6 Tips for Selling Products on Craigslist

Whether you’re simply cleaning out your attic or regularly buying and selling goods as a business, Craigslist offers a quick and easy way to reach potential customers. More than 60 million people in the United States consult the classified-ad website each month, a company fact sheet says.

Here are a few tips for making your Craigslist transactions go smoothly:

  1. Be descriptive. Eliminate any back-and-forth with prospective buyers by making sure your item’s description answers basic questions, such as the dimensions for furniture or the brand name and model number for electronics. “I usually state why I am selling,” says mompreneur Michelle Munroe Morton, who sells shoes, clothing, a TV, and more on Craigslist. “Don’t sell things that are broken or won’t work unless you specify that in the ad.” (If you do, you’ll likely end up with unhappy prospects who won’t want the item once they see it.) Include whether the item has been kept in an environment that’s free of pets and smokers, which may also be a selling point.
  2. Post photos. Craigslist users can filter out listings that lack images, so including photographs of your items increases their visibility. Shots should be clear and well-lit. Morton suggests photographing each item from several different angles. “If there are any flaws, be sure to take a picture of [those] as well,” she adds.
  3. Set a neutral location for pickup. For safety’s sake, avoid inviting strangers to retrieve items at your home. “I usually have a [safe] pickup place, such as the parking lot of a busy store, and I don’t do it in the evening if it is dark,” Morton says. “If the item that is being sold is large and too difficult for me to do on my own, I usually make sure my oldest son is home or my husband is here.”
  4. Price to sell. Craigslist buyers generally expect to pay less than retail, so price your items accordingly. You can get a feel for the market by looking at listings for similar items and set your price based on wear and tear. “After a week, if you have not gotten any inquiries to your item then try reducing the price in $5 increments,” Morton advises. “Once you start getting inquiries, you will know that you are at a good price point.”
  5. Be ready to negotiate. Craigslist buyers may try to haggle with you, especially if they’re buying multiple items. Before entertaining offers, determine the rock-bottom price you’re willing to accept and stick to it. “It is OK to say ‘no’ to them and [explain] why,” Morton says. “Sometimes [buyers] will say ‘never mind,’ and sometimes they will appreciate it and still take the item.”
  6. Use mobile payments. Accepting a personal check from someone you don’t know is risky. So is carrying around large wads of cash. Mobile-payment systems like GoPayment make it easy and secure to accept credit cards anytime, anywhere, offering convenience to you and your customers.

About Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in writing about business and personal finance. Her articles have appeared in or on The Boston Globe, Dance Retailer News, GetCurrency.com, Mint.com, PARADE Magazine, WomenEntrepreneur.com, and other places.
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