Mention selling on Craigslist to some people and they cringe. The rumors and fear-filled stories have become almost urban legends, causing many people to miss out on this golden opportunity to make money in their own backyard.
The most important thing to remember is Craigslist is a local selling tool. You want to list your items on your own town’s page and sell to people face to face, only accepting cash and never shipping anything anywhere. Think of it as a yard sale where people come to your home to buy one item at a time.
With Craigslist, there are no listing fees and no commissions. It is completely free! You do not have to set up an account in order to list items; however, if you are selling more than a few items, having an account helps you keep track of your listings. Regardless or whether you choose to open an account, all listings can be anonymous. This means, no identifying information, including your email address, will show up in your listing unless you put it there.
The best tip anyone can give you is to open a separate email account for selling on Craigslist. You will get spam. It almost always comes from a gmail account. The spam reads like it is someone giving you friendly advice on getting out of debt, finding a job, getting stuff for free, etc. Never click a link in any email you get from anyone replying to your Craigslist listings.
Listing is simple. Go to www.craigslist.com and find your town’s page. You do this by clicking the link of the State you live in, then a list of available cities/towns shows up. Use the one closest to you, if they do not have your city/town listed. They will add additional cities/towns if requested and you can easily issue a request by clicking the link found on the same page.
Once your town’s page comes up, on the left hand side, click the link that says “Post to Classifieds.” That link takes you to a page with a listing of all the things you can post on Craigslist. You want to choose the option “For Sale.” There are a list of prohibited items and first time users should always read that list to make sure you comply with Craigslist’s rules.
After clicking “For Sale” a list of categories comes up. Find the one that best fits your item.
The listing form comes up next. Enter a compelling, yet accurate title for your item to be sold. There is a spot to put the price of your item, but you do not have to put the price in if you think putting the price there will cause some people not to click the link to see your entire listing. The next spot is for your location. This is where you put the city or town in which you live. You do not have to put anything there, but it does help when someone is searching their region for specific items to gauge whether or not they want to travel to your location.
Just under those information slots is where you can decide whether you want to put your email address out there for people to respond to, or whether you want to stay anonymous.
Next is the meat of the matter. Here you place your actual listing. Put as much or as little information as you choose. You want to describe the item and it’s condition. Some people put their phone numbers in the listing so people can call them rather than email if they are interested. If you are advertising a yard sale, you want to put your address and possibly even directions to your home within the ad.
If you have digital photos to add to your listing, click the link “Add/Edit Images.” You can add up to four. Sometimes it is faster to add one photo, then go back and edit the finished listing to add the rest.
Once you are finished, click “Continue,” which will show you what your listing will look like. If you are happy with the finished listing, click “Continue” and enter the Captcha and you are done.
1. Use a separate email to avoid spamming your regular email account.
2. Sell only face to face and only accept cash.
3. Do not hold anything for anyone. People WILL ask you to do this. People will set up appointments to see items and never show up. People will give you sob stories about how much they need the item, but will not have the money for a few days. Personally, I held an item for someone who was traveling three hours away when I had two local people wanting the item. The guy I was holding the item for never showed up and never accepted my calls. The two other potential buyers lost interest and I did not sell the item for another week.
4. Make only same day appointments. Give responders your telephone number and ask them to call you when they are ready to come to see the item, telling them that when they call, you will let them know if it is still available and will give them directions.
5. Avoid giving directions out to everyone who responds. Make sure the person is on their way over before doing so or you will be giving a lot of strangers directions to your home who have no real interest in seeing the items you have listed.
6. Check the “Wanted” listings on a regular basis. You may have something you do not need, but never considered selling and there could be someone out there looking for it.
Craigslist is a great selling tool if you keep it local, deal only face to face with buyers and accept only cash. I made almost four hundred dollars during the first three weeks! It works and it’s free!