Craigslist selling tips

Craigslist is a great way to find new homes for your embarrassment of riches. Or as I used to exclaim after each sale: I can’t believe people pay to help me clear out the garage! Craigslist is not about making a ton of money, it’s about finding exactly the right owner for the stuff you don’t need nor want.

So for those of you who are currently Craigslisting or those of you who are ready to get in the game, here are my Craigslist tips after the jump.

Do your research

This doesn’t have to take more than 5 minutes and it is SO worth your time.  It will help you justify your asking price and will help when you write the ad. All I do is google whatever I am selling. It doesn’t take much info to find out who else is selling your item and for how much. Often a basic google search will provide descriptions, specs and pics, that can be cut and pasted into your ad.

Take good pics

Get the best light you can when you take the photo. Crop the pic with basic editing software, I have always been happy with the HP software that came with the printer. Most printers have some basic editing software that is pretty straightforward. Your camera probably came with some sort of image editing software as well. If you don’t know how to do use the software, learn. You can use the skills with all your important pics.

Show the item from all angles or zoom in on the features that people will like. Don’t take pictures of it among a bunch of junk. It will leave people wondering about the condition and your care of it.

Write a short, useful ad

Give the basic info: brand, model number, size, dimensions (if appropriate) etc. Tell the condition and be honest. It doesn’t have to be in great condition, but you need to be honest with people. I use terms like: gently used, older model or my personal favorite, still has a lot of life left in it! The more used it is, the lower the price and show the damage in the pics. People will buy damaged stuff if it’s priced accordingly.

Besides the basic description, talk about the item in a sentence or two. You know the item, what did you like about it? Don’t get lost in the description, people do not want to read that much. Two sentences is plenty.

If people need more info than that, include a list of specs at the bottom or put a link to a website that gives them all the info they need. Here’s an actual ad I’ve used to sell a lot of baby items:

This stuff is in great condition from a smoke-free, pet-free home. Includes:
– Boppy nursing pillow
– 2 Boppy pillow covers – one blue velour, one pink flowered
– Tiny Love Exercise Gym – zoo animals are great for boys and girls!
– Assortment of rattles and newborn toys
– Newborn towel and washcloths, blankets (not pictured)

This is $75 worth of gear that you will be so glad to have.

See, easily done. And you are welcome to copy and paste either of these ads to suit your needs. I also recommend just reading ads in the category you want to sell for more ideas. Here’s another sample to inspire you:

Womens Size: 8 Shoes.  Cole Haan leather ballet flats with Nike Air Cushion Sole. These are great for mamas chasing kids or city dwellers who walk a lot. They are super trendy and comfy, great for now and into fall.

I bought this shoe for over $80 at Nordstrom’s  Rack and wore them twice. They are yours for $30.

Reply to every inquiry

I return every email. You can cut and paste it from your sent items folder, so you don’t have to retype it over and over:

Dear __________:

The item is still available. I am in Capital Hill, basically 15th and Broadway. Let me know if you would like to come see the item.

Thanks for your inquiry,

Bonita

Keep reposting

The ads expire every 7 days or so, but you can repost after the first 48 hours. I try to repost twice a week. That way the ad doesn’t get too far to the  back. And then just give it time. Stuff may not sell for a few weeks. Keep at it. If you want it to move, bring the price down. All the work is at the beginning. After that, the reposting takes less than two minutes. And if it is reasonably priced, it will sell.

So before you know it, you will be saying:  I can’t believe people pay to help me clear out the garage! Good luck.

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