Tips for selling on Craigslist
Last week, we gave some tips for shopping on Craigslist. Today, I would like to talk about the other side of the bargain – selling.
On the whole, I think that Craigslist transactions tend to benefit the buyer to a greater degree than the seller. It just seems like if you are looking to purchase an item that you need, you are more likely to find exactly what you need for a low price on Craigslist than on Ebay or even at a rummage sale. When selling on Craigslist, there is no way to “bid up” the price, at least without taking a huge chance. The seller can turn down a buyers offer when they are standing in front of you with cash, but there is no guarantee that a larger offer is around the corner. Tough to do, the advantage is on the side of the buyer. I used to sell quite a bit on Ebay, but I do not use it much anymore, Ebay transactions do not benefit the buyer or the seller – just Ebay.
Craigslist is a nice way to make a little extra cash and I find it to be far more convenient and effective than holding a rummage. Here are some ways to get the most out of your Craigslist sale:
Pricing is the single most critical aspect of selling on Craigslist. It takes a little bit of practice to get it just right. Too high and you run the risk that no buyers will contact you, too low and when the buyer offers 25% less, you have a tough decision to make. Furthermore, you cannot just say “list the item at 25% over value” because the demand for various items is so varied.
Post a picture
Be sure to post and accurate picture. People shop by sight and even the most detailed verbal description will not do your item justice, especially since most people will not even take the time to read the description of an item that has no picture. A picture is worth a 1,000 words . . . and maybe $50 or $100 on Craigslist.
Protect your identity
I have never had trouble interacting through the Craigslist site with potential buyers and sellers, but you should be careful about how much you reveal in the ad itself. An email address in the ad is not necessary, and if you post your phone number, you are going to get calls non-stop at the least.
If you have never spent any time on Craigslist, do not post your item until you do. There is an ebb and flow to the site. Some days are busier than others. You also want go get an idea of how similar items to yours are being listed and priced. One weakness of Craigslist is the fact that you do not know the final price of an item. You can see that most couches are listed at $500, but you have no way of knowing the final price on those items. It could be $400, it could be $150.
List similar items together
Many times the point of listing an item on Craigslist is simply to get rid of it and make a little cash. It is often smart to list similar items together. Mrs. Stew recently sold a crib and a toddler bed which she listed together and ended up selling both to the same buyer. More stuff gone with less hassle is a good thing. I am currently shopping for a computer desk and chair on Craigslist, if I find them together at the same place, I will be more likely to purchase both from that seller.
Respond to inquiries quickly
One of the nice things about Craigslist is that people can look at your items for sale while you are otherwise occupied. However, you need to make sure that you respond to buyer messages quickly. If you hesitate, you can lose a sale. Do not post an ad and then leave for a week’s vacation without a computer. If you have an item for sale, make sure you are around to show it if anyone is interested. On a related note, it does not take a long time to sell something on Craigslist. If your item has been listed for more than two days, it probably is not going to sell. You might need to re-list it in order to get the ad back to the top of the list.
Take down your listing
After the item sells. For two reasons: one, because buyers like me really hate to leave a message about an item that is already out the door and secondly, because it will keep you from having a full email inbox or voice mail box.
Article by Stew
Photo by epp