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Selling Items Quickly on Craigslist: Creating Ads that Get Noticed

Updated on April 18, 2013

It's Less Complicated Than it Seems

We have all been there. You're sitting, staring at your posting on Craigslist, wondering why you haven't got any bites yet. Then eventually we begin to think maybe we set the price too high. Maybe nobody is interested in this item. Then as time goes on and we renew our posting again and again, we give up. We forget about it and that piece of fitness equipment remains in the garage until we have to finally take it to the dump because it is in the way.

The truth is, we can all do much better on Craigslist than we think we can. There is always a market for everything. The trick is how you go about presenting your item on the site. It isn't really all that complicated. With just a little bit of effort, you can get items sold in no time.

I have sold many items on Craigslist very quickly and made some good money. Here is how.

1. Price it Right.

How many times have you yourself been browsing Craigslist thinking "Seriously? This guy wants $400 for his 20 year old grill? Needless to say, many people want astronomical amounts of money for stuff that is not worth anything close to that amount.

When considering how much to price your item, ask yourself how much you would pay for it? Would you give $50 for an old lamp with no shade? Probably not. So as a rule, price things what you yourself would pay. Be realistic and you will sell. Price is one of the most important components in selling items on Craigslist. So if you are not sure, do some homework. Look at what other people are selling the same or similar items for.

2. Elbow Grease

When you are selling something that has been sitting in the garage or storage area for a good while, you are most certainly going to need to clean it up, and clean it up well.

Presentation is everything in selling. Ask any marketing professional. If you were planning on buying an oven, how would you feel if when you arrived to see it, it had crumbs in the burners, grease on the inside, and cobwebs on the back. You would say "I'll call and let ya' know", and never call.

If you are going to sell something, spend some time cleaning it. Clean the dust off and make it look new. That is what people want. They are not expecting to get a brand new item, but if you can give them something that looks new, they will be glad to take it off your hands. People are looking for a deal. Even the older, used items can still be a good deal. Just make them look like a good deal.

3. Be a Photographer!

Nothing gets under my skin more than when people take only one or two pictures of their product when posting a listing. Craigslist allows four. FOUR!! If a website that allows you to sell products using their services like Craigslist does, take advantage of the fact that you can put photos on the site. A picture says a thousand words. People want to see items. They are not going to respond to a post that has two sentences or less of misspelled words with one or no photos. Would you?

In the photos, be sure to get every angle of the item. If you are selling a clothes dryer, take a picture of the front, back, inside and buttons up top. People want to really get a feel for what kind of condition the product is in. If it has flaws or defects, be sure to admit them.

4. Tell me about it

Have you ever read a post on Craigslist that had a picture of something and read "its urs 4 $20" This drives me crazy; especially with high priced items. If you want to get rid of your old stuff and get cash in your hand, you are going to have to tell people about what you are selling.

Be sure to list all of the major features that the product offers. Tell the possible buyers things like:

  • Where you bought it
  • How old it is
  • What does it feature?
  • Does it work well?
  • What are the dimensions
  • What are the specifications?

The point is. You need to be descriptive enough that your buyer really doesn't have that many questions when they call, text, or email you. You want to give them all of the information they could possibly want. This will not only save you and them time, it will sell your product much faster.

Get it sold

I assure you, if you adhere to these few simple steps, you will at minimum get people interested and asking to come see what you are selling. Yes, it takes a little bit of work. But it sure beats sitting around and waiting for someone to call. It beats not having the cash. If you have simply scrolled down this page to the very last words. Here they are. Remember this rule:

"Put yourself in the buyers shoes. Sell to them as if you were the one buying the product."


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    • davidmurree profile image

      David Murree 4 years ago from USA

      effective guide, i will follow

    • Sethughes profile image

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I think it really depends. I think for obvious safety reasons it is important to really consider the location when meeting someone. My personal advice is do not have someone come to your house to see a product if you are the only one home. Be sure you set up a time when others will be around. I think this is the safest route. If you do choose to meet someone in a public place, be sure it is an area not too secluded and where others can see you. After safety concerns, making the sale will be priority. My opinion is to leave this up to the buyer. As long as you feel comfortable, they will be more likely to buy if they don't feel pressured and awkward.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

      Good points. Is it still advisable to meet the person in a public place?