How to Sell on Craigslist

How to sell on craigslist

Selling on Craigslist can be an intimidating thing. However, it can also be a wonderful thing. If you ever sell on Ebay, you know that you lose about 15% of your sale due to Ebay and Paypal fees. Additionally, there's packaging and shipping involved. With Craiglist, there are no fees and the transaction is a one-stop-shop! Meeting people in person is a strange concept, but it's what Craigslist is about! There are some things you can do to make the process of selling on Craigslist a lot easier.

First, I better give the details specifically on how to sell on Craigslist. Head to and click on any of the categories (like, "for sale" or "collectibles" for example). In the upper right portion of the page, you'll see the word "post". Click that and follow the steps. That's all there is to the technical part of listing! Make sure to turn off your location so your exact location is not on the map that everyone sees.

Here are some tips for how to sell on Craigslist:

Take good pictures.
Good pictures will help your cause ten-fold. Nobody wants a fuzzy or teeny tiny picture. You are selling something, so act like it! Take close-up, good quality pictures that clearly show the item, its condition and any other necessary elements. If your item has obvious blemishes, photograph them. Being 100% honest about your product will save you heartache later.

Check your email.
Craigslist buyers are generally impatient. Most likely, whatever you are selling on CL can be found from several other sellers as well. If you are going to list something for sale, plan on checking your email frequently throughout the day to make sure you're responding to questions and interested parties. Potential buyers won't stop looking for their item once they email you, so you want to be there to respond quickly and snatch up the sale.

State your price up front.
Nobody wants to dance around. Say what you have and state what you want to get for it. If you want $200 for your TV, say so. "Contact me for price" never works. What people do is they just find someone else who is selling the same thing and actually listing the price.

Exchange phone numbers.
This is stepping over the comfort line for most people, but is becoming extremely commonplace with Craigslist sales. A buyer gains a bit of confidence from a seller willing to provide their phone number. And they lose a TON of buying confidence when a seller refuses. Why are they refusing? Is their product going to be a dud? Are they going to rob me? Which brings me to my next point.

I cannot stress this enough. Meet in public whether you are buying or selling. Pick some place VERY PUBLIC. I prefer a Starbucks parking lot (lots of foot traffic) or a grocery store parking lot. Parks, homes and street corners should be out of the question. Go with your gut. If you pull up and don't like what you see, just keep moving.

An ideal transaction would go like this:
• you post an item for sale using nice pictures and an accurate description
• a buyer contacts you through Craigslist's system and expresses interest
• you answer whatever questions the buyer has and arrange to set up a meeting
• at the meeting, your buyer inspects your product and is satisfied, because your item is exactly as described
• buyer gives you money, you give buyer product and you part ways

That's it!

*If you're buying, you can pretty much apply these same tips.

Have you sold stuff on Craigslist?

How was your transaction?

Why I Bought 14 Barbie Dolls at a Garage Sale

So I'm an entrepreneur right? Having no stable income requires me to find ways to earn money in many different areas. I have to have the ability to see a profit in very random things and to know when to go for it. Here's one example of a creative way I have made a few bucks.

One of the first areas of entrepreneurship that I explored was an Ebay business. I bought and sold DVDs (before they became basically obsolete) for about 2 years, making a healthy profit. I was all of 19 years old. I used Ebay pretty heavily for about 5 years, becoming a Power Seller and all of that mumbo jumbo. I dealt mostly with sports cards and collectibles later in my Ebay career. I still dabble in Ebay sales every now and then. I am pretty good at spotting a potential profit, so I'm always on the lookout for opportunities.

We stumbled across a garage sale recently that had 14 brand new Barbie dolls from the 1990s for sale. They were all unopened, which turned on light bulbs for me right away. I know from my experience with collectibles that unopened products 20+ years old are worth a second look. I memorized a few of the Barbies and jammed home to check Ebay sales. I saw how much they were going for and knew that, for the right price, I could turn a quick profit. I wanted to make it so that I could make my money back pretty easily after selling only 4-5 of them. The rest would be all profit. That meant I would have to get them for $100. Since it was a garage sale, I knew this probably wouldn't be a problem. I asked how much and she wanted $10 a piece. I took out $100 and asked if she would take that. She did and just like that, I owned 14 more Barbie dolls than I ever thought I would own.

We're in the process of selling these right now on Ebay. One of them sold right away for $40 and 3 more have bids. Even if those bids don't increase at all and end as-is, we will have made our money back. That means we have 10 more dolls to sell at 100% profit. Conservative estimates will put us at a $200 profit. All in all, it will take at the most, 4 total hours of our time. $50 an hour? I'll take it!

Note: when selling things on Ebay, you can get really into it, or you can keep it as easy as possible. We prefer the latter. We use flat rate Priority Mail boxes, which are free from USPS. We prepay for the shipping online, print the label at home and just drop the packages off at our local post office or UPS store (yes, they take pre-paid USPS packages). We sell only to U.S. buyers because if you ship something to a foreign country, you have to wait in line at the Post Office and ain't nobody got time for that.

So all in all, this turned out to be a very good decision. Based on our average monthly expenses, we just covered groceries for a month!

Here's a helpful eBook that happens to be free as of 5/30/13: The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping. Grab that and learn some tips on paying bottom dollar to maximize your profits!