Author Topic: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?  (Read 14211 times)

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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A few years ago, whenever I wanted to get rid of something I'd post it to Craigslist along with a picture and within a couple days it would be sold. But over the past year I haven't been able to sell anything this way. I get a lot of spam, but no interest in anything I'm selling, regardless of the type of item or the quality. Is it just me? Has anyone found a good alternative? How do you get sell items that are worth something (a set of mugs, a gently used suitcase, etc.) if CL is no longer an option? Thanks!

gimp

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 12:07:15 PM »
I sell stuff on craigslist.

It's pretty easy to buy; rarely have anyone flake.

Selling is a pain in the ass though, especially for expensive stuff, because people say they'll meet and buy and then they never do. But such is life.

For me the key has been that it's never stuff I absolutely need to sell asap, and it doesn't take up a huge amount of space. That lets me be patient.

CommonCents

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 12:16:52 PM »
Yep.  In recent years I've sold:
Casual wedding dress (for more than I paid)
Couch
Dresser
Desks (2)
Futon mattress

In less recent years:
2 futon frames+mattresses
Grocery cart
Lamps (2)

I post clear descriptions with pictures and I expect about 1/2 of the people that reach out to me will decline to buy.  I only sell items in reasonable condition.  I've never had anyone show up and not want an item.  I have had people show with incorrect change and I just insist politely on the agreed on sum - and suggest a nearby ATM if needed.  (I once made $5 when they brought $40 for a $35 item, because I didn't have change.)  I don't like the sales tactic to negotiate twice, before and also after seeing it by "forgetting" some of the money so I hold firm.

I intend to sell a bookcase soon.

ETA: You mention "Boston-ish".  It may be more difficult if you aren't in the city and are in a farther off suburb.  I've sold those items while living in Brookline and Beacon Hill and less recently in Philly and Somerville.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 12:34:55 PM by CommonCents »

ZiziPB

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 12:19:54 PM »
I've had some luck with various items, some sell quickly, some take a while.  I think the key is pricing it right.

TrMama

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 12:49:13 PM »
I find that different geographical areas use different websites. Is it possible that Craigslist just isn't as popular in your area as it used to be? For example, when we lived in Quebec the Lespac.com site was the site to use to sell things. Here in BC it's the Used<city name>.com sites.

aglassman

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 12:56:27 PM »
I recently unloaded a guitar amp setup, and some winter tires.  Auto and Music related stuff seems to go fairly quick.  I'm not sure about other categories though.  I've also gotten a few scammers, but they are very obvious, and I just flag em.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 07:09:49 PM »
Thanks everyone! It sounds like it might just be my location or something. This is good stuff with good photos, but I don't even get queries. It's so odd, because I used to get a lot of queries. Sure, some didn't work out, but I always managed to eventually sell everything. In the last year or two, it's nothing. I posted a suitcase for a reasonable price and didn't get a single response! Very strange....

mm1970

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 08:04:15 PM »
My local area has started a facebook group for selling items or swapping items.  Because it's so easy to spam craigslist.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 09:21:17 PM »
I posted a suitcase for a reasonable price and didn't get a single response! Very strange....

Maybe nobody wanted a suitcase, or maybe the price wasn't as reasonable as you thought?  Did you check to see what similar ones were selling for?

I haven't tried to sell anything for several years, but have bought a few things - most recently a horse - with no problems.

Stache In Training

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 09:29:52 PM »
I just sold a couch and ottoman on craigslist.  Got two responses the very next day, and neither were spam.  However, I live in a small town.  I bet if you were in NYC (or some big town) that there's probably a lot of spam going on.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 12:38:38 AM »
My local area has started a facebook group for selling items or swapping items.  Because it's so easy to spam craigslist.

Us too.  I'm a member of about 4 of these groups on FB.

Everything in Moderation

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 06:47:22 AM »
I just sold a lot of clothes, although patients is needed. 

I actually think Craigslist is getting more and more popular with the bad economy, so there so many more people trying to sell items that they should not have purchased in the first place.  More people, more listings, means your add is harder to find.  Set up several postings and post them ever day.  Also, consider not setting a price.  Tell them to pick a reasonable prices and then negotiate.  They might pay more than you expected. 

rockstache

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 08:14:37 AM »
I don't think I would buy a suitcase on Craigslist unless it was under $30. Not sure what your price was, but I bought a brand new fancy pants suitcase with the 360 rotating wheels etc... for only $24 after a coupon I found online. Unless yours was a really fancy name, it would have to have been super cheap, or I wouldn't consider it.

CommonCents

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 08:27:19 AM »
I don't think I would buy a suitcase on Craigslist unless it was under $30. Not sure what your price was, but I bought a brand new fancy pants suitcase with the 360 rotating wheels etc... for only $24 after a coupon I found online. Unless yours was a really fancy name, it would have to have been super cheap, or I wouldn't consider it.

Agreed, I wouldn't go to the effort to buy a set of mugs via craigslist.  Too much hassle to set up time, when I could go to a goodwill store and buy from a selection there.  Furniture sells very well on craigslist (and there is an expectation that is where to go for used furniture, which helps), household goods less so.  I don't bother trying to sell any items worth less than $15.  For household goods, try hooking up with a community yard sale.


GuitarStv

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 08:41:44 AM »
My experience selling stuff on Craigslist is that most people are flakes.  I don't meet anyone anywhere other than my house anymore to sell something because of the number of no-shows that have happened.  I'd say about 90% of the questions I get about items I'm selling are garbage questions . . .

As a typical example, I'm selling a weight bench on craigslist right now.  It's a decent bench, in pretty good shape and works fine.  I'm asking 50$, would probably bargain down to 40 or so.  I've had the following so far:

- Asking if I'll accept 5$.  (I said sure, ten 5$ bills are perfectly acceptable.)
- Asking if I can just give the weight bench away for free because he's poor.
- One buyer who showed up with 10$ and asked if that was cool.  (I told him where he could find an ATM, he didn't come back).
- One buyer showed up to look at the weight bench and was outraged that weights and a bar were not included with it.  (The ad is clearly listed for a weight bench, the pictures are just of the bench, and there are no weights visible in any pictures).  He left in a huff.
- One buyer asked if I could bring it to his house for him to look at and decide if he wanted it.  He lives 150km (93 miles) away from me.
- Four buyers have agreed to meet me to look at the bench, and then failed to show up.

I have another guy who's supposedly coming to look this weekend . . . but I'm not holding my breath.

aglassman

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 09:13:30 AM »
Ouch.  I don't think I've ever had a no show.  The worst experience I've had is when trying to buy winter tires.  i setup a time to meet the guy by phone.  I get there (it was about a 20 minute drive), and he tells me that he sold them to someone else.  I told him he's an ass since we setup an arranged time.  He could have at least called me and told me he sold them as he sold them about 8 hours before I was supposed to show up.

MKinVA

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 10:55:12 AM »
We have had a lot of annoying experiences with CL in the last few years (no shows; ridiculous low ball offers; stuff like that). Depending on where you are, I think CL may have outlived its usefullness. I am back to the old fashioned ways, consignment, yard sales, trade, etc.

Dicey

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 11:30:45 AM »
I just had a good experience and a "non" experience.

I listed a dining room set before Thanksgiving and got one response with a lowball offer. I decided to be nice and wrote back with why I thought it was worth it and what my bottom-line price would be. They turned out to be a very nice young couple who were just starting out and watching every penny. We made the deal (at my BL price) and we delivered it for them since they were so cute. Altogether a pleasant experience.

I then listed an entertainment center and have not received a single response. I re-listed at a lower price to no avail. It's a nice piece, so it may just be the time of year.

One huge CL improvement is that you can now show more than four photos, so take good ones. Make sure they are crisp and clear. Include dimensions. Include a good phone number for questions. Price your item realistically. Tell people why it is worth what you are asking. Finally, proof-read your ad. Piss-poor grammar and typos tell me that you might be the kind of person who doesn't pay attention, which could include taking proper care of the item you are trying to sell me.

Miss Scribbles

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 05:15:15 PM »
A friend recently recommend an app that shows items for sale locally.  I am giving it a try today.

It's called Offer Up--it works great on my iPhone and so, the user-interface is extremely intuitive.

Miss Scribbles

Melody

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 05:28:47 AM »
When I used to use Craigslist I ha success by putting multiple descriptors in the heading.
It's a not a couch, it's a "Suede Sofa - Couch - Futon" etc. You should get a lot more hits this way. Works well on ebay as well. Perhaps you could also try ebay - It's much more work, but it gives you a larger marketplace. IMHO item would need to sell for at least $10 plus postage for ebay to be worth the time. For Craigslist my value is $5. Anything lower garage sale or give item away.

hybrid

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 07:18:29 AM »
I used to sell a bunch on eBay and many of the same principles apply.  Presentation means a lot.  Good grammar, pictures, clear descriptions, and clear expectations are essential.  If you have a firm price, say so.  If you include the term OBO, I would expect a bunch of lowball responses.

And finally, if you have done all that and still don't get a response, the market has spoken.  Lower the price to make the sale.

As a buyer I steer clear of poor presentation or something that just doesn't pass the sniff test.

cats

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2013, 07:45:02 PM »
I've rarely had problems selling items on CL.  To avoid too much hassle from flakers, I will usually tell them a fairly specific time when they can show up, and make sure it's a time when I'm planning to be around the house anyway.  If they flake, I move onto the next person immediately.  It can feel a little harsh, but it definitely prevents situations where you feel like you're getting totally dicked around for $5 or $10. I also think there's a certain art to deciding on the correct price point for minimizing flakes.  In my experience, when I have posted at a rock-bottom price, I'm more likely to attract flakers.  Silly as it may sound, asking for a more mid-range price seems to attract more "serious" buyers.  One time I was trying to sell a mattress for $25 and I had a string of really ridiculous flakes (i.e., not just no-showing, but calling to arrange different times and then no-showing AGAIN, and AGAIN, and leaving really long phone messages to explain why.  BLERGH).  After the last flake took the mattress, she had a huge fight with her roommate on the way home and decided she was moving out, and the two of them showed up at my place 20 minutes later with the girl who bought the mattress trying to return it while the roommate insisted she still wanted it!  This was after they had also spent an hour or so dithering around about how to transport the mattress.  To prevent a total bitchfight from going on on my doorstep (and because the roommate was totally rubbing me the wrong way), I took the mattress back (sigh).  I reposted it for $60, and 24 hours later someone showed up with money, a car, rope, and a squadron of friends to load the mattress up.  That was the most dramatic example, but I've had the same experience with other items too--I initially post for a price that's basically "just take this off my hands", get a bunch of interest from flakers, then repost at a higher price and poof! item is gone in 24 hours.

Finally, I find that the timing of a posting makes a big difference to its success.  I usually try to post things on Thursday evening or Friday morning: more people are looking to buy on the weekends.  In the past, I've posted stuff on Sunday night (after a weekend of organization and decluttering!) and gotten zero bites.  Post the next week on Thurs/Friday and suddenly I have people lining up.  If you have the time to wait on selling something, you may also want to pay attention to whether or not it's a good time of year to sell something.  For example, when I lived in college towns, May/June were terrible times to sell anything because all the students were leaving town for the summer and desperate to ditch as many of their possessions as possible.  But come September, the situation was a total reversal and you could (up to a point) name your price.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2013, 08:18:47 PM »
Wow, it sounds like experiences are really varied! Thanks for sharing everyone. It seems like I'm not the only one having trouble with CL. I'll try again, but it's disappointing to have so little interest after so many past successes. I guess it's time to look for another method (besides yard sales, which are many months away.) Thanks!

prosaic

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2013, 08:31:36 PM »
Are you using Gmail or Yahoo mail? Check your spam folder. Both have started dumping the Craigslist response emails into spam for many users of these two systems.

Cooperd0g

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2013, 08:35:53 PM »
Maybe your prices are too high?

dmdunca

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2013, 04:38:24 PM »
I sold a car 4 months ago on CL.  Before selling, I scanned the ads to get a feeling for prices, checked Edmunds, KBB and NADA.  My husband cleaned the car til it shined and I photographed it on a sunny day - inside and out, all 4 angles.

Because we live in a rural area, I indicated my willingness to drive it to the nearby city for a serious buyer to look at.  I sold it 5 days after listing it.

Small things I list on ebay because there is a wider pool of buyers, but anything too big to ship, I list on CL.  I don't list a phone number and I ignore the obviously flakey emails.

DollarBill

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2016, 08:51:37 PM »
I know this is old but I did a search of this today because I had my car up for sale on CL. I had my 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback, 5sp manual up for sale in Austin for 3 days without a ding on my cell. Yes, I know 3 days is not a lot but I figured since I detailed the crap out of it, it's in fantastic shape, huge city and priced to sell, I figured I'd would be swapped with calls. I totally psyched myself out. I started thinking #1 How many people actually know how to drive a "Manual" anymore? Only 5% of cars are sold with a manual nowadays. #2 How many people want to take a chance on getting ripped off...especially if I was a female trying to make a car purchase. I'm a pretty manly guy and I'm on high alert during the deal. #3 I looked up top sites to buy and sell cars, some did not even mention Craigslist "What?". Some showed craigslist as being really shady with a picture of a beater in the grass with a horrible ad. #4 Most of the popular sites charge for an ad, maybe that's what it takes now for someone to trust you. #5 How many people would trust buying/selling a car above a certain price point (5yr old trucks are going for $30K still and no warranty) #6 How many people have $6K in cash to buy a used vehicle?

It's almost like if a person has $6K in cash then they would put that as a down payment and buy a more expensive car. Or just lease a vehicle.

Well there's light at the end of the tunnel. I sold my car today. They showed up in a Hyundai that looked like mine and said they had another just like it. He was buying this one for his son. He said his only requirement on cars was it must be a hatchback and a manual transmission. I thought it was pretty cool and had to ask him if he heard of MMM...I thought for sure he has but he said no. I think he would fit in :-).   

iris lily

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2016, 09:08:15 PM »
I just had a good experience and a "non" experience.

I listed a dining room set before Thanksgiving and got one response with a lowball offer. I decided to be nice and wrote back with why I thought it was worth it and what my bottom-line price would be. They turned out to be a very nice young couple who were just starting out and watching every penny. We made the deal (at my BL price) and we delivered it for them since they were so cute. Altogether a pleasant experience.

I then listed an entertainment center and have not received a single response. I re-listed at a lower price to no avail. It's a nice piece, so it may just be the time of year.

One huge CL improvement is that you can now show more than four photos, so take good ones. Make sure they are crisp and clear. Include dimensions. Include a good phone number for questions. Price your item realistically. Tell people why it is worth what you are asking. Finally, proof-read your ad. Piss-poor grammar and typos tell me that you might be the kind of person who doesn't pay attention, which could include taking proper care of the item you are trying to sell me.
Entertanment centers are nigh impossible to unload.

Tjat

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2016, 05:44:26 AM »
I've had nothing but good experiences. A few years ago I bought a A few expensive tools. Recently I sold the expensive tools... Sold a tv, sold a few other tools. Only a single no show, and once I narrow down the person to meet with, there is little to no haggling as I set fair prices.

The trick is not just sell to the first person who emails you. Check their email politeness, grammar, etc.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 05:58:03 AM by Tjat »

ender

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2016, 07:28:41 AM »
Check facebook groups in your area.

We have a relatively weak Craigslist but multiple high frequency Facebook swap type groups.

meandmyfamily

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2016, 09:27:41 AM »
I have had no problems but I have only sold baby and kid stuff.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Is it possible to successfully sell anything on Craigslist anymore?
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2016, 05:58:30 PM »
If you are willing to hold and repost, yes, you can get decent money for your products. Just have to wait for the buyer who wants the product.
If you want to dump something for cash fast, no, you will not get much at all.

At least for central texas area