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

Aug 18th, 2012

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.


    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

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