How to Sell on Craigslist

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If you need to make some extra money, selling items in your home you no longer want could be a great way to gain that cash you’re looking for. Garage sales are not as popular as they used to be, especially since you can turn to places like Craigslist and search exactly what you’re looking for nearest to you. With many other people trying to sell the same item as you, you might want to know how to sell on Craigslist successfully:

  • Plan & Research
  • Price It
  • Pictures
  • Clear Headline
  • Good Description
  • Bring a Friend

Plan and Research

  1. Look up the price of the item on the company’s website (see if they’re still selling it).
  2. Find the different prices offered on Craigslist and eBay.

Before you post your item for sale, scope out your competition nearby. There is a big chance that someone else is selling the same item you are, so you’ll need to compare what people are selling it for near you. Find the highest and lowest prices and pay attention to their descriptions. Judge your own price off of the same conditions as your item. You should also venture over to eBay to see what people are selling it for on average.

Because Craigslist allows you to look for specific items based on your closest location, it is a competitive market if there are more than 1 of an item near you that list it at a reasonable price. The more information you’re able to gather about the market of your product, the more prepared you’ll be for competition.

Pricing It

Pricing your item can be the trickiest part. If it’s your first time selling something, you might not know where to begin or how to judge your product. In your research, compare the quality of your item to others who are offering it. If your item has more problems compared to the higher price points, you’ll have to aim lower. If it looks better than the others, you can go a little higher.

When listing it, also decide if you’re sticking to a firm price or if you’ll take the “best offer”. Depending on what you’re selling, sticking with a firm price might not attract a lot of people who are looking for a good deal. When you suggest “best offer”, you could have a lot more options, but make sure you are ready to negotiate lower.

Picture Perfect

While it’s good to have enough pictures, you don’t want to overwhelm people with them. One picture should be the entirety of the item, and 3 others should be any key features or maybe damages that your item has. Other tips for taking pictures:

  1. Clean it. If you were shopping, you wouldn’t want to buy something dirty.
  2. Include a picture of the accessories. You want buyers to see what else you’re offering. For example, if you’re selling a phone, take a picture of the charger.
  3. Make sure there’s a good background. Pick a contrasting background that will make it stand out.
  4. Find the best lighting. Natural sunlight or somewhere in the house with good sun exposure is a great place to take the picture. Dim lighting can alter the item and the quality will appear worse than it is.
  5. Take as many shots as you can and pick the best ones. Giving yourself options and angles to choose from will help you have the best pictures.

Picking a Headline

The headline is the first thing a buyer is going to see. Don’t confuse them, but just be straightforward. Include the necessary keywords that will get your item to pop up when someone is searching. You don’t have to worry about including the price in the title because they’ll be able to see it when the results display.

Describing the Item

The description gives you the chance to fluff up your item. You can highlight all the good things and let your buyer know about any bad things to instill their trust in you as a seller. If you include it in your photos, they’ll have a great visual to compare to your description. When describing, include the following:

  • What you’re selling
  • The condition of the item – don’t lie to them. If it’s not in mint condition, be honest.
  • Mention the technical specs – you can find them on the manufacturer’s website if you aren’t completely sure what it “technically” does.
  • Price check – post the prices of the item in stores or online
  • Put in your contact information – whether it’s your phone number or email, you’ll need to talk to them eventually.

Bring a Friend at the Exchange

When it’s time to give the item to your buyer or when it’s time for the buyer to pick it up, make sure you’re not alone in a public setting or you have a friend with you. When it comes to the personal level of Craigslist, it can be a little nerve racking. You don’t have the protection of shipping. As long as you are cautious and prepared, you shouldn’t worry about your safety.

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