more work. Unfortunately, not everybody that shows up to look at it will end up becoming a buyer – especially if you are firm on your price.
As mentioned earlier, local sales do not incur any shipping fees, and may allow you to fetch a higher price for speed and convenience.
Have you ever wondered, ‘who sells pool tables near me?’ Thankfully, you have a lot of options!
Some methods to sell pool tables locally include:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Talking with local bars / clubs
- Family and friends
Note: If you need to get rid of the pool table as quickly as possible, look for product resellers in your area – not just places like pawn shops, but individual resellers as well. This will ensure you sell it as fast as possible, but you’ll certainly make less profit by doing this way – after all, the reseller needs to budget in their own time and profit when buying it from you!
5. Plan For Objections In Advance
Finally, let’s say that you’ve got your pool table listed for sale, and you have someone that’s interested in buying it.
Almost always, they’re going to try and negotiate the price down further, especially if you’re selling to somebody locally (though this same thing happens on eBay and Facebook Marketplace as well.)
It’s kind of like haggling for a car – they see the sticker price, but they go into it fully expecting to get a hefty discount.
When the buyer arrives to look at the table, they may point out areas where – in their mind, the table falls short, or the listing was deceptive.
They may say that the table has damage that wasn’t visible in the picture, reference another similar-looking pool table they saw online for a cheaper price online (even if’s a different model, or ignores shipping fees), or they may even claim that their spouse isn’t letting them spend more than X amount.
Regardless of what it may be, it helps to list out all of the potential objections or remarks that you feel people may make in negotiations. Then, plan out all of your responses to these in advance.
You’ll find that most of their objections will be little more than complaints, and won’t actually get in the way of the sale.
Since most people do not have much experience negotiating however, they may expect you to simply fold and give them the discount they’re hoping for – even if they would’ve happily paid full price.
For more sales and negotiating tactics, I recommend the following books:
- Sell or Be Sold
- Never Split the Difference
- The Closer’s Survival Guide
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
By keeping each of these five things in mind, you can drastically improve the amount of money you’ll make from the sale of your pool table.
Sometimes, this even means selling it well over its true market value!
That being said, remember that patience is king. If you don’t have an immediate need to sell, you can afford to wait for deals that are better for you – and it gives you all of the advantage when it comes to negotiating.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about selling pool tables, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister