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Using Craigslist to Sell Your Stuff

I have been a big fan of Craigslist [3] since I found out about it after college.  I don’t usually buy much from it, but I have used it to sell a bunch of things including old electronics and furniture.  In the beginning, it took a few weeks to sell an item, but now I can easily have things sold in a single weekend.  The trick has been figuring out how to make posts that can catch and hold a buyer’s interest.  A great Craigslist listing needs a few things – a good price, a solid description, and a flattering picture.

Craigslist Pricing

If you are selling something that others are selling too, you will need a competitive price to get eyeballs on your ad.  I would suggest searching Craigslist for comparable items and pricing yours on the lower end of the scale. 

For example, I am about to list our twin-sized Captain’s bed this week.  I’ve looked around and have found several in similar condition selling for $250-$300.  I will be listing ours as $250.  It is in great condition and I could probably get a bit more, but it is worth it to me to sacrifice $25 in favor of getting the bed out of my house as soon as possible.  It is taking up room in my new home office.

Craigslist Descriptions

Buyers appreciate having all of the information they want listed easily in one place.  I have learned when selling online [4] to start my posts with a sentence or two explaining why we are selling an item and then I add the descriptive information as a bullet point list. 

Taking our captain’s bed as an example again, I will open with a quick sentence explaining that we’d like some more room in my office.  Then I will list all of the pertinent details as bullet points.  I will be sure to include it’s measured dimensions, age, and condition.

Craigslist Pictures

An ad sells better when a buyer can see a picture of the actual product.  The trick is making sure the item looks good in the picture or nobody will want to buy it.  I suggest cleaning what you want to sell, moving it into a well-lit room or outside temporarily, and taking the most flattering pictures you can.  If there are any problem areas, you will want to mention them in your post and take a specific picture of those spots.  Good pictures and complete honesty can make a sell.

I will be opening the blinds in my new home office and taking the best pictures possible of the bed.  I’ll make sure it is cleaned off so they will have a good view of the bed itself without any clutter.  I will also roll out the drawers and take a picture from that angle so potential buyers will be able to see how much storage room they will have to work with.

My best guess is that I will be able to sell off our little bed by the end of next weekend.  Wish me luck!

Do you use Craigslist to sell your stuff?  How has it worked for you?