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How to Sell on Craigslist: 11 Posting Tips to Sell Your Items Quickly

Last updated: July 12, 2019
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Selling on Craigslist is a great way to get rid of household clutter and items you have just lying around the house. It’s also a great way to make some extra money when you’re moving out of your home, selling your vehicle, or getting rid of any other unwanted items you no longer have a need for.

However, creating the perfect post on Craigslist can be a daunting task. Luckily there are some tricks of the trade we can teach you to make sure your items sell — and sell fast.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a Craigslist post. We’ll also go over 11 tips to ensure your item sells and puts cash back in your pocket. Who knows, if you get good at it, you can start flipping items left and right for a profit.

How to Sell on Craigslist

Craigslist makes it incredibly convenient for anyone to set up a post and sell items on one of its classified boards. You don’t even need to have a Craigslist account in order to create your post. Let’s walk through the posting process step-by-step.

First, head to Craigslist.org.

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If it doesn’t automatically recognize your region or city, you can go to the right side of the page and choose your city, state, and country.

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Click on “Create a posting” in the top left corner.

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Choose the county and region you’d like to sell in. Once your post goes live, only users who are on these regional sites will be able to see your post.

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Select “for sale by owner.”

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Choose which category your item falls in. If you’re unsure if you’re allowed to sell a certain item, you can see prohibited items here.

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Create a headline and post describing your item in detail. You also need to set your asking price and provide the city and zip code your item is located in.

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Fill out the remaining post details. The example we used below is for a bicycle, therefore, there are specifications that pertain to bikes, like frame size, wheel size, and bike type. This will be different for every product you sell.

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Describe the condition of your item. If your item isn’t brand new, be honest.

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Set the terms of your sale. You can choose to accept cryptocurrency, offer delivery, choose buyer pick-up, and opt to link to ads of other products you’re selling.

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Provide your contact information. This includes your phone number and email. If you prefer, you can use a Craigslist anonymous email. You also don’t have to provide your phone number. If you don’t want any calls, you can set your preferences to accept texts only.

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If you’d like, you can provide your address. This is completely up to you. If you’re not comfortable leaving your address, you don’t need to.

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Tap continue. Confirm the location on the map where your item is located.

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Add images to your post. Tap edit images and add as many helpful photos as possible. These pictures should be clear and relatively high-quality.

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Preview your posting before publishing it on Craigslist. Make sure there aren’t any typos or misspellings. If you catch a mistake later, you can always go back and edit your post.

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If everything looks good to go, tap the “publish” button in the bottom right corner. Your post will typically go live within 15 minutes. It can also take up to an hour or two.

Now that you know the steps to create a post, it’s time to show you a few tips that will help you sell your items quickly. You’d be surprised how many little nuances there are to creating a successful post that pushes product out your door and cash into your bank account.

1. Scope Out Competition

Before you create your post, you should do your research and be completely aware of the competitive landscape. If there are a ton of competitors, it may be hard to sell your item at the price you’d like. There’s a good chance someone will low ball the competition at a cheap price. You should also be wary if there isn’t any competition. This may mean that your product is too specific and there may not be a market for it.

2. Compare Prices

When looking at your competition, you’ll also be looking for price comparisons. You’ll be able to gauge what a fair price is by looking at what prices other items are set at. It’s a general rule of thumb to set your price 20% to 30% higher than what you’d like to accept for it. You should leave room for bargaining since this will typically occur.

3. Post High-Quality Pictures

Providing plenty of good photos will go a long way. Close-ups, interior shots, and any damage on your items will be greatly appreciated by interested buyers. Make sure these pictures are well-lit and are taken on a decent camera. Also, your item should be cleaned up if you want people to see that it’s a quality item. If you’re selling your vehicle, get it detailed before. If you’re selling a dresser, get the duster and wipe the cobwebs off.

4. Be Descriptive in Your Headline

Your headline should summarize your item in as few words as possible. Be descriptive, but don’t make your headline too long. This is what will pull people in to read the rest of your post. You should also avoid using symbols that will make your post look like a gimmick.

5. Clearly Describe What You’re Selling

Your description is where you win over your customers. This is where you build trust by explaining all of the pros and cons of your product. You should definitely talk about the great aspects of your item, but you should never shy away from discussing any flaws or damages. Honesty will go a long way when selling on Craigslist.

6. Don’t Go Overboard

It’s important to be as descriptive as possible when creating your post, but remember that you shouldn’t go overboard. Stick to the basics and provide any information the buyer will need to make a decision. They don’t need the entire back story in novel form. Seeing a wall of text will send somebody off your post in no time.

7. Set a Strict Deadline

Setting a deadline will encourage serious buyers to act fast. It will also weed out the not-so-serious buyers who will waste your time with lowball offers. If you write that you need something sold by Wednesday or that offers won’t be accepted after Thursday, prospective buyers will naturally want to make you an offer as soon as possible. Nobody likes missing out on a great deal and they’ll assume that there’s high demand for your item.

8. Combine Items in One Listing

If you’re selling many similar items at once and they’re somewhat related to each other, then it’s not a bad idea to sell your items in a batch. For example, you can create one post for five different bike parts. This will help sell more than one product at once. You can also decide that if someone is going to buy one item, they must buy the rest all at once.

9. Write Professionally

There’s nothing worse than opening a Craigslist post that’s riddled with typos, misspellings, and terrible grammar. It immediately makes the seller look bad and by no means instills a sense of trust. You should also avoid the gimmicks of crazy CaPiTaLiZaTiOn and obsessive use of symbols. You’re trying to sell an item for money here, not message your friends on AIM.

10. Include Price and Contact Info

At the bottom of your post, write out the price and contact information again. This is already located on the right side of your post, but it will remind the buyer again once they read through your post. You can also make it personal by leaving your name. You should always be thinking of ways to show that you’re a trustworthy seller since there are scammers all over Craigslist.

11. If It Doesn’t Sell, Repost

If your post doesn’t sell right away, you can always repost or update your listing. If you’re in a popular area, posts can quickly get buried by other listings. If it’s still not selling, you can also look into creating a post in surrounding areas. Who knows, maybe in the county over there’s a potential buyer who has been waiting to stumble across an item like yours.

Selling Stuff on Craigslist, Made Easy

Selling items on Craigslist is an excellent way to free up space in your home and get rid of unwanted items that are laying around. Instead of throwing away all of you junk, you should take a look to see what might sell on Craigslist. Who knows, there could be a couple of hundred dollars sitting around in your spare bedroom.

If you follow our tips above, you shouldn’t have a problem selling your items in no time. If you’re interested in selling on more than one platform, then make sure to check out our guide to selling on eBay, Etsy, and several other seller platforms.

Good luck with creating your next post!

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