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How To Price Items For Sale On Craigslist

Updated on May 17, 2013
Craigslist Headquarters in San Francisco, California
Craigslist Headquarters in San Francisco, California | Source

I have bought and sold well over $10,000 worth the items using the website Craigslist. I have sold cars, trucks, furniture, electronics, general household items - and even my dads World War 2 Ham radio operator equipment

Many people ask me how I have managed to sell so many things on Craigslist, and hands down I would day most of my success is attributed to pricing my items correctly to sell. How to put prices on items you want to sell can sometimes be tricky, but there are ways to gather information on what your items may be worth. Then, armed with some info, you can figure out how to turn some of those un-needed or un-wanted items into money makers.

Pricing your items correctly is key to finding new homes for all that "good stuff" you no longer need.

Use Craigslist to gather prices and availability of similar items

First of all, you need to really take a good look at what you want to sell. Really ask yourself if the item that you want to sell has any value. You may think that the couch you want to sell with the big rip through the cushion still has a lot of value, but it might be an item that really belongs in the free giveaway section of the Craigslist want-ads. We need to be realistic about what we want to sell, and determine a price that people will want to purchase the item for.

Perhaps, on the flip-side the couch is an antique, then it might be something that truly has some value, and would be worth trying to sell. Sometimes it's hard to judge what is sale-able and what is not, so the first thing I tell people is to take a look at the Craigslist ads already running, and see if anyone is selling something similar to the item that they have. Check the condition of the item, and determine from those ads what your own item might be worth (at least you will get an idea of the value) If you want to sell your item faster, price your item lower. If you see lots of the same items for sale, keep in mind that it may also be harder for you to sell your own item as you have lots of "competition" already online.

This is especially true if selling a vehicle. First check Craigslist and see what other comparable cars are going for. Check your local Craigslist area first as some areas can be higher or lower priced for the same item. It's all about supply and demand and prices can vary in different areas.

Poll on your Craigslist use

Did this article (hub) help you with ideas for pricing items to sell?

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Compare prices on eBay

The next best place to check pricing is on eBay. Search for comparable items to your own, and price your own item accordingly. Also keep in mind that most things on eBay also cost money to ship, so that can help you in determining a price also. eBay is especially good for pricing antiques and collectibles - and you can also get comparable prices on vehicles.

Once again take into account most buyers have to pay for car shipping, which can be expensive (several years ago I bought a Ford Explorer from the east coast and it cost me $1,000 to get it to the west coast) In retrospect, it may have made more sense for me to pay more on the west coast for the same vehicle (plus I wouldn't have been buying it sight unseen)

Search for prices using Google

If you can't find similar items on Craigslist or eBay, try Google searching your item. This is especially helpful for more unusual items. You may find some pricing for similar items from online auction houses, websites or other businesses that sell items.

Basically, like I mentioned before, you also need to decide how fast you want to sell your item. If you need the money now, price it low to get it gone. If you have time to wait, start higher and see how many people call you. You can always renew the Craigslist ad once it expires and eventually, you may find the person who will give you what you want for the item. I mistakenly bartered something recently that I should have held onto for one more week. I did a decent trade but could have made what I wanted had I waited just a few more days.

If you have any more questions about pricing items to sell on Craigslist, feel free to leave me a comment below.


Submit a Comment

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Mary615) Thank you very much and best of luck with your Craigslisting. I am so sorry to hear about your house - mine was too a couple years ago and I filed BY and managed to be able to pay it off in the BK. Message me if you want more info on how I did this.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    5 years ago from Florida

    I have successfully purchased two cars on Craig's List, but never sold anything. My house is in foreclosure (wrote a Hub about that), and I have furniture to sell. Maybe I'll try Craig's List after reading this

    Voted UP, etc.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @Kasman) Thanks for reading. You are right about there being alot of scams on Craigslist - I still use it but just very wisely. Don't let people in your house, try to meet in a public place, have someone else with you.....

  • Kasman profile image


    5 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

    I really don't use craigslist too much because of the scamming that goes on but I was intrigued by your article. One thing is that my friends tend to get good deals on it and you even shed light on your good deals. I've been looking to get a few things lately, I may have to check it out. Thanks for the read! Voting up Dorsi.


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