Author Topic: Craiglist selling tips  (Read 4683 times)

Trudie

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Craiglist selling tips
« on: June 27, 2014, 03:19:58 PM »
Hi,
I live in a rural area and am interested in selling good quality used stuff I don't need anymore on Craigslist.  I have never bought or sold on Craigslist but am interested in pointers.

Specific questions:
1 - Are smaller items sometimes shipped?
2 - How can you advertise bigger items successfully without having lots of people traipsing through your home?
3 - What types of things have you sold on Craigslist?
4 - Pointers for listing?

Thanks.

Cassie

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 03:22:28 PM »
I have sold everything from furniture to dog beds. I take the items outside on my patio & let people in thru the back gate because I do not want them in my house. I do not ship-I only sell locally-too much of a pain.  Also this is a easy way to get things hauled off if you just want to be rid of it offer it for free. People will take stuff that I consider junk.

Grant Q

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 03:32:44 PM »
I have sold lots of things on CL and am getting ready to sell a pickup truck next month.  It's mainly for local, cash-only transactions...use Ebay if you have small items you want to ship.  Agree with not letting people into your house, I usually offer to meet at a public space like the grocery store parking lot and do the transaction there.  Or if the item is too big, I take it to the garage. 

Oh, and I set up a Yahoo email address specifically for CL so that I wouldn't get tons of mail in my regular email.

gimp

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 03:51:02 PM »
Never ship. Shipping means scams. (Ok, if someone literally mails you an envelope with cash, up front, then ship. Otherwise, no.) Cash is king.

eil

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 04:10:14 PM »
Quote
Ok, if someone literally mails you an envelope with cash, up front, then ship. Otherwise, no.

Not a good idea, there are scammers that use craigslist as a money-laundering service.

Essentially all of the advice mentioned is pretty good. I've had good luck selling things on CL. Typically for portable things, I ask to meet in a coffee shop or public place. Larger things, I bring into my garage and try to hide anything that might look valuable as much as is practical. (Put away the tools, hide the tablesaw behind something, etc.)

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 05:38:54 PM »
I agree that Craigslist is designed to be an in-person, cash-only transaction. I've bought and sold tons of stuff via Craigslist, but always in person and with cash. I do let people come into our house to buy, mostly because we're in the middle of the city and it's not really an option to drag stuff outside. But, I only schedule people to come when either my husband or a friend is home with me--not wise to do alone, in my opinion.

However, you'll hopefully only have one person coming for larger items--hopefully they'll buy it on sight! I always price a little high with the expectation that I'll haggle with the buyer once they arrive. I do the same thing when I'm a buyer and it all seems to work out.

In terms of pointers for your listing, I recommend the following:
-First and foremost, you must include a photo!
-Keep your posting CONCISE and correctly spelled
-Include dimensions (especially with furniture)
-Include your location (city or zip code) so folks know the distance they'll need to travel

Best of luck!

Zamboni

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 06:02:11 PM »
Spend a couple of days browsing the category yourself to see what similar items are being listed at.  If you have something truly unique or valuable, then say so and have nice photos to back that up.  Bear in mind that the item is used; unless it is collectable, even if it is "like new" and the latest model it is still only going to fetch about a third of what it would sell for if it was actually new in an unopened box.

I agree that photos are key.  Try to have one or two photos that show the item well.  If there is major damage (like a deep gouge in the wood or a rip in the upholstery), be sure to note it and price the item appropriately.

Avoid the word "vintage" unless it really is, and even then you probably need to come up with another word.  "Vintage" seems to be Craigslist code for really banged up old worthless junk.  I don't even open those listings anymore.

Do NOT agree to sell it to one person, but then sell it to another person who just happens to show up first.  That is poor form and quite inconvenient if someone happens to drive all the way out to your place thinking you are holding it for them only to find that the item is already gone.  Be sure to remove the listing the moment the item is gone (or even sooner if you have many inquiries and are sure you have ample buyers already.)

Note that it is cash and carry.  Say "Serious inquiries only."  I recommend against providing your phone number.  I only did that once and immediately regretted it.  List on a day when you can be home for the buyer to get the item fairly soon (same day.)

Meeting someone somewhere can be a pain.  I've had it work out as a buyer, but other times I've waited around when the other party was really late.  It's easier to have them come to your location if you are the seller.  That way if they don't show within a reasonable time frame you can just go down your list to the next person who responded. 

Bringing the item outside is a good idea, and many sellers do this.  Be prepared for people to try and haggle.  I second the advice that you be willing to haggle down a bit IN PERSON.  Don't haggle online.  For example, ignore the emails from the Craigslist crazies who offer to take it off your hands for nothing, or half price.  Don't get offended if someone offers you less than you are asking once they see the item.  Accept their offer, counter offer, or simply say you won't part with it for less than asking price if that is the case.  Don't get offended if someone comes out and looks at it and then decides not to buy.  Just thank them for coming out and then relist and go back to the drawing board.

Good luck!

gimp

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 07:36:52 PM »
I've always haggled online - once I show up, or the buyer shows up, the price is the price. I'll turn a buyer down for a cent less than agreed upon, if the agreement was already made. On the other hand, this might be different from "Come take a look, if you like it we'll talk".

Zamboni

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 08:20:19 PM »
^I respect this viewpoint.  However, I have noticed that items (especially large items like furniture) are sometimes not in as good of shape as it appears in the photos.  Stains, scratches, fading, scuffs, and wear just don't show up in a wide angle photo of a large object. 

Therefore, I never make an offer online when buying.  I always just say "I have cash and a van to transport; please let me know what time is convenient for you.  Please reply via email when you get a chance and here is my cell phone number if calling me is easier for you."  I use my work email when I respond as a buyer because it's obviously a work email which makes me look like a more serious buyer, but I use my gmail account when I sell.

I'm always willing to haggle in person when I sell (but won't communicate with those trying to haggle via email unless I'm getting no other takers.)  Many buyers don't make a lower offer anyway. 

About half of the sellers seem willing to haggle once I show up to buy.  I think it depends mostly upon how much response the seller has gotten from others.  Sometimes it turns out I don't want the item after looking at it, and then I have no trouble walking away.  I don't bother to make the trip to look at something unless I am willing to pay asking price for the item if it is in the condition I think it's in based upon the photo and description, though, so I've only walked away from a few things.  I try to stay in my local area when buying (in fact I often search my local area as a key word) to minimize unnecessary driving unless it is something really specific and harder to find. 

gimp

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 08:22:06 PM »
Totally makes sense. Furniture is hairy (sometimes literally). Photos rarely do it justice. Much easier to figure out a price for something that either works or it doesn't.

frugally

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 10:20:34 PM »
Here are some tips my wife and I use to sell our stuff on Craigslist - we do 2-3 transactions per week:

http://www.welcome-to-the-woods.com/save/a-guide-to-selling-on-craigslist

mpg350

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 06:27:07 AM »
I have sold many things on craigslist the keys are

- good photos are a must
-if you have a specific brand name, at the bottom of the add put other brand names so that if somebody is searching for another
brand your add will still show up .   For example I sold a Yamaha ATV on craigslist….on the bottom I added Kawasaki, Polaris and etc….. to make sure I get the attention of more buyers.
-Don't hold an item for somebody….tell them it is first with the cash buys the item. I have been burned many times
from people saying they will come and then they never show up.   Only way I will hold an item is if they tell me they are coming from a long distance and I talked to them on the phone about this also. 
-I figure out a price looking at similar items on craigslist either I will lower price a little and put price is firm or obo and I might take 10% off the price only if they ask. 
-never ship, that is for ebay not craigslist.
-put items in the garage or back porch, I don't let strangers in the house
-I have noticed that specific items that are not in high demand don't sell well on craigslist and better suited for ebay.
For example I have a hood from a 96 Sea Doo XP jet ski…I can't sell this on craigslist but I on ebay I might have better luck.
- I have sold an ATV, Canoe, Jet ski, exercise equipment, tickets, fishing spear, couch, bar stole set to name a few things.
I have also bought some things for a great deal on craigslist….my best deal was a Yamaha ATV I bought for $1,500 and sold later that year for $2,500. 




Greg

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 10:07:03 AM »
-if you have a specific brand name, at the bottom of the add put other brand names so that if somebody is searching for another
brand your add will still show up .   For example I sold a Yamaha ATV on craigslist….on the bottom I added Kawasaki, Polaris and etc….. to make sure I get the attention of more buyers.

These are called key words and will get your ad "flagged" and eventually removed because flagwords are against craglist's TOS.  People will even flag ads for things that say "similar to an X" or "will trade for an X" because your ad will show up in their search for a Y, and it's irritating.  This is especially true for cars and car parts (ask me how I know).

Cassie

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 02:27:26 PM »
I always ask a little more then what I want so I feel fine about coming down. Most people want you to come down no matter how cheap it is.  I always put my phone # in the ad & do not take the listing down until I have actually sold it because sometimes buyers do not show up. I also look to see what others are asking & try to be lower if I can.

mpg350

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 12:01:44 AM »
-if you have a specific brand name, at the bottom of the add put other brand names so that if somebody is searching for another
brand your add will still show up .   For example I sold a Yamaha ATV on craigslist….on the bottom I added Kawasaki, Polaris and etc….. to make sure I get the attention of more buyers.

These are called key words and will get your ad "flagged" and eventually removed because flagwords are against craglist's TOS.  People will even flag ads for things that say "similar to an X" or "will trade for an X" because your ad will show up in their search for a Y, and it's irritating.  This is especially true for cars and car parts (ask me how I know).

Ha I didn't know that.  I haven't done it in awhile (over a year) but good to know :)

vegasdude

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Re: Craiglist selling tips
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2014, 02:52:14 AM »
I've sold a lot of stuff on CL. Mostly Apple laptops and computers, a motorcycle, 2 kayaks, etc. I always meet people in public places or at my place of work (because it was a the sort of place a criminal would not want to come to.) Best advice is if your spidey sense is tingling, don't go through with it. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it definitely is.

Don't respond to emails asking if your item is still for sale if: 1. They don't mention what the item is. 2. The only mention is by the exact listing title. They're trolling for your email or phone number.