April 6, 2012

My Tips for Selling on Craigslist


I really started using Craigslist a lot when we moved from Minnesota to Arizona back in 2009. We had a few things we wanted to get rid of before the move, and when my garage sale was an epic fail I turned to Craigslist to sell the remaining things that didn't sell.

I've had great luck using Craiglist to sell a variety of items like; bedding, furniture, lamps, and my old Blackberry just to name a few. I thought it would be good to compile a list of some tips and tricks that have helped me along the way.

In no particular order; here's some thoughts.

Be realistic about your pricing
People use Craigslist the same way they would a garage sale or thrift store in the sense they are looking for a great deal! Do expect to charge full price for an item you bought 3 years ago. Unless something you're selling is brand new and still in the packaging you can but for the most part you're probably going to be selling gently used items and therefore your pricing needs to reflect this and be realistic.

Do your re search on pricing
I recently sold on Craigslist a lamp from IKEA. The lamp was a few years old, but my lamp had been sitting in storage for over 2 years. So it was in good condition, but not new. I searched IKEA.com to first see if it was an item still in stock, it was. I then looked at what they were selling for brand new and adjusted my pricing accordingly. I know that as a consumer I'm not going to pay the same price on Craigslist for an item I could buy brand new in the store for the same price. So do your research before you list items. This will alleviate issues with your buyers asking you all sorts of questions.

Be Detailed in Your Listings
I've learned over time that buyers want to know the whole enchalada! So do yourself a favor and include all the details! The more info you can give a potential buy up front the more likely they are to respond to your listing, and the less questions you'll have to answer back and forth with the buyer. Always be honest, does that dresser you're trying to sell have a huge scratch on the side of it? Be honest about it and tell them in the listing. The more upfront you are about the condition of the item the less likely you are to get a buyer who comes to look at your item and then sees damage and walks away. Also include if you've up cycled the item, disclose all this info from the get go. What are some details you might want to include?

Things like:
- dimensions
- condition of the item
- how old it is
- color
- if it's used or brand new
- does it come from a smoke/pet free home
- any accessories that may come with the item
- will you deliver the item
- payment options (cash, check, etc.)
- if the buyer needs to pick up the item or not
- is the item damaged, if so list the damage, scratch or dent

Include PHOTOS
You'd think this would go with out saying, but I've seen a lot of listings on Craigslist that don't have pictures. And guess what? I usually skip right past those. So do yourself a BIG favor and take photos of your listing! And use all the photo space they provide you. If they give you 4 photos take 4 great photos of your item and post ALL of them!

Safety Always
You always, always need to think about safety when selling and meeting people online. We live in an apartment and I always have my Husband go and meet the buyer. He's my "handler" as I like to call him! He meets the buyer and does the exchange of the item. A few times I've sold things (like big furniture) that required people to come into our home to move it. In these cases never do this alone, I always have my husband there. And if he hasn't been available I've asked a guy friend of ours and he brings his gun. (no, seriously) Don't ever take the chance of making a sale to someone alone or worse alone with your children in tow. Be safe about this.

If at first you don't succeed, try again.
There have been many times when I have listed items and they don't sell within the alloted time and my listing expires. Don't be discouraged, list it again. Here's the deal hundreds of people are listing items on Craigslist daily, and there's a great chance that your potential buyer out there missed your listing becuase they just didn't see it. Go back and review your listing making sure it's included a detailed description of the item, lots of photos and a fair price. All of my listings I've "relisted" have always sold the second time around if they didn't the first.

Pssst... Come back later this afternoon for a fun Friday giveaway!


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