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Little Known Craigslist Secrets that Produce More Sales and Higher Prices

Updated on May 2, 2018

Craigslist secrets to success

Craigslist as a business

Craigslist has been a source of selling items on the Internet for many years, and many people choose it as the main way of offloading unwanted items, or in some cases, building a nice side income to complement other income.

A number of people have also built businesses around Craigslist, providing them with a nice living. In this article we'll focus primarily on those wanting to get rid of items in a garage sale or because they're moving, or those that want to build a nice side income using Craigslist as the means to that end.

The most important thing in this article will be to show you little-known ways people get more out of their Craigslist strategies. I'll show you how to not only sell more items, but in a number of cases, how to get more out of each item you sell.

Some of the things covered include a simple texting strategy that will boost sales; why individual sales can increase the price you get for an item; when to advertise your garage or moving sale on Craigslist to get best results; how to prepare a space to perpetual sales; and understanding the difference between Craigslist as an advertising medium and a business.

Where to start with Craigslist

Some of these Craigslist tips will help seasoned pros, but I do want to first encourage beginners in a certain direction in order to provide a basic foundation for a successful Craigslist experience.

I recommend 'Craigslist Top Selling Secrets' to get a grasp on the basics if you're a beginner. If you've been selling on Craigslist for a little time, it could also help fill in some of the blanks that will provide a launching pad to best take advantage of the advanced tactics that can produce superior results.

The first half of the book deals with presenting the specific items you have for sale in a compelling way that attracts the attention of the potential buyer.

It talks about how to clean up the items and position for the best effect when taking a picture of them. It also focuses on the best way to clearly describe the item so customers will know exactly what it is and if it meets the criteria they're looking for. That is a good way to eliminate a lot of the tire kickers.

Beyond presentation and description, the book also offers guidance in the types of people you'll be dealing with as customers. Some want something for nothing or to pay very little, are outright nasty, or are there to do legitimate business.

These are good for beginners to understand. In this article we'll also look at ways to cull some of these people from the herd before they waste your time at your home or place you're selling the items at.

Again, if you haven't sold on Craigslist, or sold very little, this is a good place to start.

Best way to advertise a garage sale or moving sale on Craigslist

If you are having a garage sale or moving sale, or possibly come across some items you bought for the purpose of reselling them, it's vital to know the best way to advertise the date and time of the sell to achieve quality results.

Although it seems posting a garage sale or moving sale for Saturday would be the most effective way to generate interest, most of the time those postings will under perform Friday, or other days you may let people know you're selling stuff.

The reason for this is because almost everyone is posting their moving sale or yard sale on Saturday, and it becomes difficult to keep it on the first page of Craigslist.

Not only is it a struggle to have people see the posting, but it's also a struggle because there are so many sales that compete for customers on Saturday, it becomes hard to achieve the desired results.

So if you've tried to generate interest in your garage or moving sale using Craigslist, and have been disappointed in the turnout, try posting in on Friday. I and others have discovered the posting remains on the front page longer, and there is less competition for your sale. This produces more sales and revenue for you.

If you've tried it on Saturdays and it has worked some times, and other times it hasn't, the reason was the luck of the timing of those looking for garage sales or moving sales, and your listing just happened to be in the right place at the time right.

Again, for consistency and best results, I would post my sale on Fridays specifically. It's going to vastly outperform Saturdays.

Why you should sell some items individually on Craigslist

Because so many people that buy at garage sales and moving sales are looking for significant deals, it's better to offer individual items that carry a higher price tag on Craigslist than to simply include them in the sale.

The primary reason for that is people looking for an individual item are in need of it or want it, and they're willing to pay a higher price to get it. At a yard sale you'll have a lot of people attempt to bundle items together to get a better price. That's not necessarily bad for lower-cost items, but you can lose a lot of money when making deals with items that can command a higher price.

When talking about higher price here, I'm not talking necessarily about items that cost hundreds of dollars or more. I'm referring to items that are around the $20 range or more. It just makes sense to list these individual items for sale to see how much you can get for them. In the next section I'll show you a tactic to use that allows you to see how much in demand some of these items are and if you should ask a higher price for them.

A nice thing about this strategy is if you're having a garage sale or moving sale that you have things set up for the next day, or ready to set up, you can not only sell the individual item at a higher price, but let the customer know there are other things they may be interested in.

This is effective because the rule of thumb is if a person gets a look at the items before a general sale, they don't get the types of discounts offered to people in order to move the stuff quickly. In other words, they pay a premium price to make an offer without other customers competing for the same item or items.

So selling things individually on Craigslist not only generate a higher price per item, but also allow the same for other items that wouldn't command that price once customers show up for the sale.

Another great benefit is customers will show up when it is convenient for you, not when they want to. This provides flexibility in your schedule. Remember, someone responding to an individual posting will really want the item. They are less apt to not show up as someone that is only looking for very cheap items.

This is why you don't want to list low-price individual items on Craigslist, as it'll result in a lot of calls, along with a lot of people not showing up to buy the item.

You can see how the combination of a yard or moving sale, along with posting individual items on Craigslist, will easily generate the most sales for you.

An important thing to understand about people showing up for garage sales and moving sales if for the most part, they are just showing up to see if there is something that catches their interest in general, or is offered at a very low price. They rarely will be the types to pay a lot of money for an item unless they happen to need something very specific you have.

There is also the fact that many people that re-sell items show up at these types of sales, and they will in no way jeopardize their profits when buying for the purpose of reselling them as a business.

An e-mail, texting or phone trick that provides quick feedback on an item

Earlier I mentioned a trick that can be used to determine the demand for an item in your area. It's an easy texting trick that can be used to determine what you should charge for the thing you're selling.

The tactic is after posting the item, wait to see how many text messages or phone calls you get. This works well if you have more than one of an item you're selling. If you get several texts and/or phone messages, you can be sure you have an item in demand and can keep your prices firm, or only give in a little during negotiations.

Assuming you have several of the same item, and you think it has some value after doing some research, post it up to 30 percent what you are willing to take for it, and see how many people respond. Again, if at least five people or more respond, you can be sure it is in demand and should produce a decent price.

You can confirm this by checking out other items the same, or at least similar to yours. It gives you enough data to know how to price the item.

Also, take into account if it is in high demand, you can afford to walk away from the bottom feeders. After all, the reason for individual postings is to generate a better price.

Bear in mind this article is for those wanting to make more money on Craigslist, not for those just trying to get rid of their stuff as quickly as possible.

The point is when people e-mail, text or call you, you don't have to go down too much in price if there is a lot of interest in the item. You can afford to pass on the sale and get someone else that's willing to pay a higher price for the time.

If you have a number of people communicating with you, you can let them know others are interested and you'll get back with them. That creates a competitive bidding atmosphere that can produce a nice sales price. If they really want an item fear of missing out will take over and they'll pay full asking price, or very close to it.

Finally, don't say no to people interested in an item until the customer pays and walks away with it. The reason is they can agree to a price, and when they show up to pick it up, they make another offer lower than what was agreed upon. This can work for buyers at times because of the emotional commitment to the expected sale, which when showing signs of not working out, the seller can surrender to the buyer in order to salvage the deal.

If you don't say no to other interested parties, you can simply say no to the unethical practice of the buyer and offer it to another person. When you think of it, on your part it only takes a couple of minutes of your time if they buyer is dishonest or trying to manipulate you when they show up to pick up the item.

Easy way to use Craigslist as a perpetual money-making machine

For those wanting to generate a steady stream of income from Craigslist, it's important to set up things in your storage area that lend themselves to storing and selling goods.

Assuming you have space in a garage or on-site storage, it's very easy to set up a space where you can offer items for sale to interested buyers on a consistent basis.

All you have to do is set up shelving, bins, tables, etc., for the purpose of displaying what you have to potential customers. It doesn't have to be a big space, just enough for it to generate the type of income you're looking for.

I would recommend more everyday types of items if you're trying to generate a steady income stream. The reason is because unique items that may be interesting to you, are only compelling to a small group of people. That means you could hold onto an item for a long time if it doesn't have much value to a person.

The point there is that you could probably sell the stuff, but it wouldn't be the type of products that would provide a predictable and steady income for you. Stick with what you know, or at least what you know people will always use consistently, and you should do very well.

As for the storage, having it in place for when you post things to Craigslist provides a minimal time commitment once it's in place that allows you to enjoy what you're doing; especially if you're dealing with time factor or are committed on a limited basis.

What this does is empower you to focus on having a product base that you can market or sell whenever you want to. The storage area allows you to focus on sales and maybe adding to your product base when it starts to dwindle. In those cases you can become the purpose showing up at garage sales and moving sales with expectations of buying items for very low prices.

For most people, setting up a large yard sale is a lot of work, and usually they aren't able to generate a lot of income from them. I understand that occasionally someone that has unique items will be able to make some decent money in a one-off yard or moving sale, but it's not sustainable for those looking to make a small side business out of it.

This is why making a storage space for the purpose of showcasing what you have to sell is important to success for an ongoing Craiglist business.

Remember when selling individual items in particular to upsell or cross-sell as well. In other words, if you're not familiar with that language, it simply means to let people know about other items you have available as similar or higher prices.

Craigslist: advertising medium or business?

The primary difference between Craigslist being an advertising medium or a sustainable business, is in how you view what you're selling and the reasoning behind it.

Even some people that think they're in a Craigslist business don't understand they have to make a profit for it to be viable and more than in reality, a hobby.

Many people, because they're selling items on Craigslist, think they're in business. What's closer to the truth is they are using it more as a way to meet people and participate in what is a hobby. The difference is you have to sell at a profit for it to be a business, and that means being a professional.

By professional, I mean you have to be willing to hold your prices at levels that make economic sense to your business, and also be willing to be tough if you have to. I don't mean you have to be cruel, mean or get into shouting matches, only that you stick to your guns and don't allow people to take advantage of you.

You're not in business to make friends, you're in business to provide a quality service at a profit. That means not misrepresenting the quality and condition of what you're selling when posting on Craigslist, and also not changing the price you agreed to when the buyer shows up.

For most people, Craigslist is a way to get rid of some items they no longer have use for, and if they can get a decent price from it, they're happy. For those building a business, it's far more than an advertising medium, even though it's an essential part of the business


A Craigslist business is essentially an ecosystem where posting on the classified site is only one small, albeit, important part of the process.

If you're already in this type of business, try some of the things mentioned in the article and you will get improved results.

Another thing to consider is this works with other sites that have similar business models, such as Facebook groups that are focused on local consumers. These provide another potential income stream, and the way you do business is very similar to what was explained earlier in the article.

Once you develop a system, you can scale it out or add it to other similar sites in order to boost your income if that's your goal.

As for setting aside a modest storage and display area in a garage, storage building, or something similar, you may be surprised at the decent amount of revenue you can generate by turning over your merchandise on a consistent, ongoing and sustainable basis. There's a reason many retailers are downsizing the size of the physical space they're selling in for new stores.

Bottom line is Craigslist is a great way to build a nice side business, and if you like the business model and experience, it can produce a lot more money than you may think, if you use the tips mentioned in this article, and provide a steady stream of interesting and useful items to your customers.


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