Monday, February 27

How to Use Craigslist to Sell Stuff

"A couple of extra bucks could be floating in your direction." - Fortune Cookie

I have been using Craigslist forever it seems. I try not to buy too much stuff in general, but when I can't use or don't want an item anymore I will put it up on Craigslist. This is a great way to get a little back from your purchases or potentially make a profit on old collectible items.

10 things to keep in mind when selling on Craigslist:

- Get a feel for the site by taking some time to browse. See what others are doing, and pay attention to the ads in your category. The site is pretty straightforward. You need an account to sell (it didn't use to be like this). It's free, you just use your email address to sigh up, and you can start posting ads right away.

- Your junk is someone else's treasure. Never assume that people won't be interested in your stuff. Just because you don't want it doesn't mean someone else might not need it. It might be just what they're looking for. For instance, I put up a broken computer for parts, and it sold. For cheap of course, but nonetheless, someone needed it and could reuse it. My friends think I'm mad, but when the item sells it always surprises them and I'm happy to get it out of the house without throwing it away.

- Do not overprice. Be honest about the cost of your item. It will sell faster if you do. One way to check the value of something is to look it up on other sites like EBay or Amazon. This is especially useful for collectible items, because you might get way more than what you paid for it originally. I have sold retro video games for twice what I bought them for.

- Write a clear detailed description of your item and take pictures. This is so important. Just imagine searching for the ad yourself. The ads with pictures, a detailed description, and clear contact information is the one that gets the buyers. Let people know why you're getting rid of it as well, because it's natural for them to think that somethings wrong with it. It's reassuring to just let them know that you just don't use it anymore, or you need more room in your home. Keep search keywords in mind that people will use to find your item. Here's an ad example below of a PC game that I just sold to a nice lady. She got a great deal, because these boxes are going for twice that on EBay. Notice how I used both "World of Warcraft" and "WoW" in the title, because both titles might be typed in for searches.

World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Collector's Edition: WoW CE   

This RARE and OOP item is BRAND NEW and SEALED. It's in the original shrinkwrap and has never been opened or used.  It’s from my collection. I just need more room!

The WoW Burning Crusade Collector's Edition includes:

-World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade on both CD and DVD
-World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Behind-the-Scenes DVD
-The Art of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Hardcover Art Book
-Exclusive In-Game Pet: Netherwhelp
-Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Starter Packs, plus Exclusive Cards
-Map of Outland Mouse Pad
-World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Soundtrack CD

$125 and it's yours!

The item is adult-owned and comes from a smoke-free and pet-free home.
Please email me if you are interested.

- Be patient with your sale. This is really hit or miss depending on how hot your item is. I've sold some items on the day that I posted and others three years later (books specifically). Personally, it's worth the wait to give it to someones that loves it and you can get a little money back in return. I never throw stuff away, that would be sad. There is always a person out there that wants it.

- Don't let a buyer haggle too low. Sometimes it's just insulting and to top it off they want you to come to them. Don't waste your time, because someone will buy your item for the listed price. Also, it's courteous for the buyer to come to the seller. Don't get me wrong, in some special situations I'll come to them or give $5-10 discounts, but half off an item and an hours drive. No thank you. 

- Be aware of spammers and scammers. Sadly, this happens just like on any other site. The one email I get often is someone saying the are out of town and their assistant will pay you with a check or money order when they get the item. It's a copy and paste message and it's exactly the same every time. Report these emails to Craigslist and don't respond to them.

- Meet at a safe location. Buyers usually come to sellers, so I never meet at my house. It's just a precaution I take. Pick a crowded place like a coffee shop or library in the middle of the day. Ideally, something that you can walk to is great, because then no money is spent on gas and it's always nice to get some fresh air. Eco-friendly right! I typically don't meet after dark and I have someone come with me. I've never had anything happen, but I've heard stories of people getting robbed in dark parking lots. Just be careful.

- Always get a phone number. There have been times when I would get so excited to sell something (it's funny how I get sellers high, that's the minimalist in me), and the person would never show up without even letting me know that they couldn't make it. I would wait for them and waste my time. We live in a world where the ambiguity of an email makes us faceless, so there are no repercussions for selfishness. People don't care. So from now on I always get a phone number to avoid this from happening.

- Take down ads after the item has sold. This just keeps your account and Craigslist nice and orderly. It feels good to delete the sold-item ads, because it's like putting a big mental check mark next to it. Also, it will save you and other people the time if you have to reply to emails telling them that the item is already sold.

Good luck with Craigslist! Cleaning out the house, bringing a smile to someone's face with 
your old items, and earning a little extra money is always a good thing. It's worth the time.

♡ Claudia

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