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Craigslist: Sell Your Item in 24 Hours Or Less

in Courtney's Posts, Sell Your 'Stuff'

Note: This is a post from Courtney Baker, chief seller and long-time running wo-man of MvD.

It’s no secret that I love selling my excess crap. I wish I had more crap just so I could sell it.

Okay, that’s a lie. But I do love that markets like Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon allow me to recoup some money and re-purpose some of my crap.

I’ve learned that certain items sell better in one market better than others. Furniture, for example, is 100% best on Craigslist. Your old iPhone is better on eBay. And your copy of Breaking Dawn is most likely best on Amazon – unless you are selling the whole trilogy (that’s Craigslist).

Phew, I’ve sold a few things. Can you tell?

With all good things come complaints. Many people complain about how they wasted a bunch of time listing items, only to sell nothing! The truth is that there are two reasons why people aren’t selling successfully:

  • They are listing their items in the wrong market.
  • They aren’t following the guidelines for making a successful listing.

Let’s look specifically at the tricks of a successful Craigslist ad. These suggestions can make the difference between selling an item in hours and not getting a single reply.

In Sell Your Crap, we guide you screenshot by screenshot through each of the marketplaces and outline the tricks for making a successful listing.

But here are some quick tips – to get you started with the basics!

7 Days, 18 Items, $6800

Craigslist is fresh on my mind, because I just used it to unload a bunch of precious crap from my house. Eighteen items, in fact.

Our family decided last-minute to make a huge move across the country from Indianapolis to Portland. From decision to moving day, we gave ourselves about two weeks.

Anybody that’s new to the Man Vs Debt community might have just peed their pants. Two weeks… two weeks to pack and move an entire family across the country! Don’t sweat it – we’ve been somewhat nomadic for the past four years. Moving ain’t no thang!

But we did have some big possessions that just couldn’t make the trip – like our car.

I needed to sell our crap and fast. I gave myself 7 days, and I would use only my smartphone – no computer. I used my phone to take pictures, research my listings, create my listings, and communicate with buyers.

Here’s what I listed:

  • Breville Juicer [13 hours]
  • Two Matching Slate Tables [42 hours]
  • Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles [15 hours]
  • Girls 16′ Princess Bike  [7 hours]
  • Brown Couch and Over-sized Chair  [6 hours]
  • Kid Kaboose Bike Trailer [5 hours]
  • Bumbo, Jenny Jump-Up, Play mat [4 hours]
  • White Flower girl dress Size 4 [no sell]
  • Neutral Graco travel system stroller and car seat [no sell]
  • 3 Light Studio kit with backdrop [25 hours]
  • Extra Wide Glider/Rocker (gave to family)
  • Saris Porter 3-bike rack [no sell]
  • 2005 Buick Rendezvous [4 days, $5500]

Sell in Less Than 24 Hours

As you look at my list of items, you’ll notice that most of them took less than 24 hours from listing the item to having cash in my pocket. You’ll also find a few items that didn’t sell. Follow these tricks to make your own items sell fast, and see why some don’t!

You MUST post a picture.

There’s no exception. If you do one thing on this list, do this! Every time I search CL, I filter out all listings without an image. On most mobile devices, the image is right next to the listing.

  • Make it look clean.
  • Turn on the lights or put it by a window.
  • Clear the clutter away from it.
  • Upload as many pictures as you can (especially the name brand and damaged spots).

Set a deadline.

One time I needed to sell something quick, so I stated “Needs picked up by Tuesday” in my ad. I had serious buyers responding to me right away. It put enough pressure on them to act now and to not mess around with negotiating. I’ve done it ever since.

  • Make sure you use a reasonable time frame that you will stick to.
  • 1-2 days encourages them to negotiate.
  • 3-6 days away is the sweet spot.
  • Have a plan B if the item doesn’t sell (take to Goodwill, give to family, put in yard sale, relist later).

State what you are selling in the headline.

Duh, right? It’s tempting to get sales-y with questions like “Looking for a comfy couch?” Don’t do it! It makes you impersonal, and it’s a common tactic that spammers use. A good headline would be “Kid Kaboose Bike Trailer.”

  • No questions!
  • No symbols like $*#@-:
  • Keep it 30 characters so mobile devices can see full title.
  • Include name brand for keyword search (Kid Kaboose).
  • Include general term for the item for keyword search (bike trailer).
  • Do NOT use phrases like “Great Deal.”

Be up front about damaged areas.

This marketplace is for used goods. It’s OK that they show some signs of use, just be open about it. “This Kid Kaboose bike trailer has lugged happy children around for years. Black skid marks on the back upper corner (pictured).”

  • People appreciate it.
  • It seems humble.
  • It filters out those who won’t buy it if shows signs of wear.

Put your name in the ad.

As a buyer, I always feel more comfortable calling, texting, or emailing someone if I know their name. All my ads end with my name and phone number.

  • Still keep your email anonymous (or you’ll have spammers filling up your inbox).
  • Write a few digits of your number in words (555-345six).

The price is right.

To find the right price for your item, you need to do a little research in your local Craigslist market.

  • Let go of how much you paid for it; that’s not its current value.
  • Act like a buyer and search for your item. (Search Kid Kaboose Bike Trailer and also Bike Trailer to see what’s available.)
  • Price your item slightly below similar listings if possible.
  • Price yours slightly above other listings only if it’s VERY clear that your item is better.

More detail isn’t always better.

More detail can be appropriate for some electronics, real estate, and cars, but otherwise just get to the point. Here are things to consider

  • How long have you had the item?
  • Is it a pet-free or smoke-free home?
  • Are there details specific of the item, like material, brand, or size?
  • Why are you selling it?
  • Any signs of damage on the item?

Consider batching your items.

If someone is looking for one item, many times they’re looking for similar products. I put the Bumbo, Jenny Jump Up, infant bath tub, and play mat in one batch. My buyer bought three of the four items.

  • Best for child items.
  • Each should have its own price.
  • Be willing to sell them separately.

Sell your items in lots.

Selling items in a lot is different from batching. A lot is a cluster of items for one price. You buy the whole bundle, not pieces.

  • Best for selling clothing.
  • The whole bundle is one price.
  • You do not sell separately.
  • Better for items that individually don’t have much value, but are valuable as a bundle.

Don’t put a bunch of characters in the ad.

Don’t include a bunch of numbers, commas, bullet points, money signs, etc in your post. Craigslist will flag it as spam, and your ad may never appear on the site. If this happens, you may have to wait 24-48 hours to post again.

Not Everything is Sellable

The Graco travel system had too much competition. When I researched the item, there were hundreds of similar systems out there at a far cheaper price than I wanted to accept.

The Saris Porter Bike Rack doesn’t have much demand. It’s a model that fits a specific cluster of cars.

Overall I was very pleased with my results. It was much easier packing up without all the extra crap weighing us down. In a future post, I can show you specifically how to research your item and how to interact with interested buyers, based on these experiences!

Don’t want to wait? Get Sell Your Crap now.

Are you a Craigslist lover?  Do you have a trick to reel in the buyers?

Comment and let us know!

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Alissa November 5, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I’ve had similar experience with the craigslist vs. eBay, and now sell anything of resonable shipping size on eBay. Any thoughts on eBay local pickup? I have a few semi-large items to sell (i.e. snowboard) and I think the auction format of ebay would give more money but I don’t really want to ship it. Have you had any success on that?

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Honestly, I’ve not used eBay local pickup, because I’ve had great success with Craigslist. I try to use CL first before eBay, because it’s quick to list, there’s no auction period, and it’s less risky.

Now, I think that using a bigger platform like eBay local pickup would be great for high dollar, large items that don’t have a lot of demand in your area. Your snowboard might fall into that category. I considered it when we sold our RV, for example.

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Susan January 24, 2014 at 9:12 PM

I sold a room full of baby furniture with local pickup only on ebay. I had so many responses and sold it within two days. I think it helped that I listed the auction to end on a Saturday when most people have time to pick up the item, move furniture, etc. I also sold a freezer for local pickup on ebay. I lived in big cities when I sold both items – not sure if that makes a difference.

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Vincent November 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I was actually thinking about getting rid of an old bicycle of mine recently. Your post came at just the right time because I’m totally clueless when it comes to reselling stuff! lol

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM

You’re not in Portland, are you? I might be in the market for a bike ;)

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Agatha November 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Purrrrrfect timing! I have loads of stuff in my spare closet I’ve finally committed to selling. Now I’m gonna be a craigslist ninja, yo

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Can’t wait to hear how it turns out! Don’t sell your nunchucks- every ninja needs a set.

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Joan November 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I have two sets of nunchucks. Two sets of most martial-arts equipment, actually. That’s what I’M going to list on CL following these tips – someone better nag me and make sure I do it! :)

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Gillian @ Money After Graduation November 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Great post ! I have never tried to sell or buy using craigslist, but I DID just find a brand new car stereo that I could probably make some money off of.. hmmmmm.

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Emily Guthery November 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I have some silver items, expensive china, and rare coins to sell. Anyone had any experience in selling these types of items?

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Emily, I think specific, rare items like coins and china are best either on eBay or at a real live auction.

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Joe Cassandra November 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Great post Courtney! I definitely got stuff to sell, my problem is figuring out what exactly would be good to sell and which should just be junked. I’ve always just done Ebay b/c Craigslist always seemed sketchy, but it doesn’t sound like that from this post!

Cheers!

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Joe- That’s where research comes in. Search craigslist (or whatever market place you want to use) to see if there are similar listings. If you see 10 or so listings, then it’s probably worth selling!

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Rohit @ The Money Mail November 5, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Adam – that is great. I have had success renting out apartment via craigslist and also selling stuff o craigslist. I always look at ebay and craigslist to determine a fair price for the item I am looking to sell and then list accordingly. Of course I include pictures.

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Linda L November 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Hi, Courtney,

The sticking point for me, as a single woman, is payment and pickup. What do you recommend as safe, best practice for the hand off and rip off prevention?

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Linda- I have several conversations with the buyer before I meet up with them. I’m not hesitant to ask them questions. I usually go solo when I meet someone, but I choose public places where I could create a scene if something happened. I plan to post again soon about how to scout out your buyers so you can have a safe exchange.

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easternwawoman October 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

This crossed my mind. However, I live on a farm. I am also a huntress. So, what has worked wonderfully for me, is to simply let folks know casually in email or whatever that I’ll be leaving for the shooting range at… or I’m readying for deer hunting season… I’m getting ready to shoot varmints so you’ll have to come before xx.

I have had zero problems. :-))

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Jan November 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM

How do you ship heavier items…like a couch?

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Jan- The beauty of Craigslist is that your buyers are local. No need to ship! That’s why it’s the best option for general furniture.

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Megan Harvison November 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

This is a great post. I always have the idea and the stuff to sell on craigslist but never have serious buyers. Of all the things I have posted, I’ve only sold a few things. I will definatly be trying these tips before my move next month!

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Megan- My guess is that there’s no demand for your item, or you’ve mis-priced it. Let me know how Round 2 goes!

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Ryan November 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Some great tips here, thanks! I’m in the process of selling off a bunch of my junk right now before I move–heading out on the road in my truck, not much room for STUFF! Craigslist is great and where I turn to unload any larger/bulky items that would just be a pain to ship. I appreciate some of these pointers about making the items move quickly, it seems like sound advice that I’ll be sure to incorporate on my next listing.

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Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager November 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I’ve been selling books and CDs on half.com for awhile now. Although, I’ve started getting a little antsy and have been taking some CDs to a local shop, just to unload them.

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Lisa November 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Thanks for this – great advise.
I am going to use it on our site in NZ called Trade Me – I am not sure if we have a craigs list here -might go and google that!

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Courtney November 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I’m familiar with Trade Me! We used it to buy some used clothes for Milli while we stayed in Auckland. I’m sure the tips will transfer over.

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Jonathan Welford November 7, 2012 at 1:31 AM

It’s great that ManVsDebt is coming up with great helpful hints.

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Mary Kaplan November 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Great post with lots of good pointers. We had good luck selling a piano on Craigslist because we added that we would deliver if the buyer would help unload. We had had no luck several times before, but the delivery offer sealed the deal. Sometimes for large items, just moving it to the new location can be overwhelming. Also, advertising the piano before the Christmas holiday was helpful for all those grandmas who want their grandkids to have piano lessons!

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Courtney November 8, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Mary,

Timing can be huge- especially for seasonal items.

That said, don’t let it stop you. I almost didn’t list my Kid Kaboose Bike Trailer, because it’s almost the end of fall in Indiana. Nobody’s using their bike trailers for at least 5 months! But, it sold.

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90milemissy November 7, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Love the reminder tips. I have used all except the phone #. I don’t want to use my phone and sell everything over email. I have sold over $50,000 on CL in the last 8 years, and just helped a friend sell her $30K rv. One thing that has helped me is photos…many, many photos. When I sell something large (an rv) then I will take 90 – 150 photos. I upload them on to photo bucket and put a link in the ad. The ad has the 8 allowed photos but the buyer can then go look at every nook and cranny of the item. I have sold 3 rv’s this way and typically have 500+ views on photo bucket. You really cannot underestimate the value of a zillion photos.

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Courtney November 8, 2012 at 12:44 AM

90milemissy,

Wish I’d known you were an RV selling master! I would have hired you to sell mine last year. I bet you could have given me some better direction! I did manage to sell it via Craigslist, but it took much longer than I had wanted.

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Leslie November 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

As of today, I reached my year-end goal of selling $5000 worth of crap. I set this goal after I found this site in March and even though I didn’t think I could possibly have that much crap in my house, I set $5000 as a “stretch” goal and today, literally just this afternoon, I MADE IT!!! Total so far=$5094.50.

Here’s a possibility for people with jewelry, coins, etc. (I saw a few of those in the posts above): Helzberg Jewelers has this “Gold Purchase” program that is totally worth checking out. I made $815 selling jewelry that way and believe me, it’s not like I had piles of gold sitting in my jewelry box. I also waited for local buying sales at jewelers, and checked out different places to see where I could get the best prices for stuff that I had but never wore.

Consignment stores, Craigslist, eBay and Amazon all worked for me as well. I sold my wedding china last weekend on Craigslist–never used it, didn’t even like it.

Good luck everyone!

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Courtney November 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Leslie,

Nice. work. Not only am I impressed that you kept up your mission for 8 months, but you also hit your goal! I’m curious to hear what all you ditched. I’m intrigued to know more about the gold buyers. It always screams scam! to me, but then I hear success stories all the time.

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Leslie November 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Hi Courtney,

Here’s a list of what I sold (on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, jewelers & consignment stores):

Elliptical
Clothes, Shoes, Bags, fashion jewelry
CD Shelf
Gold, Diamond & Crystal Jewelry
Wicker Baskets
Flaming June Print
Water Filter
Silver Tray
Kettlebells
Poetic License shoes
SleepPhones
Dishware
Sunbox
Bracelet/Pearl earrings
Theracane
Books etc.

The Helzberg Gold Purchase program and my local jeweler were the best deals for selling jewelry. “Cash for Gold” places didn’t really pan out. I wouldn’t say they were scams but there are definitely other ways to get a better price for jewelry.

Take care!

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BWestMom December 7, 2013 at 6:57 AM

When you listed your china on craigslist, what category did you put it under? I couldn’t decide if i should put mine under “Household” or “antiques” or something else….

Thanks!!
Laura

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Jenn November 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Courtney, great to hear from you on the site and excellent tips!! Thanks!

Questions about bundling – how do you list the items in the title and keep it under 30 characters? Do you list the individual items or just say something like “4 kids’ toys”? And do you mention in the title that you are willing to sell them together or separately?

Thanks!
Jenn :)

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Courtney March 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Most of the time I will list some of the items, “Leap frog table, baby bath, baby books”. On Craigslist, the title isn’t the most important things normally. Most CL user are searching for specific items, and key words from the body of your listing will show up. That’s why it’s important to use the brand names of your items like “Gracco Eurpoean Travel Stroller”. If you can’t fit it in the title, make sure you get it in the body of the listing.

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Marianney November 9, 2012 at 5:07 PM

My only advice would be to either buy a pen that marks fake bills or ask for money order only on expensive items. A few years ago, we sold a camcorder on Craigslist for $600 in fake cash :( BIG BUMMER!

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John November 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I have about 100 paperback books I’ve been thinking about selling on Amazon, but I can’t figure out the best way to ship them to keep costs down. When you sold books did you use boxes or envelopes? And where did you find the cheapest supplies? Thanks!

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Courtney March 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I used bubble envelopes. You can get decent rates on a box of 25 at Costco or Sam’s club. You can also order them online for a good price. I don’t sell books on Amazon for less than $5.00 to help compensate for my time and shipping costs.

Joan might have tips for selling books on Amazon, because they run an online bookstore. You can reach out to her at joan (at) manvsdebt (dot) com.

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Tom December 8, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Just curious of the theory behind leaving your phone number mixed in numbers and words (555-345six). I see people doing this a lot on craigslist, but never understood why this is beneficial. Can you explain why? Thanks much!

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Courtney March 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Scammers are automated to find certain patterned information- like telephone numbers and email address. Having the text on the end is irregular enough for scammers to bypass it. You’ll often see people type out (at) and (dot) for email addresses.

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Andrew December 9, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Great post! Reminds me I have a mountain of just that needs to be converted to cash. Its amazing that you still see people who dont put pictures in photo’s, would have thought it would be obvious.

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Eric Walraven January 17, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Good good stuff. We were looking for something to get rid of some of our extra inventory. Like we had paintball equipment, accessories and apparel from trade-in’s. This is a perfect place to get rid of it.

Following these steps is obviously key.

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Mary B March 10, 2013 at 1:10 AM

Hi! I just found your website and am very inspired by your success. I am looking forward to your reply to Miossito’s post, as I am in a similar situation to hers. Thanks.

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Kendle L April 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I couldn’t figure out what to do on the Ebay thing….it’s so confusin…I’m thinkin of sellin things on here, but it might be confusin for me to do this lol…I was tryin to figure out which site was the best to sell things

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Joana M April 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM

The part that I don’t like about Craigslist is that the posted ads do get expire within certain time depending in where you post it. For example Backpage has an option, where you can pay them extra and they would renew the ads automatically. I wish these sites would add the same features.

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Amanda June 3, 2013 at 12:12 AM

When you find you can’t sell something, give it away or donate it. The items I’ve given away in the free section of CL go really fast, like in minutes and they come get it fast! I always say, first one here to pick it up, takes it home, and I always let them know where they are in line to get the item. You can also try a freecycle site. Google freecycle and your local town to see if there is a site in your town. Just be honest about the condition or quality of the item.

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Kay D June 21, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Would some old LP records (not 45s but not full size either) sell on CL or Ebay? Which would be better. Also, we have some old stemware sets that we inherited. I worry about them breaking in shipping, even with bubble wrap I have from the U-Haul place, so I have not used Ebay. Would they sell better on Ebay or craigslist? Thanks!

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Iona June 22, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Hello! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

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Janet June 27, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I’m looking to sell my Husqvarna Viking Embroidery sewing machine. Listed it on Craigslist So far , all I’ve got is long-distance responses that I believe to be scammers. This makes me so mad..this is a great machine with all possible attachments, etc needed and I want it to go to a GOOD home. What should I do..?? Thank You

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Heather Clark May 17, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I am LOOKING for a husqvarna Diamond. Unfortunatly good deals are few and far between and Im located in DFW Texas.
So if you have one, and are still interested in selling yours. Im SO interested! Cause I need a bigger hoop!

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Candace June 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I just want to say thanks for posting this. I have sole a few things on cl before but it was always hit or miss. However i applied some of the techniques and got responses on items that wont selling. In less than an hour i made over 200, so thank you so much.

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Sarah July 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Craigslist now has the option of using a map. Would you advise using that or no?

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VKB4247 July 25, 2013 at 5:37 AM

What an excellent and helpful article! I made my first foray into selling my stuff on CL this week. It was intimidating, but so far everyone could not have been nicer. I was expecting weirdos, but that hasn’t been the case. Having good photos and good prices has worked well for me. Not one person has tried to haggle! I’m thrilled. Anyway, thanks for this article. I followed the advice and I’ve sold 8 items so far with two more buyers coming tomorrow. I’m literally amazed at how fast my things sold. I’m going to try your tip for selling a few lots of items. Also, I was able to sell an item by answering an ad in the Wanted section. I plan to check the Wanted section regularly to see if any other people are looking for things I would not mind selling.

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Yvonne Brown August 17, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Have you ever experienced that the option to upload pictures to Craigslist doesn’t work sometimes? What is one supposed to do when this happens? Thanks! Great post!

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The Phroogal Jason August 25, 2013 at 5:22 AM

I’ve learned the secret to selling stuff on Craigslist myself. I’ve sold close to $10,000 worth of stuff. Most of which was from my old apartment in Palo Alto when I left to travel the world. $2,000 was coming back from traveling the world and helping my dad sell his stuff in the garage.

I figured out the different types of buyers too. I no longer respond to people who ask for more pictures, email me more than 4 times or won’t commit to a buy after speaking on the phone. I’ve experience many time wasters and shoppers who really have no desire to buy.

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Rey September 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Why do people ask if my listing is still available but never offer to see and purchase the item? Why do people offer a price then never offer to purchase the item? How should I turn those inquiries into a sell?

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Laurie Pepper September 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I want to sell things on craigslist but I want to price them intelligently. It seems to me there’s no point in looking at things people are TRYING to sell. I want to see similar items that HAVE sold. Is there anyway to do that????

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Mary Anne October 26, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Thank you so much for the great tips. Interestingly, we too are preparing for a move to Portland, from VA. Not in two weeks, but in a couple of months. We’re heading in that direction to be back where I need to be to finish a documentary I started filming there and for better opportunities for the both of us. We are completely downsizing and only bringing what we absolutely need for our professions and that hold deep emotional ties. Other than, everything goes. We hope to find a trailer we can afford, on craigslist, to haul what we will have left. Perhaps we can work out a trade for service with someone on there.

I started bundling some items prior to reading this, and your post has helped me to rethink the way I have them bundled. Thank you for taking the time to share what you have learned. Sustainable Learning!

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Elvis November 6, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Courtney,
I have just sold an iPhone on CL for $110, even though asking price was $50. They offered to pay me through pay pal and take care of shipping. How can I tell if it’s a scam, and how can I make sure that when I send them the iPhone they don’t turn around and say that’s not the phone in the picture? I have the box and the iPhone that I will be sending that has a matching model number. Thanks in advance. Elvis

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sunni November 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM

@Elvis — That sounds like the standard fraud trap that is occuring on classifieds online everywhere. I’m a developer. Ask them to give you a phone number to call them so you can discuss the details. When that question is asked, these folks disappear.

Here are some examples for your persual:
http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/CraigsList_scams.php

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BWestMom December 7, 2013 at 6:52 AM

I read this post and decided to list all my Kids’ crap on Craigslist. I got a huge response and got rid of almost everything in just a few days and was able to put $120 in my pocket. The best part – I cleared out two storage tubs and one big box. I decided to keep going and listed some miscelaneous household crap. If it doesn’t sell – off to the curb for pick up.

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robin January 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

loved the posts on selling on e-bay and craigs list. Pricing. how do you determine what is a fair price?. i am always afraid of selling too low and getting cheated. if i price it too high , it will not sell. Many of you have listed things you sold, but could someone, post a list, like.
doll from 1980- bought for 15.00, sold for 2.00. . similar to that. thanks.

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Tad February 3, 2014 at 4:43 AM

Robin, I’m new to this site, but thought I’d try to answer you.
I check prices at other sites online (along with CL). Amazon, E-bay, Etsy, etc. usually have prices that show what most people will pay. The exceptions to this would be something of greater value, esp. collectables. I go to dealer sites or call local dealers for current prices, i.e., coins, dolls, etc.
Another option is to include ‘OBO’ (or best offer) in the description.
I usually price a bit higher than what I’ll take and let them haggle me down a bit. Sometimes I actually get asking price!
For items that are too large to ship, I post on CL and on E-Bay classifieds. Both are posted locally and you don’t have to worry about shipping.

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Robin February 8, 2014 at 9:42 PM

That was very helpful. i will do my research this week. thanks again

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Susan January 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM

After reading your list of do’s and don’ts, I rewrote my listings on Craigslist and Ebay. I sold 3 items one hour later and have two excellent leads on 2 other high end items that were languishing online for more than a month. Thanks for a fab article.

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going to goa blog February 20, 2014 at 8:56 AM

that’s all good advice. i found craigslist works best in larger metropolitan areas. for example, when i lived in LA i would list something and get a dozen calls within ten minutes! and everything i listed sold the same day. when you have a larger pool to draw from i think that it’s a numbers game.

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Julie Barr April 26, 2014 at 1:07 AM

I live in a very rural area, and I have noticed not many people use CL. However, they seem to be pretty active on Facebook rummage sale sites, created for a specific geographical area.

Any specific tips for selling on these pages?

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Melanie May 21, 2014 at 8:10 PM

I have a beautiful solid wood armoire with 26″ TV. With the popularity of flat screen TVs Craigslist is populated with armoires in all price ranges in my area. How do I sell mine for a reasonable price? I hear you on not being concerned with what I paid for it, but I also don’t want to ‘give it away.’ Thoughts?

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Jay June 19, 2014 at 4:18 PM

What about the best posting times?

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britt August 19, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Thank you so much for this :)
This has motivated me to finally start getting rid of all of the items I’ve been wanting to sell for weeks!!!

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Ben DeBoer August 28, 2014 at 1:04 AM

This was a GREAT post. I’ve been selling my crap regularly for over 4 years and I found some great insights in the post. Thank you. I would like to add a comment that I feel would add to the discussion. When creating listings (this was touched on in the post to some degree) it’s helpful for the buyers if you answer the common questions they’re going to have before they have to ask them. Most buyers do not want to take the extra step of submitting questions and waiting for a reply. If you can cover all of the buyer’s questions in your listing they are so much more likely to buy from you when compared to other listings that do not contain the same level of detail or description. For example, a lot of buyers only want items that are from a pet-free and/or smoke free home. If this applies to your home, go ahead and state this in your listing so as to remove this question from prospective buyers’ minds. A separate item that will also widen your market is to let buyers know that you can meet them in a mutually convenient location. This can attract buyers that may be a little bit farther away (which means you may have to drive a little farther), but it can help you to make the sale on items that may not have the strongest market.

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Addy Lykes September 2, 2014 at 11:57 PM

Hi there. I had a question about selling clothes. A lot of people want to try the item on, which I completely understand, before they buy it, but I always choose a public location to meet at. I am uncomfortable with people coming into my house, using my bathroom to try on clothes. I always pick a McDonald’s or a grocery store. Some place not too far away from my house so it’s not a big loss if someone flakes (which happens all too often). Am I being unreasonable?

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