Friday, October 24, 2008

Selling Stuff on craigslist: Tips for Creating an Effective Ad

craigslist ad

So you have something that's clutter to you, but valuable enough that it's worth your time to try to sell it? You might want to try selling it on craigslist, which I find much easier to use than eBay, at least for the infrequent seller. (But some types of things will sell much better on eBay.)

I haven't done much craigslist selling myself, but I did sell a few items on behalf of someone else, and was pleased with how well it worked.

If you want to try selling on craigslist, the tips I see most often about doing a good listing are the following. They certainly worked for me! (And the person with the ad shown above might have benefited from tips 1 and 2.)

1. Provide good pictures. I wrote about this back in my July newsletter; Photojojo has some great tips.

2. Provide a complete description. For items like furniture, provide dimensions. Indicate any brand names.

3. Be honest. If there are flaws in the item, be sure you've fully disclosed them.

4. Price your item appropriately. As Sien said on Ask Metafilter, "Don't kid yourself about how much your stuff is worth."

whirlpool refrigerator ad on craigslist, with whirlpool spelled wrong
5. Check for typos. Someone looking for a Whirlpool refrigerator will not find this one - and typos make you look unprofessional.

To learn more, see:
- A Seller's Guide to Craigslist
- How to: Write a Craigslist Ad
- Tips on Selling Your Furniture on Craigslist
- 24 Craigslist Tips, Tricks and Resources
- Craigslist Classifieds

For examples of what not to do, you could read You Suck at Craigslist. This was one of my favorites.


Cynthia Friedlob said...

I've sold some items on craigslist and plan to list more before the holidays.

My suggestion: set up a separate free e-mail account just for craigslist so you don't clutter your regular e-mail inbox. If you keep it anonymous so that craigslist will still have to forward messages to you, that will help filter out spam.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention! Hope you enjoy the site ... and feel free to send me any bad listings you might find!

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, you must be selling items that are more popular than the ones I was selling. I didn't have any problems with too many e-mails to my normal account.

I DID use the keep-my-email-anonymous feature.

Allison Spitzer Carter said...

Lovin craigs list. This summer I bought a trundle bed one day. Sold a bunk bed the next. Sold a couch. bought a couch. And I just sold a 2001 laptop. All your advice is right on the money. MUST have photos or you're wasting my time. Show me the flaws and I might buy it anyway.
I learned one thing from my bro-in-law - if you tell the story of the item, people connect with you and think you are sincere (as in not scamming them).
Thanks for the tips on where to find pricing suggestions.
I did find this most recent sale that a bunch of responses went to my junk mail folder so I'll have to check that one for the next bargain sale.
-- Allison

Jeri Dansky said...

Allison, great point about the stories - thanks!