I currently live in an urban area. I have lived in huge cites, isolated villages, and darling hamlets. They all have perks. When gas hit 3 bucks a gallon (the first time) I traded in the quiet and quaint for, wait for it, Craigslist. If this post doesn’t apply to you because you live in a place where there aren’t enough people to warrant a listing from Craig , I understand. Go admire your scenery. I miss mine.
Anyway, when I decided to sell some furniture I no longer wanted, I decided to run the risk of becoming a skin lamp myself and sell it on Craigslist. I put 3 different things up for sale and sold two of them. Over all it was a good experience and I will probably be using it again to sell things. I like that it is anonymous until I give the buyer my name and address and that it is free. I also like that it is really, really easy to put up a listing. Here are a few tips from my experience:
1) Use pictures that make you stuff look good. If you put a beautiful couch up for sale and the carpet under it is stained, you are going to get fewer offers. Use whatever photo software your computer has to crop and flip the pictures. But be honest. If your thing is in average condition, don’t pretend it’s perfect.
2) Unless you can’t get to your e-mail regularly, don’t put your phone number or address on the listing. Or if you like having strangers call you in the middle of the night. Then go for it.
3) Respond to everyone who contacts you. I have several “very” interested buyers who never got back to me. When the item is sold, e-mail everyone and say so. Until you have the cold hard cash in your hot little hands, the item is for sale.
4) Pick a bottom price. If you want to let the buyer talk you down, post a little high. If you want to stay firm, that is okay too. Just know what your lowest number can be. If you don’t know what to charge, read some listings in your area for similar items.
5) Put measurements in the post. This will save you work later when someone asked “How high are the chairs, because they look really high in the picture. Or are they tall or are they, like, regular?”
6) If it doesn’t sell in a couple of days, repost the item. Depending on how busy your town’s list is, people can only scroll so far back.
7) Cash is king. If a person can write you a check, they can swing in to an ATM. Even the little old ladies. Cash prevents scams.
8) Take down your post when it’s sold.
Who’s had Craigslist success? Did you buy? Did you sell? How’d it go?
I just sold 3 things on craigslist and your tips are right on! My husband helped me move the items to the garage, I didn’t want stangers in my house. I got many responses for each item, so I screened the emails and responed to the emails I thought were most likely to buy first. (the person who wanted me to drive my dresser to them, got an email back from me saying.. sorry it sold)
I had a 30 year old dresser that I had painted white with flowers for my daughters room ($20) and 2 oak pressed wood book shelves (one for $20 one for $10). You can load 4 pictures for each posting. My items were in ok condition, so I tried to show the flaws in the pictures then the buyers knew what to expect.
Thanks Laura! I am glad you sold your stuff. Putting things in the garage is a good tip. I did that as well but more to get the stuff out of my way.
I thought I had taken down the 3 item I didn’t sell but guess I didn’t as I got an e-mail this week asking if I would take a little less money for it. She is coming Friday to pick it up!
Kathy Linklater says
I’ve been trying to sell an electric wheelchair in pretty good condition with no luck. I re-post it every few days–but it only takes one person to want it! 8-)
Great post about Craigslist selling. There are many games being played on Craigslist and a person can never be too careful. If you are looking for a higher priced Item do not carry cash while looking. Recently I purchased a $3000 motorcycle but went to look at it first to see who the person selling it was, then payed with a money order. Very easy to get robbed if you are not careful. When I sell items on Craigslist I never give out my address or phone number, I meet them at a well lit parking lot at a public location. I have never had a problem but am always careful, guess that’s life in the big city.
Good point Frugaljoe! I was thinking more about household good when I wrote this, not higher priced items. A money order from the Post Office is as good as cash and much safer. I also agree that meeting a buyer or seller in a public place is much safer and I did think about selling things that way but I don’t have full time access to a truck that could hold the table and chairs, so I went with the garage.
Enjoy the new motorcycle!
I just sold 50 or so kids books last night on Craigslist for $45. Worked out great for both of us. A super fast way to get rid of stuff, make money and NOT pay fees.
This is so true, especially, as you pointed out, the necessity of requesting cash payment. There are so many scammers out there just dying to pull one over on you. I’d also like to point out that when people give away things “to a good home” on Craigslist, dishonest people often claim they need to items, and then turn right around and sell them for a profit. That said, Craigslist is a great resource for anyone needing to buy or sell anything quickly!
I can’t even count how many things I’ve sold on craigslist and these are all really great tips. Another thing I would recommend is to post your stuff on a friday afternoon or Saturday because thats when the most people have time to look online and buy stuff.
I Actually made a website called mycraigslistadvisor.com that is solely for the purpose of sharing tips and information to help people sell stuff on craigslist and make more money then they otherwise would have. I encourage everyone to check it out because even if it makes you only an extra twenty bucks it’s still worth your time. A link in this article would also be appreciated and would be a good resource for your readers!
Keep up the good work!