Craigslist Tips: 10 Helpful Tips on How to Sell Your Stuff


OK, so what makes a GOOD picture?

  • Have good lighting. Take the item outside and use natural light instead of a flash. It makes a HUGE difference.
  • No distractions in the background.
  • Cleaned up!  Make sure the item is in the best condition possible.
  • Make sure item is assembled.
  • Take as many pictures from different angles as you can. Take close up shots on important features.
  • If you can, only feature the item for sale. Clear off anything on it and remove anything distracting from the background.

6. Include dimensions

This is pretty simple but include measurements of your item. It is hard to tell size from a picture so it really helps if you include how tall and wide your item is. When I haven't listed measurements, I almost always have someone ask.

7. If possible suggest a public meeting place

Safety first! If it's a smaller item that can easily be moved, suggest meeting in a public place. I've met people in the parking lot of Lowe's before. I've also met people at the gas station down the street from me. Sometimes this isn't possible. If you are selling a big piece of furniture, you'll have to arrange for them to come to your house. In that case, have someone else there with you.

8. Establish your price before the exchange

Even if the price is listed, double check that they are willing to pay the price you asked. It's an awkward situation if you have to negotiate face-to-face. I actually had someone do this to me before. I was selling my parent's grill and he drove 45 minutes to "take a look" at it. He looked it over and said he wanted it. He then asked for less than I had it listed. I told him I was keeping the price the same. He still bought it. Tip: If someone drove all the way to your house, they are almost ALWAYS going to buy the item. You don't need to come down on the price if they ask.

9. Watch out for scams!

The last few times I've listed something, I got an email about how some dude wanted to send my item to his missionary friend in Africa. He was wondering if I could mail the item to him and he would Paypal me the money. I was a little confused but after a little research realized it was a scam. I've received similar emails to this one - particularly when selling electronics. Here are a few tips to avoid scams and fraud:

  • Only deal locally with people you can meet in person
  • Never wire money or agree to have it wired to you
  • Request that the person pay in cash
  • Don't give out any personal information

10. Don't trust people to follow through

OK, so this sounds a little depressing, but I have learned the hard way that many people who regularly use Craigslist just don't follow through with the purchase. I don't know if it's because of the anonymity of it all or what. I've had so many people say they wanted an item but not actually show up for it. I have learned to keep my post up until the item is out of my house. If I have a second offer for my item, I usually tell them something like this: "I have someone coming to look at the item today. If it doesn't work out for some reason, I will be sure to contact you." There have been many times I've ended up contacting the 2nd or 3rd person because of a flaky buyer.

So there you go! There is all my Craigslist wisdom laid out for you to take and run with. I'm continually learning more about the ins and outs of being a Craigslist guru and hope this can help you as well. Have fun selling your stuff!


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.