It’s springtime! Which means that I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning lately. As part of my spring cleaning, I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of clutter around the house. This means selling some of the extra things that I have, but don’t need or want anymore.
What am I doing with all that stuff? I’m selling it on Craigslist, of course!
It had been a while since I had sold something on Craigslist, but throughout the years I’ve sold my fair share of things. A couple of years ago when I moved from Missouri to New York, I didn’t want to use a moving truck. I ended up selling all of my things that I couldn’t ship or fit in my car. Between that and my other various moves, I’ve gotten quite acquainted with selling on Craigslist.
To share my Craigslist wealth, I have 5 tips for selling on Craigslist that I’ve come to rely on throughout the years. I’m of the opinion that just a little bit of extra effort is the difference between getting something done and getting something done well. Or in this case, selling or not selling your items on Craigslist.
I occasionally peruse Craigslist and see post after post like the following:
Chairs for sale. Good condition. Call 555-509-1094
Table. $50. No texts please.
These bare bones posts run rampant. But they don’t really provide a lot of information for people to be able to determine if they want to buy something or not. A lot of people post on Craigslist and a lot of people search for things on Craigslist. Follow the following five tips for selling on Craigslist and you’ll find that people contact you and you’re able to sell more quickly and for more money than if you were to post like the examples above.
Five tips for selling on Craigslist
1. Take good photos
One of the key things you can do to make sure your items sell is take great photos of what you are selling. They don’t need to be professional quality photos, but they do need to clearly show the item that you are trying to sell. Make sure the lighting is good and take advantage of being able to post multiple photos. Showing different angles up front allows potential buyers to see what you are selling and may reduce the need for them to come and check out the item before deciding to purchase.
2. Write a detailed description of your item
When I post on Craigslist, I always try to be as detailed as I can be when writing my post. I give a general description of the item and relevant dimensions. If there is something specific that the buyer needs to know when picking the item up, I let them know that. When you are writing your post, try to use words that people will be searching for and, if you can, get a couple of variations in the post. You may call it a “buffet,” but I might call it a “sideboard.” Using these keywords will help people find your ad more easily.
3. Mention any defects or issues
If something is scratched or broken or otherwise defective, make sure you mention that in your post. A broken item or banged up item may not be ideal for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s a dealbreaker for someone else. However, be up front so that the people who it is a dealbreaker for can know before they commit to checking out your item. If there is also something that people need to know in order to transport the item, let them know. It’s helpful to know ahead of time if you need two or three strong people to move a deceivingly heavy piece of furniture.
4. Make it easy for someone to pay you in cash
I always try to price my items to allow for easy transfer of cash from the buyer to me. That typically means I’m going to list in $20 increments. The most common denomination that comes out of ATMs is $20, so that’s what is typically easiest for people to pay you in. That said, always make sure you have some cash on hand to make change in case you end up negotiating a different price that is not an increment of $20.
5. Respond to all inquiries promptly
The last of my tips for selling on Craigslist is more about how you engage with potential buyers than it is about how to put together the actual post. Whenever someone contacts you, try to respond promptly. I’ve definitely been on the buying side of things and have decided not to purchase after a lengthy delay in the person getting back to me. The faster you move in responding, the faster your item will sell.
Obviously, the tips for selling on Craigslist above are not rocket science. They are common sense tips. However, they are common sense tips that can be easily overlooked. As I said earlier, it can be that little bit of extra effort that makes the difference between selling on the same day that you post and selling a month after posting.
Have you sold something on Craigslist recently? What tips do you have to share?