10 Tips for Selling Your Stuff on Craigslist

After my big apartment move, I shared a few stories about selling A LOT of stuff on Craigslist and to my co-workers. I am talking almost 20 items and made well over $500 within 6 weeks. Whether it was big like a couch or small like a vase, I picked up a few tips and tricks for CL success! To post an ad, just go to your local CL page and click on the category the item you are selling fits within. On the top right corner, it says “post” and will guide you through the information required including title, city, and description. It is as simple as that. Check out ten tips below:

1. Be Specific- the more specific you are about the item for sale, the less you have to go back and forth with people over email. Dimensions of the item for sale, brand, model, a link to it if it is still available online, the original price you paid, and a complete description of the item for sale, will save you time in answering questions and save the person time in deciding if what you have to offer is right for them.
2. Be Creative in the Description– there is no harm in jazzing up your ad on CL to allow the buyer to get excited about what you are selling. Yes you want the ad to be upfront and to the point but you also don’t want to bore the person and make them stop reading. So I always described how the item might brighten up their apartment and I explained why I need to get rid of it so they didn’t wonder why if it was so great, I am getting rid of it.
3. Take Plenty of Photos- It is very important for photos/images to be attached to the ad. Or at least you can include a link to a photo of it from online or say in the ad that pictures are available on request. People want to make sure what you have is in the condition that you stated it is in, so pictures are just as important as a good, thorough description.
4. Price fairly– It is very important for you to do your research and see what other people are selling similar items for in your area. You have to be logical here. Do you really think you will get 50 dollars for a bookcase if there are tons and tons of ads for similar items for only 30, right in your part of town? If you are just not quite sure and are flexible, leaving the price blank is fine too. Just make sure to say pricing is to be determined or negotiable.  Also keep in mind, even if you do have a price, they might offer you less and maybe just to get rid of it, you will take them up on that. Bargaining is totally a fair game on CL.
5. Be Smart– If someone writes you and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sadly a lot of people try to spam you to steal your money or personal information. I have gotten responses that straight up say to give them my bank account, address, and phone number and they will wire me the cash. Don’t even write back to these responses! It’s a waste of time. I also did not give out my address and phone number until I was absolutely certain the person was coming and a definite buyer. Then I would say what I am located near and to call me for more info.  If they don’t call, clearly they don’t need the items. But if they do, you can tell them your address on the phone the day they are ready to stop by.
6. Be Safe- Whether you are a man or woman home alone, is it really smart to have a Craigslist person stop by your home? Nope. Just keep the appointments to weekend mornings if you have no one to keep you company or better yet, meet them somewhere near your place if it is an easy to carry item. Otherwise, it’s best to set up the appointment when you have someone there with you.
7. Keep the CL set up email– When you post a new Craigslist ad, you get an email asking you to confirm and then your ad is live. Hang onto this email because if no one has bought your item, you can re-click on the link and re-post that same ad until someone does buy it! Plus you can edit images and change the wording and get your post back up to the top, where the most recent postings are listed.
8. Be Honest- Don’t pretend you have a TV in perfect condition when you know that you have to tap the side to get it to go on! Keep in mind, the buyer is going to potentially test out the item when they get there to make sure it is in the state you suggested it to be in. Plus, they will know your address and phone number and you don’t want to deal with the drama if they get home and had an issue.
9. Confirm your appointments– If you speak to someone on Monday and set up a time Friday for them to come by, you will want to remind them again. There is nothing wrong with emailing on Thursday evening or better yet calling, to make sure they are coming, know where you are located, and have your contact information if they have issues finding your place. Sadly a lot of people will ditch but by reconfirming, you avoid sitting around waiting for them (hopefully!).
10. Be Patient- Some of my larger items like the couch and other furniture took a while to get rid of. Tons of people would write and not show up for their appointment or email like they definitely wanted it and then fall off the face of the earth. But if you just keep renewing your ad and maybe even adjust your pricing and add additional photos, hopefully the buyer you have been waiting for will come along.

Happy selling and let me know if I missed anything!

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