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payingI’ve been using Craigslist for the past 10 years. Using the site I’ve purchased everything from appliances, a car and a new house. I’ve also sold my fair share of items. We recently moved across country and decided that most of our stuff did not need to make the trek with us in our rental truck. So we put up a household’s worth of items and sold everything we listed on Craigslist within 48 hours.

Here are some tips to be just as successful selling your stuff on Craigslist.

Post quality photos

I list this as the very first tip because it is, without a doubt, the most important. If you don’t post a picture, most buyers will click right out of your ad without even reading it. Post a pic!!!! Generally Craigslist allows you to post 4 photos. Take pictures at different angles and if there are any flaws, post a close up. It’s better for someone to decide they can’t live with the flaws before they’ve taken the time to come meet you.

Be specific and realistic

Give an accurate description of what you are selling: color, dimensions, age, brand, model #, etc. And use keywords that buyers may be searching on.

And be realistic about the condition. Don’t waste your time and the potential buyer’s time by overselling something. They’re going to be annoyed and you’re going to be stuck with your stuff.

Determine your pricing strategy

One of the other benefits of Craigslist is the ability to research your competition. Check out ads for similar items. What’s the average price? What is the condition of those items relative to yours? Does there seem to be a lot of demand for what you are selling?

Then ask yourself, how fast do you want to sell your item? Do you just want it gone? Then price it aggressively, below similar items on the site. Or is it more important to you to get fair value? Then price it similarly to the other items on the site and be sure to highlight the positive attributes of your item over your competition.

Let people know how to contact you and be available

Be specific about when and how to contact you. If you only want phone calls between 5pm and 8pm, state that. But be prepared for people to break the rules if you have an item in high demand.

Stay visible – Delete and Repost

If you haven’t sold your item within 48 hours, delete your ad and repost it. This will ensure you remain visible to buyers that are scrolling through the ads versus searching on specific terms.

Be safe

We’ve all read the horror stories about selling on Craigslist, so it’s best to use caution when selling.

  • Whenever possible, arrange to meet your buyer in a public place like Starbucks, etc.
  • If your item is large and you can’t transport it easily, at least bring it out to your driveway so you don’t have to bring a stranger into your home.
  • Don’t sell high-end items like jewelry.
  • Gather as much information as possible on the buyer and speak to them over the phone.

Many people have turned selling on Craigslist into a business. If you go down that path, consider obtaining business insurance from a reputable company such as Cornhill Direct Business.

Craigslist is a great way to access local buyers. Invest a little time in your ad posts, like writing an accurate description and posting quality photos, be safe and make some money getting rid of your old stuff!