10 Tips To Sell On Craigslist Like A Pro

I buy and sell on Craigslist quite often. My first to go shopping store is craigslist when I need something for my house, kids or myself. I have been using craigslist for last 10 years for very frequently. Over the year I have learned few tips and tricks to share with you all. This post is how to sell on Craigslist but later I will do a post about how to buy on craigslist. Here we go!

1-  Set up your Craigslist account

The first thing you need to do is set up your account on craigslist. Setting up an account is very beneficial both for selling and buying. By setting up an account you can save your listings once you create your ad and relist items as many as times you want without having to create an ad again.

2- Delete your post before you relist it

Yes, I said, delete your post before you relist it. I learned that from my personal experience. If you would like to repost/relist your post, delete it first and then repost it. By doing this, it will not show the old date and time of listing on your new post instead it will show the new time and date of the post you relisted. New buyers won’t know if your item is sitting there for a long time or you just posted it. When item sits there longer that’s where the negotiation game starts.

3- Use your best and current picture

Since on craigslist, you are going to sell online and the only source for the buyer is to look at your picture and see how the product looks. Make sure your picture is very clear, clean and current. Don’t use very old pictures.  If it’s a piece of furniture such as a d, make sure it looks clean and not cluttered. Grab the picture before you unassemble it. Nice pictures attract buyers.

Avoid taking pictures in front of the garage or with a messy background. I always make sure my pictures are good and I sell my stuff within a day or two.

I purchased this bed from Craigslist for my mother. Then right before we moved out of Wisconsin, I sold it. Didn’t take me long to sell it.

4- Use reference Link to the Item/detail

If your item is pricey and you are selling on a very reasonable price. Make sure you find a link for your item or a similar one to include in the ad. By doing this,  people can see how much your item is really worth. It helps a lot. I have purchased a very cute High wings pair of chairs with ottoman. but decided not to go with them. I sold them in the same week, by linking their actual link from JC Penny. They were gone within a few minutes. I actually doubled the price and made a profit on them. I used that money to buy something else from craigslist again.

The best thing about the link is. Its give you a pretty good detail about the item with measurements, color etc. also put in the text if you are smoke-free or pet free or both. People absolutely like items from smoke-free homes, especially baby/kids items.

Also, always mention that they have to haul the item if it’s heavy or bulky unless you are willing to drive and drop the item to them.  

Put at least 6 to 8 keywords relevant to your ad. E.g. if your posting about selling a bed, put queen/ full-size bed, antique bed, french bed, headboard, footboard. etc.

5- Be honest

 mention if anything wrong with your item. In fact, the buyer would highly appreciate the honesty and item would go pretty fast. It also gives you a piece of mind as opposed to be guilty.

bar stool
These stools I bought from Craigslist for 140. By the time we were moving, I sold them for $500.
My picture shows the paint is coming off of the stool.

Once I purchased a dining set from the guy of course on craigslist as I buy most of my furniture on Craigslist. The seller didn’t mention anything about glued down chairs. It was an expensive purchase for me. Well, that dining set was pretty fancy and was too big for my informal dining area. I had my husband fixed the chairs and I found the link to the similar table online which was over $3000 and all I paid $300. I made a pretty good ad, mentioned about two broken but fixed chairs and sold it for $400. My honesty was appreciated by the buyer and in the reward, I made a profit as well.

This is the dining table. See, it looks pretty big for my space. My old house lacked square footage.

6- Post under the correct category

If you are selling personal items always post under “for sale by owners” and then pick the correct and most relevant category. Such as if you would list your furniture under the “household” items. It’s gonna sit there longer because a buyer will most likely search under furniture’s category as opposed to the household. 

7-  Always go for Cash

Most scammers would email you something like if you can ship them or they will pay you the check or money order etc. Well, my thumb of rule always go with cash but I recently discovered that you can accept PayPal as well. Add additional shipping charges and mailing insurance if the item is small. The best practice is, just sell to your local or surrounding community because craigslist is not as safe as eBay or Amazon would be for shipping items.

When I listed this old stereo cabinet, I received an email, asking if I could accept check and ship it to Canada. I knew right away, it was a scammer.

Multiple item Listings

If you are selling more than one items. Check the button says; “More ads by This user”. It helps a lot and frequent buyers know to click that section by clicking on the particular button.

9- Pick up a safe location for a trade

 If the item is not that big then set up a pickup location/point. Which is great but if you are selling heavy furniture then you have to go with your gut. Either you want to have a buyer come to your house/ garage or you want to meet up somewhere else. It’s a very personal preference. Not everyone is bad on craigslist. I have several times sold furniture to people and they picked up from my home and it was fine. Again it’s your gut and whatever feels safe to you.

In Madison Wisconsin mostly people go to Police station’s parking lot. I have had purchased beautiful two chairs and the seller and I had met at the one of the police station’s parking lot. It was good for me anyways because I literally have to drive two minutes from home.

10- Delete your posting

Once you sold your item, delete your posting. Don’t let it sit there otherwise, people just gonna keep email you inquiring about the item. Also, it’s a right thing to do. Sometimes I emailed people for something they have posted three weeks ago and I would get a response with, “sorry it’s sold”. OH well, then why did you have it up? 

All these tips and opinion is 100% my own and based upon my personal experience.

If you think, I missed something Please let me know or if you have any tip/trick, please share with us.


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