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Home » Auto Ownership, Home Selling, Save

5 Craigslist Power User Tips to Selling Anything Super Fast

Last updated by on 11 Comments

I LOVE Craigslist. Of everything I’ve ever posted on Craigslist, I’ve only been unable to sell one item…. Damn you fondue set!!! (go easy on me, I’m selling it after all)

A short list of things I’ve been able to sell on Craigslist includes:

- a guitar

- a couch

- a bed

- a fake tree

- a real tree (the guy literally came and dug it out of the ground for free – just one of the free services on Craigslist you can work out)

- a car (I sold my car on Craigslist within a day for almost the same price as what I bought it for two years earlier from a dealer)

- a house. Yup! I learned how to sell my house for sale by owner and a big part of that was advertising on Craigslist. The first offer I received was within a week of my first posting on Craigslist.

I’ve also bought a lot of things from Craigslist and have learned a few things about selling from being an experienced party on both sides. And these tips will help you sell things FAST.

Craigslist power user

1. Always, Always, ALWAYS Include High Quality Photos

Would you buy something or even take the time to go look at it without seeing a photo first? No. Then why would the person buying from you?

Always include at least one picture, preferably more. For cars, homes, or other large ticket items, use all four available slots.

I NEVER contact a seller if no photo is included – even if just to ask them for a photo. Don’t have the time and my thought is that the seller is lazy. Don’t be lazy.

Bonus Tip: Try to take the photo in good daylight, preferably outdoors during a sunny day. You won’t believe how much better it makes the product look. How many dark/dingy Craigslist postings have you shied away from?

2. Include your Phone Number in the Craigslist Posting

Half the battle with selling on Craigslist is removing barriers to the seller being able to communicate with you. I’ve found that I get 3-4 times as many inquiries on a listing if I include my number in the post. I think there are a few reasons for this:

  • many Craigslist buyers are older and not in love with email.
  • people like to call and hear a voice. It eases their fears that you’re a.) a psycho, b.) a redneck hillbilly, c.) an asshole.
  • email slows down the sales process. People want to get their questions and complete the sale as soon as they see an item. If they can’t, they’ll look elsewhere.
  • it signals that you are a motivated seller trying to remove any barriers for the buyer.

Yes, you may get contacted more than you bargained for, but that’s a good problem to have. And you can simply delete your posting as soon as you sell the item to stop the flood of calls.

3. Build a Simple Website for Big Ticket Items & Link to it From Craigslist

Imagine you’re looking for a house or car on Craigslist. You’re going to want to get as much information as you can get from a dealership or from a real estate website in order to seriously consider buying. If you don’t think buyers want this, you’re selling them short.

The problem is that you can’t really do all of that in a standard Craigslist posting.

I created websites for both the car and house I sold on Craigslist:

  • I published the websites and linked to them in the Craigslist posting.
  • I included the VIN (deleted for anonymity) for the vehicle and all relevant information for the house (including taxes and energy usage).
  • I included my contact info and the location (since deleted).
  • I included a ridiculous amount of photos so that nobody would feel they didn’t have enough visuals to go on.

You can create these simple websites for free on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. It might take an hour or so, but for a 5 or 6 figure item, isn’t that worth it?

4. Delete and Re-Post your Listings After 48 Hours

If you aren’t able to sell your item in the first 48 hours then there’s a good chance it’s no longer one of the top items listed on whatever search queries you’d want it to show for.

What you can do is delete the post and then re-post it. This moves your post up from your previous posting to the top of the list (since Craigslist archives by date).

Note that you cannot delete a post and re-post within 48 hours from the previous post (against Craigslist policies and you could get flagged for abuse).

Don’t worry, when you ‘delete’ a post, it isn’t really deleted completely. It is saved, and you can simply re-post it without having to re-create it.

If you don’t do this, many buyers will think your item has already sold, particularly after a post is a week old.

5. Match or Beat the Craigslist Competition at the Time of Listing

The fact that most items on Craigslist are not identical due to their age works in your favor.

But, Craigslist shoppers are a thrifty bunch.

Before you post an item, do your research to find out what similar items in similar condition are priced at. For smaller items, check out what they actually sold for on EBay.

Then try to match that price (if the item is in better condition or is a nicer brand) or beat it (if it’s in worse condition).

People generally make quick purchasing decisions on Craigslist, because if you don’t, the item is usually taken. If you have the best offering out there in the last few days, you will usually get a good response.

Craigslist Power User Selling Tips Discussion:

  • What Craigslist selling tips do you have?
  • What’s your favorite Craigslist buying/selling story?

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About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


11 Comments »
  • Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot says:

    I like that I can post on craigslist for free, larger items that are expensive to ship are great to sell here as well. I sold an old washer and dryer that I was otherwise planning to throw away. I think I sold them for $75, they were very old, and the buyer came and picked them up, so i didnt even have to move them to the end of the curb.

  • CK @ Money In Your 20s says:

    Great tips! I’ve bought plenty of things on Craigslist but haven’t sold as much.

    Whenever I buy, I like reading user reviews from different sites and forums, to find the best value for my money. When I’m selling I try to make it easier for the buyer by including links to this same type of information.

  • 20 and Engaged says:

    Selling a house on Craigslist? Bravo! That had to be pretty awesome.

  • Squirrelers says:

    Great tips. I’ve never sold on Craigslist but want to soon. That said, I’ve bought a few things in the past, and can totally go along with your comments on the importance of high quality photos as well as a phone number.

    Good photos can just make the overall presentation seem more appealing, plus it provides reassurance about the condition/appearance of what you could potentially purchase. As for a phone number, that’s important because as a shopper you want to get information right away, not when the seller gets around to checking email. Just think about if a store tried that appoach!

  • IT Rush says:

    Nice tips, hope to implement them right away so I could close some of my old stuffs for a penny..

  • Ron Ablang says:

    I’ve sold many an item on CL and most of the time it is unavoidable that I have to let them come to my house (as opposed to meeting them off-site). I’m surprised that the great majority of CL shoppers are courteous and respectful of your property.

    I could’ve been a victim many times.

  • Ryan says:

    Whats even better than having good quality photos is making them big. Craigslist limits you to only 4 small photos, but you can upload them to a site like photobucket and make them as big as you want and use as many as you want.

    I actually made a website called “http://mycraigslistadvisor.com” that is solely for the purpose of providing tips and information about how to sell your stuff on craigslist. I’m sure theres plenty of ideas on the site you’ve never though of yourself!

    Check it out and maybe consider putting a link in this article. I’m sure everyone would benefit from the site and it would help me out as well.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Jared says:

    Great tips. I’ve only bought one object on Craigslist thus far, but I plan to do more in the future. I too skip ads without photos. Thanks for the article.

  • 101 Centavos says:

    Fantastic idea to create mini-blogs to sell high-ticket items on Craigslist. I’d never thought or heard about it before reading this post. Well done!
    Craigslist is one of those game changers that changes whole industries and professions, like real estate salespeople and yard sale classified ads.

  • CL Craigs says:

    Good tips. Usually craigslist buyers will respond if you post your item a little less than half of the original retail value. If something is $200 a the store, and you post it on CL for $90, you will probably have a sale.

  • Fred says:

    Lower the price to half of what u paid

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