How To Successfully Sell Items on Craigslist

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Learn How to Successfully Sell Items on Craigslist


How To Successfully Sell Items on Craigslist

I have a few good tips you need to know about How To Successfully Sell Items on Craigslist.  I’ve been reselling my unwanted items on Craigslist for a few years now.  It’s a great way to get some cash back for items you no longer need or want.  If you are looking for other ways to make some extra cash be sure to read our latest article:  Ten Ways to Make Money at Home


Let’s start with the most important part of successful selling on Craigslist.  You need good photos.  Now a days even the camera on your phone will be sufficient.  You will not sell an item without a photo.  Actually, you won’t sell an item with a bad photo either.  You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a good photo.  All you have to do is make sure you can clearly see the item in the photo.

Here are a few tips for taking an excellent photo:

1.  Take it outdoors in the morning hours because the lightening is best.  (If you have to take a photo of furniture in your house make sure every light is on and open the blinds to let as much natural light in as possible)

2.  Take a close up and a distant photo.

3.  Take multiple photos showing how the item works.

4.  Always make sure your background is clear in your photo.  Take the photo against your closed garage door if you have too.  It’s way to hard to see items with things/stuff in the background.

5.  If you took a blurry photo then take the time to retake it.


The next most important part of successfully selling items on Craigslist is all about pricing.  Do your research.  Here’s what I do.  I start by seeing what that item (or a similar item) goes for on Ebay first.  Then I go on Craigslist to see what my competition is.  I always mark it just below what my competition is selling it for (unless mine is in better condition).  Sometimes just marking a big ticket item about $5 lower will get you the first sale.  If you don’t do your research you may end up selling something for much less than what you could have gotten for it too.  I’ve made this mistake myself in the beginning.  You start out posting something and then you realize you have 10 emails within the first 5 minutes.  That’s a clear indicator that you’ve posted an item way under it’s value.  Spend the time to do your research.  It is important.


Details are important.  Give measurements.  Include the age of the item.  Include the overall condition.  Provide full complete description of what you are selling.  Provide where you purchased the item from.  Are you the only owner of this item?  Include if you have pets or if you are pet free.  Include if you are a smoker or not.  People with allergies appreciate this information.  There have been times I’ve even included why I was selling an item.  Buyers love details.  They want to feel completely comfortable about purchasing an item from you.

Email Responses

Be prepared to respond to all the emails in a timely manner.  Don’t even post an item until you are prepared to do this.  You will miss sales if you don’t respond immediately.  I have purposely set up a special email for the items I sell on Craigslist.  Tip:  Be aware of scammers on Craiglist.  Don’t accept offers to be paid more to ship an item and don’t sell to someone in Nigeria.

Schedule a showing of your item

You can have people meet at your house or you can pick a location to meet them.  If you are selling a sofa it’s hard to meet someone at a different location (unless you have it in a storage unit somewhere).  Be very careful when asking people to come to your house.  I have invited people over but only after I’ve actually spoke with them on the phone.  Most of the time I can get a good sense of how a person is when you talk to them over the phone.  You can definitely tell how interested they are too.  I do want to warn you though, it can be a bit dangerous inviting people to your home.  I would always make sure someone else is home with you.

Communicate Expectations

It’s very important to communicate exactly what your expectations are with the buyer.  If you posted a bedroom set that received 10 emailed responses be sure to tell them they were the first person to respond.  Set a date and time to meet and if they don’t hold up their commitment then you will call the next person.  Unfortunately you will run into flaky people who don’t hold up their end of the deal.  It’s part of the process.  I never give out my address or directions until I know someone is ready to meet me.  If they decide they want to come at 2pm tomorrow then I always make them call me to get the address right before they come over.  This way you are not giving out your address or phone number to many different strangers.  If you are in communication with two different people just be sure to communicate when someone commits and promise a follow up with the second person.  You can either follow up saying the item was sold or tell them you had a no show and it’s their turn.

Be Courteous

There’s nothing worse than a mean salesperson.  Be nice.  Sometimes buyers can be frustrating but you will most likely land the sale if you are nice.    There are a few times I’ve had to be firm with people but I’ve always been nice about it.  There’s nothing more frustrating that someone who is wasting your time pondering whether or not they want to purchase your item.

Those are the best tips I can give you on How to Successfully sell items on Craigslist.  There was a time where I did this to make a little bit of extra money on the side.  I would find items at garage sales and turn them for profit on Craigslist.  I have many friends that do this.  I know a few people that make a pretty decent living doing it too!  I’ve gathered up all of the tips and tricks on reselling Garage Sale items on Craigslist for profit in a two post series found here.

Read another article here called Treasure Hunting for Profit where I give examples of how to turn $50 into $650 with photos and detailed item examples.

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  1. Unless the item is too big, I always meet the person at a public parking lot. Why? Because you don’t want to give a stranger information on when you are or are not home. You also don’t want to give a stranger the opportunity to show up “whenever” — even if you schedule a time, some people drop in HOURS or days later. My brother in law had a woman show up at midnight to get a couch she was supposed to get at 10am. The beauty of arranging a meeting is that they cannot tie up your day — if they don’t show up on time you can leave the meeting place and go on about your day. Kids toys are things I always arranged meeting places for because you do not want to give total strangers your address and information about the age and gender of your child. If you do have someone come to your home, move the item outside or into your garage so they do not have to come inside (case the joint or assault you). You also want to make sure there is another adult inside the house. In your listing, make it clear that items are cash only, you will not ship, and if it is still listed it is still available. Foreign spammers like to send emails asking “still available?” or just a copy of your listing title. Do not respond to them. Do not put your phone number or email or real address in the ad. I always make a note: In order to avoid foreign fraud rings, please include a local telephone number in your email inquiry — if you are emailing from a free email account (Hotmail, gmail, etc.), I will not respond to emails without a local phone number.

  2. Great article. I sell on Craigslist too.I also belong to some yard sale pages on facebook. The Salvation army is a good place to get things to sell on Craigslist too. 🙂

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