Craigslist is one of the most influential peer-to-peer marketplaces out there today, but a lot of people do not give it the kind of respect it deserves. Sure, it is filled with inveterate dealmakers, pervs, scammers, and the sorts. But it’s also filled with respectable people that are looking to buy the stuff you have to offer. Furthermore, it’s free and super easy to use!
A lot of people have extensive experience with the peer-to-peer marketplace so we will not bore you with information and stuff you know already, and we won’t be delving into how to hit missed connections or land gigs. This article will be focusing on selling. I just recently cleared out tons of stuff from my coffers and here’s what I learned:
Find the local Craigslist page by visiting www.craigslist.org. Click on “post to classifieds,” which is found on the upper left corner of the homepage. From there on, it’s pretty much self-explanatory.
Create a Craigslist account (this should be the first thing you do.) Don’t skip this step. If you are selling stuff, particularly expensive, bigger stuff, it is highly likely that they won’t sell at first. By creating a CL account, you will not have to recreate listings every time you refresh a post. Your dashboard should track all your items and will allow you to edit or re-post even if they have been deleted.
Repost or refresh your posts. Stuff can quickly get buried on Craigslist, especially in larger communities. So, make sure that your posts) are near the top once they’ve expired by reposting – this is less of an issue in much smaller communities
Reach out to nearby Craigslist communities, listed on the website’s right sidebar. I happen to live close to the boundaries of three different Craigslist communities and posted on the three to increase my odds of selling. Unfortunately, I had to create three separate listings for the same item on each of the community’s sites. It is worth noting that there’s no function to replicate a listing in another community. However, once you’ve created and set a post, you are done with most of the heavy lifting.
A word about phishers/scammers. So you’ve just posted a Louis XVI armoire listing it for 350K and get a “Is it still available?” response almost immediately. You might want to reconsider as this may be a scammer or a person looking for a way to hack your email account. If it’s an actual interested buyer, the person will refer to item, e.g., armoire, and not “your item” or “it.” Don’t reply to such emails. One article I read on how to stay safe on Craigslist suggested that you create an email account just for Craigslist – which is a good idea.
Prices on the higher side. People on the site aren’t afraid to make low-ball offers. It is advisable that you price your products at 10 to 30% above the asking price, so you don’t go below. This way, when buyers make low-ball offers, you’ll have some room to negotiate. You could say “firm” or “final price,” but come on, this is Craigslist. From time to time, you will come across someone willing to pay what you ask without questions, but this is quite rare. And do not be offended if someone makes an insulting offer – after all, you’ll never know unless you inquire.
Have a delivery plan. Craigslist, unlike eBay, is a great platform to sell a piece or set of furniture. Let’s say you want to sell a ten-piece sectional couch and do not have a truck to deliver the product, you will want to come up with a plan to get the product to the buyer. There is no need no state your plan on the post as it may scare away potential buyers. However, you should have an answer. Remind them that the buyer is responsible and that they should consider checking man-with-a-van costs or Uhaul rates, often the best options. However, this usually is a real sticking point if you are selling a $400 couch that will cost $250 to deliver.
Take time to create your post. Remember always to include some clear, high-quality pictures – this is obvious. Describe your product in detail and let people understand how great your used couch is. Sloppy posts with crappy pictures and little details are less likely to get your product sold for a decent price compared to polished ones with accurate, high-quality photos.
Sell valuable items on another platform. Though an awesome website, Craigslist is generally populated with people looking for deals. You can sell original Barcelona chairs on the site, but do not expect to get a fair price. CL is all about providing maximum reach and convenience in particular regions. eBay, a website that provides a platform on which international sellers and buyers can sell and buy stuff, is the safest bet when looking to get a fair price on valuables.
Use common sense. Do not meet with a potential buyer in the woods, all alone. Only take money orders or cash and remember to anonymize the email address you use. And never give more information than is needed.