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.
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?