Many people ask me, “How do you sell so much and make so much from Craigslist?” I’m here to tell you today for free exactly how I do it. I have sold around 100 items on Craigslist and made lots of extra cash out of it. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme or any trickery. Just tips.To get started there are a few things you should know…
- Craigslist is a completely free site. Craigslist itself just gives you a means to post your items and gives you a place where buyers will come looking. They are not like eBay who take a commission and make money off of every sale.
- You need to have items to sell to make money off of Craigslist. I made lots of money but I also had lots of junk lying around my house. Anything I didn’t need or want around my house went to Craigslist and still does.
- The myth that Craigslist isn’t safe is a myth. For 99% of transactions there won’t be a problem as long as you use common sense and some of the good practices I will show you in this post.
You should probably make a Craigslist account because it helps keep track of all the different postings you have, giving you information such as expiration date and category, etc… Another important thing that I do is to create a separate email address specifically for Craigslist. It prevents others from getting you personal email is good. If you don’t know how to post Craigslist items, someone has created a video that explains the process. Here is a link: How to Post to Craigslist. Just ignore the last part about a Craigslist Calculator. There is no such thing.
What to Put in Your Ad
Let’s assume you have an item that you want to sell, for example a printer. I actually have a printer that I am going to sell so I will go through this process with you. The first step is to post your ad. Posting your ad is the most important part of getting your item to sell. The title and what you put in the description, along with your choice of pictures, makes all the difference. My printer is a Epson printer, so my title is going to by Unopened Epson Stylus NX420 Inkjet Printer. If you have a bundle of items, post as many in the title as possible. For example you want to post “Original Xbox with 10 games and 2 controllers” vs “xbox”. The title is what sells your item, because that’s what potential buyers will see at the main Craigslist browse or search page. DO NOT post the whole title in CAPS, or add !@#$ to make it more visible on the site.
It will probably get you flagged or removed, which means your item won’t sell. It’s always a good idea to condition of the item clear in the title, such as Unopened or Like New, etc. Don’t say things like MUST GO ASAP in your title. It’s distracting and annoying and probably will help get your ad removed. Putting “Or Best Offer” just tells the buyer you would go lower than the asking price, and that’s never smart.
Deciding the price can be hard. The first thing I do when trying to sell an item is look at other similar items on Craigslist and check out the prices of them. You can even send the sellers e-mails asking if the item has sold and how much interest they are getting. If you aren’t desperate to get the item sold and don’t mind waiting, then price your item a bit higher, and reduce it later. Remember, you can always reduce the price in the negotiations but not increase it. A lot of people will lowball you or say things like “I only have 80 so would you take that?” for a 100 dollar item. If you have many offers just reply and say sorry, you want 100. Patience is the key with getting the right price. If you price it low enough it will go, don’t worry.
The description. It’s where you will tell the buyer exactly what the product is, tech specs, information about the condition and other stuff. I personally give a detailed description of the condition of the item, clear picture of all items involved in the sale, and a line at the bottom. That line at the bottom is “Cash Only”. When people search your item your ad should show up so use keywords appropriately. If you are selling a sofa then use the word “couch” and “loveseat” as well to make sure all potential buyers see your posting. Also use the plural form, because some will search “sofas” or “couches” so you should be prepared for those searches. Being honest about the condition is important. Early in my Craigslist days I covered up the condition of an item and a I met a buyer who just said they weren’t interested because of the condition. I had many other potential buyers that I rejected and had to call them up again, etc. You will get a buyer, don’t worry. Don’t post your item in multiple categories. Most items sell on Craigslist by search, so it doesn’t matter that your item isn’t in every category. The actual Craigslist rules states that you should post one item in one category every 48 hours, but you can post more as long as they are different items. If you put pictures (highly recommended) make sure you take a picture of EVERYTHING involved in the sale. The picture should be clear and taken on a plain background and not include any items not included in the deal.
Spam and Scammers
In my Craigslist experience I have never been scammed or seen a scammer, but I have gotten plenty of spam. If people ask you to ship out of the country or pay by anything other than cash, it is spam and you shouldn’t touch it. Remember this: if the offer seems too good to be true, then it IS too good to be true. No real buyer on Craigslist will offer more money than you are asking. The best way to prevent spam is surprisingly to give your phone number. Some won’t feel comfortable with it, but only serious buyers are going to call you and the spammers won’t come near. Many buyers don’t want to wait for an email response or don’t like email and want to talk so they can hear what the seller has to say. If you sell items that are a lot of money (500+) then you are inviting more opportunities for both scammers and spammers. I would recommend selling those on other sites such as eBay. If possible, meet at a public place such as Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. My preferred meeting place is a Panera Bread near my house. If you are selling an item that can’t be taken to a public place, such as a sofa, have someone with you when they come and see it, as it will make you feel more secure.
Good Luck with your Craigslist ads!