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Selling on Craigslist: 6 Tips for Success

Selling on craigslist.org is free and easy.  The site is a great place to sell those items that you no longer use or if you just need a little fast cash.  Anyone can sell an item on craigslist but some people have more luck than others.  Here are a few simple tricks that can help you make your craigslist ad more appealing to buyers.

  1. Include a Picture of the Item:  The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” could not be truer in a craigslist ad posting.  Pictures of the item help shoppers to visualize what you are selling and help them to better understand your product description.  Many craigslist shoppers will not even look at an ad if it does not include a picture.  Therefore, you up your chances of selling your item significantly if you can put a picture in the posting.  You can post multiple pictures of the item so make sure that the picture shows the object clearly.  Provide pictures from multiple angles of the object if necessary.
  2. Give a Detailed Description of Your Item:  Make sure to tell people about all of the wonderful features of the item you are selling.  Go to Amazon.com and see how they have described the item you are selling.  Amazon.com will also have the current cost of your item new and sometimes they will have a used price.  This help you decide how you want to describe your item and possibly how much you want to charge.
  3. Set a Reasonable Price:  Before selling on craigslist, do your homework.  See if anyone else is selling a similar product on craigslist and find out how much they are selling for.  Look at sites like Amazon.com and ebay.com to see what price people are using for similar items.  Once you know how much everyone else is selling a similar item for, then you can make an educated decision about your selling price.  For a quick sale, go lower than everyone else.  If you are not concerned about selling quickly, then you may want to price your item at the higher end and see what sort of response you get.
  4. Be Detailed about Your Location:   People want to know how far away an item is so that they can determine whether or not to pursue a purchase.  The craigslist posting will ask you to give a location from where you are selling.  Be detailed.  Make sure to give the city name.  If you are located in a large city, then you may want to also include direction, a landmark or a subdivision (Ex. North Raleigh) .  By being detailed about your location, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by weeding out the people who are a good distance from your location and do not want to make the trip.
  5. Be Wary of Scams:  When you sell an item, make sure that the people who would like to purchase your item are not trying to scam you.  Here are a couple of things to look out for.  If the buyer request your personal checking account number or bank number so that they can “wire” you money, do not give out this information.  Some people may want you to mail the item and then they will send you the money.  Do not do this because you have no guarantee that they will ever send you any money.  Keep transactions in person, when possible.   Only accept cash or certified check.  If you are not comfortable having a stranger in your home, try not to have them come when you are alone.  You can also meet somewhere public and out in the open, which keeps a buyer from knowing where you live.  Read the craigslist page about scams.
  6. Use the Anonymous Email Feature:  Craigslist offers you the option for keeping your email address private.  When setting up your ad, simply choose the “anonymize” option for email replies.  Then, when people view your posting and want to respond, they simply respond to the craigslist email address that has been created for your posting.  This craigslist email sends posting responses directly to your email address of choice.  Buyers never see your email address, unless you choose to respond to them with your personal email.

The above tips won’t guarantee you a sale, but may just help improve your odds.  See the craigslist fact sheet for more craigslist tips and tricks.

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