Here’s an updated article from our archives that will help you to create a great seller’s ad on craigslist.
Selling on craigslist.org is free, easy, and anyone can do it. The site is a great place to sell the items you no longer use, and it can come in handy when you just need to make a little extra cash. Here are some suggestions that can help make your craigslist ad more appealing to buyers:
- Include a Picture: The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” could not be truer in a craigslist ad posting. Including pictures helps to communicate what condition your item is in. Many craigslist shoppers will not look at ads that do not include a picture. It’s best to thoroughly clean your item beforehand — a clean item will look more appealing to buyers.
- Provide a Detailed Description: Your description should be honest, but descriptive. If you need some ideas, visit amazon.com and see how they have described the item you are selling. When writing your ad’s headline, keep it concise and descriptive by including the name, condition, and asking price of the item. For example:
- Sony 32” LCD TV, Like New, In Box, $250
- 2010 Black Honda Rebel Motorcycle, Low mileage, $2,500
- Set a Reasonable Price: Research to see if others on craigslist are selling a similar item. How much are they asking for it? Additionally, look at sites like amazon.com and eBay.com to learn the price of similar items. This can help you make an educated decision about your selling price. For a quick sale, set your price lower than the price of similar items. If you are not concerned about selling quickly, then consider pricing your item at the higher end and see what sort of response you get.
- Be Wary of Scams: Unfortunately, some folks use craigslist to try to take advantage of others, so it’s important to protect yourself from people who might try to scam you. Here are a couple of things to look out for:
- If the buyer requests 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 to them and then they will send you the money. Do not do this because there is no guarantee that they will send you the money.
- Only accept cash. Money orders and certified checks can be faked. Banks will cash them, but if they have been forged, you will be held responsible. For more information about protecting yourself, read the craigslist page on scams.
- Use the Anonymous Email Feature: When creating your ad, choosing the “anonymize” option for email replies allows you to keep your email address private. Craigslist generates an anonymous email address that sends buyer messages directly to your personal email address. Buyers will never see your personal email address unless you choose to respond to them with it.
Once you’ve agreed to sell to a buyer, always try to keep your transactions in person. As a matter of safety, meet in a public place, like the parking lot of a store during business hours. You’ll maintain your privacy if the buyer does not know where you live. If the only option is to meet with the buyer at your home, try to have someone else there so that you are not alone.
We can’t guarantee that the above tips will make your item sell, but they may just help improve your odds. For more tips and tricks from craigslist, visit the craigslist fact sheet.