Craigslist is a great way to make a few bucks and get rid of your stuff at the same time. I am a HUGE fan of Craigslist. It’s the ultimate online garage sale, and it doesn’t cost anything to search or post a listing! Creating a listing is easy, but actually making money is another story. We’ve been selling our clutter on Craigslist for about a year and a half now. In all the meetings and transactions we’ve done, I have learned a few tips on selling through Craigslist that can make or break a sale. If you’re struggling to sell your clutter, here’s some tips to help bring in some offers.
Your Photos Matter
If you only have time to do one thing on this list, this is the most important one! You need to take good photos of the product you’re trying to sell. Photos make a HUGE difference. Take several photos (Craigslist only lets you have four) from various angles. Make sure you’re not too far away and try to completely fill the frame with the product you’re trying to sell. If you’re selling an electronic or a product that can be turned on, photograph it in it’s “on” state, and as many things as you can show in working condition. Also for electronics, be sure never to show any stickers that have a serial number on them! Don’t use manufacturer’s photos of the products either, whether you’re trying to or not, it looks like you have something to hide.
Write an accurate description
Craigslist provides an open text box to fill in with any descriptive text about the item you’re looking to sell. Disclose any flaws that you know of in the description of your image. Be sure to stay away from phrases such as “I paid $400 for this,” or “it’s worth __ retail.” It’s rarely a good idea to quote the original price, and in most cases, it will be used against you. You should include the following in your description:
- What you’re selling
- The item’s condition
- How much you’re offering it for
- Preferred method of contact
Refresh or repost your items
There are A LOT of for sale posts on Craigslist, and over time stuff gets buried in there. Make sure your post is near the top by reposting when your post becomes expired, and renewing your post whenever you can. To renew your post, click on the link to your post (this was emailed to you when you created your listing) and hit renew listing.
Price a little higher so you have room to negotiate
Craigslisters LOVE to haggle, and almost always will. When listing your item, make sure you price your item with room to negotiate. Have a number in mind that you want to be your selling price, and raise this by $10 or so depending on what you’re selling. Besides, if you come across someone who doesn’t haggle with you, you get the full asking price! If after a week nobody is emailing you about your item, go ahead and lower it a little.
Save your “back-up” buyers emails
From time to time you will contact someone and agree on a meeting place, and they don’t show or decide they don’t want it. If this happens to you, repost your item, or if you’ve saved the emails other interested buyers sent you, you can email them directly and re-offer it to them.
Meet at a location other than your home
You never know what kind of person will be picking up your item, and it’s a lot easier to tell someone to meet you at a more well-known location than attempt to give them directions to your house. Pick a place that is convenient for you, well lit, and public. Make sure you specify to your buyer exactly where it is.
Selling your stuff on Craigslist takes time, and you won’t always get a sale immediately. I have made over $300 selling clutter from my home! The extra money in my pocket is well worth a small amount of my time. The more you sell through Craigslist the easier it becomes to set up your posts.