Originally Posted: 2010-01-31 21:23 (no longer live)

Hey sellers - take some advice before posting

I've spent the better part of 3 months searching craigslist, looking for furniture for my apartment. I've bought nearly everything I need for my apartment from craigslist, but it hasn't been easy. Why? Because most sellers repeat these same mistakes when listing their items. Take a moment to read this before you list, and I'm certain you'll get better results.

1. INCLUDE PICTURES. Take the extra 10 minutes to include some photos of your stuff. A photo makes all the difference! You can try to describe your "brown couch with lovely accent pattern" but a photo will tell me exactly what your couch looks like.

2. INCLUDE DIMENSIONS. Take 3 minutes and measure your stuff. I can't tell you how many "large tables" I looked at that were no bigger than 30" in diameter. And I can't tell you how many people thought I was crazy for asking for measurements before I came to look at something of theirs. Hey - if it won't fit in my dining room, I don't care how beautiful it is.

3. PRICE YOUR ITEMS APPROPRIATELY. This may be the most important tip I can offer. You may have paid $1500 for a couch 5 years ago, and it's probably a lovely piece of furniture. But, you sat on it for five years, your kids sat on it, your Uncle Troy with the flatulence issues sat on it twice a year for five years. Therefore, it's not worth $750, or $500, or probably even $300... and that's why your expensive couch sits on craigslist for weeks and weeks and weeks without selling. If you'd price it more realistically, it would probably sell quickly, and you could move on. Re-listing it a dozen times at that inflated price doesn't help. Price it right, and it'll sell quickly. Trust me!! I laugh when I see ads from people that have a dining room table "with a few nicks" or "some minor wear" listed for $800+. I'll buy a new one from Ashley for $399, thank you.

And finally, try being nice when you respond to e-mails or phone calls. I dealt with one person who seemed genuinely upset that I wanted to buy his kitchen table. He was rude, inconsiderate, and didn't even seem to be remotely interested in selling the table. I'm not forcing you to sell anything - I've got cash, and I want to give it to you, so it might not hurt to brush up on your manners.

And when you tell me to "call with questions" don't act as if you have no idea why I'm calling, especially after I say something like, "Hi, this is Joe - I saw your ad on craigslist for the table and chairs. I have a few questions if you have a few minutes available to chat." I said that exact same thing to a lady who was selling a table on craigslist, and her response was, "What? Why are you calling? My table? What about it?!" Crikey.

So... take this advice for what it's worth -

1. Pictures
2. Measurements
3. Price appropriately
4. Use your head

Oh, and how about one last bit of advice - tell us if you smoke, if you have pets, and if you have kids. And, if you have any one of those three items, reduce the price of your item by at least 25%. It makes a difference!

  • Location: Madison
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

post id: 1580127492