As who who stays a semi-nomadic lifestyle, I’ve gained comfortable buying and also selling supplied items ~ above the second market. You deserve to save money together a buyer, and recoup sunk prices as a seller.

You are watching: Does it cost money to sell on craigslist

But selling supplied items top top Craigslist isn’t as an easy as snapping a blurry shot with your smartphone and also throwing the online. To acquire the many out of your old stuff, you should follow a specific set of rules for success.

Research and also Pricing

Before you write-up anything for sale, you have to do her homework. Begin here, yet don’t worry — it won’t take more than a couple of minutes, and also can ensure a far greater price for your items.

Choose the best Platform

Not every little thing secondhand sells because that the best feasible price top top Craigslist. The market may be far better for your details item top top Ebay, on facebook Marketplace, or Amazon.

Furniture and other big items have tendency to sell finest on Craigslist. Smaller, pricier items like jewelry, valuables, or rarely collectibles often sell far better Ebay, Amazon, or Etsy. These platforms offer a much more comprehensive market, including international buyers. Craigslist normally serves neighborhood buyers only.

Run a fast search for similar items ~ above Craigslist and these other supplied marketplaces to gain a feeling for pricing and also availability.

Choose the best Craigslist Markets

Craigslist operates ~ above the local level, through subdomains for different cities and towns. Depending upon the density of population centers whereby you live, there may be many Craigslist urban to choose from.

Rather than posting only in the one market where friend live, take into consideration posting lot of iterations that your advertisement in neighboring cities together well, if castle close sufficient for easy pickup.

Note the college towns and also areas with several young adults make an excellent markets to offer furniture and other used items on Craigslist.

Price the Right

Ask for too much money, and also you i will not ~ get any type of legitimate responses. Collection the questioning price also low, and you’ll leave money on the table, or worse, spook far buyers by making castle wonder those wrong with the item.

After feather for comparable items on Craigslist and other supplied marketplaces, friend should have a decent idea that a price range. Now, take it a hard look at the problem of her item. If it’s lacking parts, doesn’t quite work right, or just has actually seen far better days, err ~ above the low side that the same price range. Or if that in an excellent condition or like-new, climate you deserve to price in the peak of your range.

Don’t fixate top top what you paid because that the item. Sure, the Blu-ray player was a high-end device when you got it together a graduation current years ago, but because then you’ve spilled her drink on the twice, and nowadays many people stream their movies. No one is walking to pay you $300 for it today.

Lastly, decide whether you desire to operation your ad at a for sure price or together an “or finest offer” (OBO) price. A for sure price sometimes turns off would-be buyers willing to salary less, when OBO ads attract much more offers — and much more aggressive price negotiation.

With a for sure price, aim to gain the price exactly right. Through an OBO price, note it increase 10% come 30% to leave room because that haggling.

Headlines that entice Eyeballs

The first rule of creating headlines because that Craigslist: it is in specific.

Don’t compose “Couch because that sale.” write “IKEA Kivik 3-seat sofa couch.”

List the brand and model number if known. That not only states clearly what you’re selling, yet engenders to trust (more on that shortly).

Use keywords buyers could search for, so your advertisement pops increase in search results. Notice how the example over used both the indigenous “couch” and also “sofa?”

Keep the title under 30 characters if possible, for this reason mobile gadgets display the complete title.

Never phrase headlines as questions like “Want a great couch?” that feels scammy to buyers. Likewise, avoid symbols such as #,
, or $. Do not list the price in the headline — it’s clearly visible elsewhere.

The advertisement Itself

There’s both an art and also science come writing efficient Craigslist ads. Store the complying with rules in mind together you create your ad descriptions.

Disclose the appropriate Amount the Detail

Ever looked at a Craigslist advertisement that only had one or 2 sentences in the description, i beg your pardon left girlfriend with much more questions than answers?

Or, in ~ the other end of the spectrum, a 5,000-word essay the a summary that do your mind switch off?

The ideal amount of information depends ~ above what you selling—in particular, its complexity, and to some level its price.

Complex, high-quality items prefer vehicles, genuine estate, and some higher-end electronics need longer, much more detailed descriptions. That IKEA Kivik couch above does not.

Whenever possible, link to the manufacturer specs for the product. The prospective buyer deserve to then read as much or as little detail together they like, there is no your advertisement overwhelming them.

Include dimensions when selling furniture. Buyers need that information.

Always encompass the item’s color, age, and also condition.

Make your payment policy exceptionally clear, ideally cash only. Much more on this later.

Finally, remember to use keywords that different buyers can use. If you’re marketing a couch that folds the end to a bed, usage terms prefer “pull-out couch,” “sleeper sofa,” “fold-out sofa,” and so soon throughout the description.

Disclose Damage and also Imperfections Fully

Buyers ~ above Craigslist space rightfully wary of the items they to buy secondhand native strangers they’ll never see again. One method you can construct trust soon is disclosing all imperfections with your item up front in the description.

Be sure to take close-up image of the imperfections too — an ext on image shortly. Inscription these photos to recommendation the imperfection.

Not only does this develop trust and encourage buyers to contact you, yet it likewise reduces the threat of wasted time as soon as buyers show up to inspect and also buy your item.

Include her Name in the Listing

Again, consisting of your name in the Craigslist ad helps create trust.

If friend don’t feel comfortable stating your complete name, at least encompass your an initial name. No one desires to to buy anything from an cotton stranger. By stating your name, you make yourself the much an ext human, accessible, and also trustworthy.

Include her Phone Number

In her listings, state her cell phone number next to your name, yet write the end the critical digit as a word: “123-456-789zero.” That prevents scraping software from finding it and including you come a telemarketer list—in theory, anyway.

If friend prefer, request that buyers text you quite than contact you: “Text me whenever with questions at 123-456-789zero — Brian.”

Why incorporate your number? For 2 reasons. First, it again helps create trust. Second, human being who message you are more likely to view your response, and also quickly, through text blog post rather 보다 email. Which way they’re more likely to monitor up and also schedule a time to come look at your item.

If you don’t desire to use your real cellphone number, produce an cotton phone number ~ above Google Voice and also have it forward phone calls and also text message to your actual number.

Set a Deadline

If girlfriend missed Marketing 101 in college, in summary, urgency and also scarcity drive action.

Set a deadline in her ads to make it clean your market isn’t waiting around forever: “Needs come be picked up by Saturday.” simply make certain you collection the date at least three days indigenous now, preferably four to 6 days. Set the date too close, and buyers think they have the top hand in negotiation and also that you have to sell much more than they must buy. Or the deadline may pass without enough opportunity because that you come sell.

Be ready with a setup B if her item doesn’t market by the deadline. For example, you might hold a garage sale to sell any type of of her items that didn’t offer on Craigslist, or you could donate her items to charity and also take the tax deduction.

Include every Accessories

If you own any kind of accessories the go with your item, make certain you list them especially in your ad description. Include any kind of specifications for each as appropriate.

For example, if you’re marketing a camera, list any type of spare batteries, battery chargers, additional lenses, kit cases, or other accessories in the listing.

Don’t forget to incorporate photos of each individually and also all together as a set.

Consider Batching or selling in Lots

First, one explanation that terminology. To batch item is to market several distinct yet related item separately, yet to cross-promote them. Offering in lots means to offer several items together under a single price.

If she selling connected items, such together baby supplies or toys for a specific age range, think about selling either by batch or lots. Include descriptions and specs because that each item marketed in your lot.

If you’re marketing separate item in a batch, attach to every of the other ads in each ad. Also, usage the “More ads by this user” switch in Craigslist.

Finally, as soon as buyers show up come buy a solitary item, mention any type of other somewhat associated items you’re likewise selling. “I don’t recognize if you observed the associated ad, but I’m likewise selling these end tables and lamps in addition to the couch if you’re interested. They all enhance well.”

You’d be surprised how often civilization take you up on these cross-sells if you simply ask.

Compelling Photos

Entire publications have been composed on marketing photography. You don’t have to shoot choose Ansel Adams to market your supplied furniture ~ above Craigslist of course, but follow these advice to create the most interest native buyers.

First and foremost, clean her item come its best possible condition. Girlfriend don’t need to break out the cable brush and also scrape every note of rust off her bike, but clean the mud and cobwebs off, and also throw a small oil on the chain if you have actually it handy.

Next, set the item against a elevator that makes it was standing out, rather than mix in. If you’re offering a white bike, don’t was standing it alongside a white wall.

Photograph your items in strong light. That could mean the end in sunshine if appropriate (such as bikes), or indoors v as much light on castle as feasible (such as indoor furniture). Usage bright white irradiate whenever possible, fairly than yellowish warm light.

If your item is particularly large or small, take it a photo of it next to a universally well-known object, favor a coin or a baseball, for this reason potential buyers can gain a feeling for the scale. Specifically for electronics and tech gadgets, offer your audience a great idea of her item’s size.

In the instance of electronics, photo them in the “on” state in enhancement to powered off. Show off the reality that her items work!

As listed above, encompass shots the extras and also accessories included with the sale.

For your main photographs, aim for the article to fill the frame of the shot. Additionally take close-up image of any type of unique features or defects.

Lastly, inscription all photos accurately so prospective buyers recognize what lock looking at and also why that matters.

Safety and also Security

Whenever you doing organization with a stranger from the Internet, you have to take safety and also security into consideration.

Plan her Pickups

If girlfriend can satisfy the the person who lives at a convenient public place, every the better. With large objects such as furniture, the doesn’t typically work, and the the person who lives must involved your home.

Schedule every pickups throughout the day, ideally as soon as someone else can join you.

Before prospective buyers arrive at your home, put away noþeles small, valuable, and easily stolen. For example, if you’re marketing bedroom furniture, nothing leave your jewelry box sitting open where sticky fingers have the right to reach in. It sound like common sense, and also it is. And also yet.


Word to the wise: just accept cash.

Not financial institution checks, or cashier checks, or money orders. Yes, they’re every “like cash” — if they’re real. Good forgeries look at real, and you’re most likely not an skilled at spotting them.

If friend must, friend can take into consideration accepting electronic payments like PayPal and Venmo. But they can sometimes be reversed ~ the truth by determined payers.

Use a an additional Email Address, and Anonymize It

Many of united state nowadays have at least one secondary, cotton email attend to we use for any type of transaction us think can spam or cheat us. Usage this as your contact email resolve on Craigslist, and use your anonymize attribute so it doesn’t acquire publicly displayed.

Of course, that method you have to actually inspect this address, and also frequently, when you’re marketing on Craigslist. Temporarily collection up auto-forwarding come your main email attend to for the duration of your selling.

As a last note here, watch the end for bland replies that look choose they can be mass responses sent to hundreds of sellers. These include responses prefer “is the still available?” rather than the an ext specific “Is the futon still available?” Or responses that clearly regurgitate the heading that your advertisement in full, with no other differentiating features. These responses might come indigenous phishers or various other Craigslist scammers.

Ad Management

You’ve posted her ad!

Now what?

Refresh Your advertisement Regularly

You don’t have to repost your advertisement repeatedly, creating a series of copy ads. Craigslist permits you to refresh cost-free ads every 48 hours. For paid ads, you have to pay an additional fee to move your ad back come the top.

So, every couple of days log right into Craigslist to refresh your ad to store it towards the height of the listings.

Remove Your short article After Selling

Do not take under your ad until you have actually cash in hand and also the item is the end of her house. No exceptions.

Prospective buyers may beg and also plead and ask you to host items for them. Girlfriend aren’t operation a library here. The an initial person that actually mirrors up v cash and also hauls away her item is the buyer. Whatever is just talk.

I’ve had plenty of “highly interested” buyers flake the end on me over the years. Girlfriend don’t have to be a jerk about it; just define that your plan is first-come, first-served — as measured through physically arriving to pay and pick increase the item.

Final Word

As valuable as Craigslist’s classifieds marketplace is, not whatever sells quickly or because that a strong price.

If girlfriend don’t favor the uses you get, or nothing get any kind of offers in ~ all, take into consideration the different of donating your furniture or other items to charity. You acquire the warm fuzzies from not only offering your belongings a second life, but also helping those less fortunate than yourself.

See more: Does Bob Evans Give Military Discounts, Bob Evans Veterans Day Military Discount 2020

Plus, if friend itemize your deductions, you deserve to take a taxes write-off. Simply be cautious not to obtain too greedy and also trigger an audit through an outlandish donation value.