Guest Post! Tips for how (and how NOT) to sell your stuff on Craigslist…

Hey hey HEYYYY! Guess who! Beth here from Sawdust and Embryos again! Just stopping by for my monthly contribution to Brooke’s fabulous blog. I love guest-posting ‘round these parts!

OK… so, being a seasoned craigslist buyer/seller, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few tips on how to list your item for sale in a way that will allow you to get the maximum dolla-dalla bill.

Whether you’re selling an old couch, a fancy dresser that you fixed up, or your kids’ Transformers… these tips will come in very handy!

craigslist post
  1. Be thorough in your description of the item. It’ll save you having to answer questions over and over. Describe why you’re selling it, what the dimensions are, what condition the item is in (being honest about damage, sturdiness, missing pieces), and include the price in your listing. Nobody wants to have to contact you just to find out how much you’re asking.
  2. Be specific about pointing out some selling points on your item. And say things like ‘great conversation piece!’ or ‘bring a POP of color to your home!’
  3. Be INTELLIGENT! Speak in complete sentences, use correct spelling and grammar. Don’t type like you’re texting. And read over what you’ve written before you publish.
  4. Don’t act desperate! Unless you need to get rid of the item asap, DON’T say ‘OBO’ or ‘need gone immediately!’ This implies that you’re desperate to get rid of it, and will dramatically reduce your price to do so.
  5. Most importantly, for the loveTAKE GOOD PICTURES OF THE ITEM! Pictures are what will sell your piece! I can’t stress this enough! We’ve all seen craigslist ads where you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at in the picture. Or it looks so undesirable that you overlook it, when in fact it might be a great piece for a killer price.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to remember some basic guidelines… Let’s break it down:

Please, consider what’s in the background of your photo. A big mess or lots of busyness is really distracting and doesn’t accurately represent your item. You want what you’re selling to be the star of the photo!


Make sure there’s nothing inappropriate in the photo. (btw, Kotex is my tampon of choice. All opinions are 100% my own. Kotex did not pay or perk me for this advertisement).


CLEAN IT OFF. You’ve seen someone trying to sell a dresser with the drawers open and clothing overflowing out of it. Potential buyers need to be able to picture the object in their home. Remove your garbage.



Make sure the lighting is good and your photo isn’t fuzzy. Otherwise, no matter how classy… it’ll just look ghetto. Trust me. The best way to do this is to use natural light and no flash.


Please, I beg you, don’t have a person in your photo. It’s tacky. Even if you have a smokin’ hot model like I do here:


    Instead, take clear crisp photos of your item.
    P1231777

    P1231745



    Have at least one photo that shows the entire item.

    But also have a close-up or two, highlighting areas that may be of interest to the buyer.



    Here’s our craigslist posting for Nick’s Rockin’ End Table.



    It’s amazing how taking the time to make your item look appealing can make such a difference! Sometimes I see a post on craigslist, and I think to myself  ‘this person could list their item for 3x the price if they bothered to post nice photos and provide a detailed description’. Take the extra time to compose a well-thought-out post with stellar pictures!

    Most importantly folks, be safe when meeting up with a buyer/seller that you don’t know personally. Don’t give them your address. Meet them in a well-lit public place, take a friend, and have your cross-bow at arm’s reach. There ARE some real freaks out there.

    We’ve also done in-depth posts showing WHAT to look for when your in the market for furniture to fix up, and WHERE to look for the best finds! Check it out!  And while you’re at it, we welcome you to snoop around our blog for a bit! We’ve got all kinds of juicy before and afters!

    ~ Beth @ SawdustAnd Embryos

    Comments

    1. 1

      And one more suggestion, spelling, correct spelling of an item or description.

    2. 2

      I'm a HUGE CL shopper and lister. My biggest pet peeve is "text me for pictures". ARGH! There's nothing worse than clicking on an ad only to find out there are no pictures and that the seller is asking you to take one more step to actually see a photo of said item.

      I agree… great pictures are the key to a great sale. You can never have enough photos… (and this is true for eBay as well.)

    3. 3

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. 4

      @Tombstone… GOOD POINT sista! I added it to the list :)

    5. 5

      Very good advice and very funny pics – haha!

    6. 6

      Yeah u're right. We wouldn't buy our beautiful coffee table if I didn't insist on my hubby to go see it. The lister took a very bad picture of it but am happy to have it for a veeeery interesting price.

    7. 7

      I love shopping on CL. The one thing that irritates me the most is when people don't post a picture of the actual item they have. Instead they Google the item and post that picture. I've been in the situation where I went to pick something up and the actual item was filthy. Waste of my time!
      Great post though…everyone should read this!

    8. 8

      One thing I've found really helpful is saying that I'll remove the CL post as soon as the item is no longer available. That way I don't get a ton of emails from people just asking if I still have the item.

    9. 9

      Thanks for a really humorous post. Enjoyed it alot, and learned some stuff, too.

      I've sold some things on Craigslist and was surprised that in all cases, the buyers, unlike garage sale customers, did not haggle over prices. Don't know if this is always the case, or I just priced things right. Or too low!

    10. 10

      Haha, this is wonderful! You said everything I've wanted to say to the culprits of blurry, dark photos accompanied by sentence fragment descriptions!

      Your "don't" photos are hilarious too, by the way. :)
      Loving it!

    11. 11

      Here in Canada we have Kijiji, which is like craigs list but better since there are photos right on the listing page. I am a frequent shopper there and my absolute #1 pet peeve is people not listing dimension. Generally when I am looking for something I am looking for something to go in a specific place and have dimensions it must fit within. I would say upwards of 90% of posters put absolutely no dimensions. I have to message each of them to find out if it fits. VERY annoying!!!

      Other Pet Peeve I have is people who dont respond to your inquiries. For the Love of Pete If you are going to list something for sale check your email DAILY and RESPOND to people. I have had several times I have messaged someone and they never replied, or taken a week or so to do so. Sorry by then I have likely moved on!

      ARRRGGG now of to the kijiji to browse and become frustrated!

    12. 12

      A few more suggestions. Use a photo hosting site like photobucket. You can include as many pictures as you want by inserting the code for your photos, instead of the 4 CL allows.

      Also, you can add HTML code to make your text larger and change the colors. It makes your ad more interesting than the basic black and white text.

      Don't respond to the people who email with a simple 'is this item still available?'. Usually it's just a ploy to phish for your email addy. If they are really interested they'll say so. I've listed enough on CL to know that this is a common response from phishers and when I have responded back, I never hear from them again.

    13. 13

      Spelling: MANNER, not "manor"
      ARM'S REACH, not arms reach
      "There's some real freaks out there. " should be "There ARE some…"

      Thanks.

    14. 14

      touche

    15. 15
      Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says:

      Bethany,
      I just went to fix those and you were already on top of things! Ha ha. ?-ya lady!

    16. 16

      Love it! There is a guy on the Houston site who posts pictures with him in them and they are CREEPY! I would never buy from him, despite how bad I might want his wares!

    17. 17
      Kati @ Obscured Flair- says:

      this was so good, and your "no-no" pics had me laughin!! thanks!

    18. 18

      Love the visuals! They should have this as a tutorial on craigslist!

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