I love Craigslist. I have bought and sold a lot of items on Craigslist. I have bought/sold/given away furniture, electronics, books, jewels and other house hold items. We saved half of our initial emergency fund by selling on Craigslist. Here are some of my favorite tips for selling on Craigslist.
10 Tips for Selling on Craigslist successfully
- Determine a reasonable price : No your item won’t sell for the same price you bought it for. You don’t have to be the cheapest, but search through the listing and see how much it is going for. Even if you paid a lot, it is now only worth what the buyer will pay. The buyer will negotiate, so before you list it know how low you are willing to go.
- Clean the item : Please clean the item before posting. It makes a big difference. Depending on the item cleaning might mean different things. If you are selling electronics, don’t forget to erase all your personal files.
- Be as detailed as you can : “Sofa for sale” with just the price won’t get you anywhere. Please be as descriptive as you can – what type, color, make/model (if applicable), size, warranty (if it is still under warranty), negotiable or not, whether you will help them load or deliver, cash only or will you take checks… The more information you give, the better chance you will get a serious buyer.
- Protect your identity : Be as descriptive as you can “only” about the items. Don’t give your complete home address/name/phone number in the ad. Give your address only after finalizing the purchase and when they come to pick it up.
- Post a picture of your item: If you are posting an item that everyone knows how it will look, like a book or a dumbbell, then this is not required but for any other items, this is the most important tip for selling on Craigslist. A lot of people don’t want to waste their time emailing you if you can’t even put up a picture. The description is how “you” see the item, so I am not going to put a lot of trust into it. I would prefer to see the picture of the item first and if I like it I will email you.
- Be honest : There is no point in lying. Every buyer is going to look at the item before they buy, so if you describe the item as “like new” and it is anything but, you are not going to make a sale. you will only end up wasting your time and the buyer’s time. Some buyers will flag your item after this and will only cause you more damage.
- Decide how to respond : Decide how you will follow through the sale. Whether you will meet the buyer in a public place like a star bucks (this is my preferred meeting place for all the items that I could carry) or at your home. If you are inviting the buyer to your place to have a look at whatever you are selling, make arrangements to have someone else with you if you don’t feel safe (I always make my husband stay with me). This is also useful if the buyer brings company.
- Follow up promptly : Reply as promptly as you can. A lot of folks look on Craigslist to buy as soon as possible, so if you wait a whole week before replying, they would have moved on.
- Time the post : I have found that Tuesday morning (to catch the weekday browsing crowd) and Friday afternoon/Saturday morning (weekend crowd) are the best time to post. Saturday posts had a slightly higher success rate from people who want to close the deal the same weekend.
- Take down the ad once the item is sold : This is obvious, but the majority of the sellers don’t do this. It will only waste your time replying to the emails saying you already sold it.
Do you have any tips for selling on Craigslist?