request info email to friend
Selling on Craigslist
If you are downsizing, upgrading or just looking for some extra cash, Craigslist can be a great place to sell the things you no longer want. But there are some steps you can take to help you get top dollar – and avoid getting ripped off.
Write a good headline. Most people scan the headlines, so be sure you put your best foot forward. State what you are selling, and mention why it is a good deal. For example, “Big savings on mint-condition futon from non-smoking home” is a more effective headline than “CHEAP FUTON FOR SALE!!!”
List your items on Thursday. Whether they are poking through garage sales or looking on Craigslist, bargain hunters love the weekend. If you post your item on Thursday evening, it will be near the top of the listings for weekend shoppers.
Price it wisely. Remember that Craigslist shoppers are looking for bargains. That doesn’t mean you have to give your stuff away, but it does mean that you are not likely to get the original price for an item, even if it is in great condition. Look through other, similar listings on Craigslist and eBay, and use those as a guide. You also can start at the high end and, if you don’t get any takers, remove the listing and then list it again at a lower price.
Give lots of details. Provide the potential buyer with as much information as possible. Say where you bought the item, how long you have owned it and why you are selling it. Include information like model numbers or appraisals if applicable. Explain how you have used the item; for example, a couch from a college dorm room is different than a couch from your grandmother’s front parlor.
Be honest. Don’t fail to mention that your dresser has a crack down the back and then hope the buyer won’t notice. Be up-front about flaws, and price your item accordingly.
Use photos effectively. Don’t post pictures that are blurry or that show the item from so far away that you can’t really see much. Start with a close-in photo that shows the whole item, then post close-ups showing its best features. If there is a flaw in the item, show a photo of the flaw. Think quality rather than quantity: Shoppers are not likely to look through dozens of photos, so make the ones you use count.
Think about how you want to handle contact. Do you want to give out your phone number, or do you want to handle things through the blind email box Craigslist provides for you? Giving your phone number so a potential buyer can call or text you may make things faster and more convenient for both you and the buyer. But it also means that people you don’t know have your phone number.
Be patient. You are likely to get a lot of inquiries that never pan out. Be patient and polite in responding to questions. After all, you never know when a shopper will become a buyer.
Take only cash. That is only common sense when you are selling items to someone you don’t know.
Play it safe. If your item is small enough, choose a public place to meet your buyer and complete the transaction. If you are selling a larger item and you have to give a buyer your address to view or pick up the item, try to avoid being home alone when the buyer arrives.