Originally Posted: 2008-12-14 09:53

How to sell stuff on craigslist

I just finished a Craigslist selling spree. Over the course of just a few weeks I sold well over $1400 of stuff I did not need or want anymore. Most of the items I sold ranged from $30-75 a piece, but I had a $275 item in there as well. Nothing I posted took longer than two weeks to sell. More so, nothing I sold during these “rough economic times” could even remotely be considered a necessity. It was all “luxury” items such as musical instruments, photo gear, and electronics.

So, how did I do it? Four things:

Pictures. Post a detailed picture of the item you are selling. People want to see what they are buying. You say you don’t have a digital camera? I bet you have a friend that does, and digital pictures are free! Or, hey, maybe you could find a used digital camera somewhere. Hmmm… I wonder where you could find someone trying to sell a used digital camera?

Detail. Simply typing “For Sale” in the subject line does not give people any reason to click on your ad. Typing a model number of something that only three people in the entire world would recognize (e.g. “NS-2”) is just as bad. Give a description of what it is you are trying to sell (e.g. “Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal”). Give detail about the condition of item you are selling, why you are selling it, and why they should buy it.

Price. People come to craigslist for a deal. Buying something used for 90% the price of new is not a deal (well, unless you have something rare or a collectors item, then people will pay 200% of new. Crazy!). People start seeing things as a deal when the price is set at about 50% of new or less. You would be amazed at how simply adjusting the price of an item you have posted for $285 down to $275 will make the difference between no responses and a full inbox just moments after posting.

Courtesy. Be courteous! You are not doing anyone any favors by selling your stuff. They are doing you a favor by buying your stuff! Make it easy for people to give you their money! Give a phone number (out of all my postings 90% of my sales were over the phone), let people know right away if someone else made an offer on your item (several of my sales went to the second or third offer), and for the love of Pete, don’t be a Jerk! I cannot believe how many people thanked me, not for selling them something, but for making it easy on them, contrary to their previous craigslist experiences.

So, there you go.

Why did I waste my time typing this? Because I love craigslist, I frequent the for sale ads daily, and I now have $1400 to spend. Question is, is it you who is going to get my money?

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