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


I have a longstanding, love/hate relationship with Craigslist. Mostly love though. I've made quite a bit of money from selling things off of it but have also had to deal with flaky buyers and dishonest people. Overall though, I've learned to navigate the choppy waters of selling things on Craigslist and have learned quite a bit in the process. I'm going to share with you my top ten things I've learned (the hard way) when it comes to selling your stuff. Hopefully this can put you one step ahead of the typical buyer/seller so you can make some quick money!

1. Price it right

Price Tags

Image Credit: allspire

It all comes down to pricing things right. But how do you know how much someone will pay for your item? I start by doing a little research on my local Craigslist. For example, if I am going to sell a couch, I search it and see how much people have their couches listed for. It helps give you an idea of the range you can expect for the condition of your item. If you have no response or offers in a week or two, you've probably priced it a little too high. Knock the price down a bit and re-list your item. Tip: Often times I will get a lower offer immediately after I list something. My response usually looks something like this, "Thanks for your offer but since I just listed the item, I am going to keep my price firm for a few more days. If it doesn't sell at the price I'm asking, I will get in touch with you."

2. Good title and description

A clear, informative title and description are very important. Start by thinking of the words you would use when searching an item similar to the one you're selling. Make sure you use keywords in your title so when people search Craigslist, your item will be sure to come up. After you've figured out your title, make sure you include as much information in your description of the item. Here are a few things think about including in your description:

  • What you're selling: Start every ad by explaining what your item is -- even if it is very clear in the title.
  • The Item's Condition: Include how old/new it is, how much and for what purpose you have used it, and anything else the buyer should be aware of. This includes mentioning any damages. Be honest!
  • Technical Information: Include the make and model of your product if applicable. It often helps to include a link to a website to where the person can learn more about the product. This is especially helpful with electronics.
  • Your Contact Information: Be sure to mention how you want people to contact you.

Lastly, at the end of my description, I almost always end with a phrase like this: "Once the item has sold I will take down the post, so as of right now, the item is still available. Text, call, or e-mail if interested. (555-555-5555)"

3. Allow for texting

As you can see from above, I encourage people to text me. I have found this to be an easy, non-awkward way to negotiate or to answer questions. People typically don't like to call up a stranger and ask questions. If they have the option of texting, they usually use it. Once the deal has been made, I DO like to actually talk to the person (usually for directions). This just gives me a better idea of who I am working with and if I need to have my husband home during the exchange. Typically, if it's a male I like to have my husband with me.

4. Check spelling and grammar in your descriptions and interactions

This seems like a no-brainer, but it is very important to not have any spelling or major grammar errors in your title and description. When things are spelled wrong, it can communicate that you are sloppy and can turn people off from working with you. I also think this applies in your interactions with people as you are negotiating.

5.Good pictures

Good pictures of your item will make more money. I promise. Here is what NOT to do in your pictures. 

Umm, gross. There is a huge mess in the background that totally distracts from the item for sale. I see this and would immediately pass it up simply because of the clutter and mess in the back. Sorry, what? This is a baby swing? How do I know if it works? How do I know what it looks like? It looks like it's in shambles in a garage which is a big turnoff. No thank you.


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