Making Money

How To Sell Stuff On Craigslist – A Comprehensive Guide

Craigslist is one of the most useful platforms to sell stuff. After all, they’ve been around for 25 years and serve 570 cities in 70 countries. Maybe you want to get rid of some things or start a side-hustle. Either way, you want to know how to sell stuff on Craigslist. 

How do you sell your stuff on Craigslist? Selling your stuff on Craigslist is relatively simple. You can break it down into six steps:

  1. Figure out item pricing
  2. Take photos of your item(s)
  3. Optimize your heading for the craigslist search
  4. Create a detailed description
  5. Post your listing
  6. Sell your item(s)

There are more details regarding each of these steps that you’ll want to know to have the highest chance of selling success. Before you sell your stuff, though, it’s important to note that while most Craigslist postings are free, there are a few that aren’t. Therefore, some of you may need to pay for your listing.

How To Sell Stuff On Craigslist

Keep reading to learn how to sell your stuff on Craigslist successfully. Below are more details on the six steps. 

1. Figure Out Item Pricing

The first thing you need to do is figure out how you will price your item(s). Competitively pricing your stuff is essential because Craigslist is a competitive place for sellers. 

You can price your item by researching what other sellers in your area are charging for that same item. It’s important to take into account the condition of your item and the condition of the items already being sold on Craigslist. If someone is selling a bicycle in mint condition for $300 and you want to sell the same bike, but yours is in worse shape, you may want to consider pricing lower.  

You don’t want to price too high because you may not get as many customers willing to buy. You also don’t want to price too low, or you’ll end up losing out on money. 

You can also check what the new version of your item sells for on retailer websites to decide how you will price your used version, accordingly. That way, you’ll know not to charge higher than a new one. 

You also want to decide if your price will be firm or if you’re willing to accept the “best offer.” By keeping your price firm, you’ll get the amount that you want, but you may have to wait longer to get an interested buyer. With a “best offer” ad, you’ll get more people interested, but you’ll have to negotiate on price, and you may not get as much money as you’d like. 

Pro tip: If you post an ad for “best offer,” it’s better to price a little higher than what you would like to get. That way, when people reach out to you with a lower offer, they may land closer to what you were initially hoping to get. For instance, you may want to get $300 for a bicycle. If you price it at $300, people will likely reach out with even lower offers than that. Therefore, if you price it a little higher at $350, you have some wiggle room to negotiate down to $300. That way, you still get the amount of money that you’d like.

2. Take Photos

When it comes to taking photos, you want to make sure that they are high-quality and aesthetically pleasing. You can include four pictures per ad. It’s a good idea to take photos of your item at every angle and place it where there is no clutter in the background. You can also do a flat lay photoshoot of your item by placing it on your bed. Your comforter can act as the backdrop. Just make sure the bedding isn’t distracting or overly decorated. A solid color is best. 

If you are selling a bundle with multiple items, make sure to get all of the merchandise in each photo. 

Take Photos To Sell Stuff On Craigslist

3. Optimize Your Heading For The Craigslist Search

The heading is what entices the buyer to click on your ad. It’s the first thing they see, so it must clearly reflect what you are selling. It needs to be searchable, so you need to think about what someone would look up when searching for your item. 

In the title, you want to include the following:

  • Name of the item
  • The brand
  • The condition
  • If the offer is fixed or if you are open to the “best offer.”

You may also want to capitalize certain words in the headline that you are trying to emphasize.

4. Create A Detailed Description

You should create a description that is as detailed as possible. By doing this, you can avoid having tons of people reaching out solely to find out more information (responding to emails about this is time-consuming). 

In your description, you need to include the following:

  • An explanation of what you are selling.
  • The item’s condition. Be honest about any damages, even if they are minor.
  • If you are selling a tech-item, include the specs. You can find these on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Pricing information and whether your offer is fixed or not. 

5. Post Your Listing

Once you have figured out all of your listing details, it’s finally time to post it. You’ll need to select “create a posting” from the main screen. Then, you will need to select the type of posting and category for your item(s).

Craigslist Post Your Listing

 Aside from the details that you’ve already figured out, you’ll also need to include additional posting details that will vary slightly depending on what you are selling. However, you will need to include the make, model, size, and condition of the item.

You also need to decide if you accept cryptocurrency and if you offer delivery. 

Craigslist Post Details

You will need to include your email address. Craigslist will create a temporary anonymous email address for you. But you’ll still have emails forwarded to the email that you provide.

Craigslist Email Address

If you want to include your phone number and address, you can, but I don’t recommend it for safety reasons. If you want people to be able to contact you more efficiently, you can create a fake phone number using different free texting/calling apps such as TextNow. You can include that fake number in your post. You’ll get calls/texts to your phone as you usually would, except you’d get them through the app.

Once you’ve filled out all of the necessary information and uploaded your photos, you’ll get to preview your post before publishing. Once you click “Publish,” you’ll receive an email from Craigslist. You need to click on the first link in that email, which will take you to their terms of service.

Once you accept their terms of service, your listing will officially be posted!

6. Sell Your Item(s)

Now that you have your item(s) posted, all you have to do is wait for people to contact you. Once you’ve got some bidders, wait a bit to see who offers the highest bid. While you can choose to deliver your items, be aware that there is more of a risk when it comes to receiving payment.

Your safest bet is to meet your potential buyer in person. Make sure to meet them in a public place during the day. Do not accept checks or wire transfers because those can backfire. It is best to only accept payment via cash, Venmo, or PayPal. If the person plans to pay via PayPal or Venmo, you need to make sure that they complete the transaction before giving them the items. 

Once you have sold your item, you can go back to the original email that Craigslist sent you to find your posting easily and delete it.

Wrapping Up: How To Sell Stuff On Craigslist

Now you know how to sell your stuff on Craigslist. While it does require a little bit of research and thought concerning the price, headline, and description, putting more effort into the details will pay off. As long as you are consistent with following up with potential buyers, you should be able to sell your stuff relatively quickly. If you want to up the chances of your stuff selling you could also post to multiple sites, like Facebook or eBay, as well. Now, get out there and sell your stuff!

Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.

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