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5 Selling Tips to Help You Make a Profit on Craigslist

Posted by MoneyKey on August 10, 2019
selling items on Craigslist

Whether you’re in the process of organizing your home, decluttering your kitchen, or you just have a lot of unused things lying around the house, there may come a time when you want to turn your household clutter into cash. While you might feel like you’ll find some use for some of these things down the line, the truth is, they’re likely just going to end up gathering dust and cluttering up your home.

If you want to get rid of these things and make an extra buck while you’re at it, you could sell them on eBay, have a garage sale, or put up an ad in the paper. But one of the most popular places to sell your unused things is on craigslist. While anyone can throw a few items up and hope for the best, if you want to make the most of this platform, it helps to have a few online selling tips up your sleeve to maximize this process. So, let’s take a look at five steps and selling tips to help you sell your things on Craigslist.

1. Do your research

You shouldn’t just throw up an ad without having done any planning or research. You’ll need to look into how much the items you’re selling typically go for, and what the optimal descriptions are for them. This is especially important if you don’t already know what the technical specifications are for what you’re selling.

Craigslist is a huge platform with a ton of people looking to sell things that are probably similar to yours. So, if you’ve gone to the trouble of doing the proper research to optimize your pricing, descriptions, and pictures, you may be able to get a leg up on the competition.

do your research when selling things on Craigslist

Here’s how you should go about doing your research:

  • Search for your item on pricing or review sites. If you’re trying to sell some electronics, look up prices on CNET or look on the website of the manufacturer. You may be able to find the specs and all of the features of your item, and you can use this information to write a great description.
  • Find out how much your items are selling for when they’re new. You should be able to get a good idea of prices by looking on Google and use these search results to compare the prices of different retailers. It’ll be very unlikely for you to be able to sell your item for as much as it’s being sold for new, but this should help to give you a general idea of how much your item costs, and it’ll give you a number to work from.
  • See how much your item is going for on eBay and Craigslist. This will give you an even clearer idea of how much you should be charging.

2. Assign a price to your item

Assigning the right price to your items can be a tricky line to tow. If you demand too much money, you likely won’t find any interested buyers. If you ask for too little, you won’t maximize your profits.

After taking a look on eBay and Craigslist, you should have a good idea of the general price range of your item. Now it’s time for you to evaluate the condition of your item. If it’s not working as well as it could, doesn’t have all its parts, or is in generally rough shape, you’ll probably want to stick to the low end of that range. But if it’s in nearly perfect condition or it’s barely been out of the box, you can ask for something on the higher end of that range.

One of the most important selling tips here is to be realistic. You may have paid a significant amount for the item in the first place, or maybe you think it has more value to other people than it really does. Either way, try to look at it objectively and stick to a price that’s within the appropriate range.

3. Take photos

When you’re trying to sell your things online, taking a great picture can be what sets you apart from the competition. With Craigslist, you can assign four pictures for each ad. Depending on the item, it might not be necessary to post four pictures, but you should make sure you have a picture that showcases the item in its entirety. Use the other three pictures to show the item from different angles.

take great pictures of your items for Craigslist

To find the best pictures, take a bunch of them and pick out the best four. It could also help to stage the photos to better showcase your items. To do that properly:

  • Clean the item
  • Include any additional gadgets or accessories in the picture
  • Use a neutral background
  • Look for the best lighting
  • Take pictures from different angles

4. Write a concise headline

It doesn’t take a professional copywriter to come up with a good headline. But remember that this is an important part of the process, so you should take the time to come up with something creative and concise. After all, this will be the first impression buyers get from your item, and it’ll be how they search for the items they’re looking for.

One important thing to try to do is to use the right keywords in your title. Use as many of these as you can without confusing the buyer.

Try to include the name of your item, what brand it is, and what condition it’s in. If you can’t manage to include the right keywords or information, potential buyers will have a harder time finding your listings.

5. Write a great description

If you’ve managed to draw someone in with a great headline, your description might just be what closes the deal. Craigslist will give you a good amount of space to work with so you can be very descriptive in your description. And feel free to reference your pictures in your text.

write a great description for your items on Craigslist

The more information you give, the less calls and emails you’ll get from people asking you basic information about the item.

Consider putting the following things in your description:

  • What item you’re selling
  • The price
  • Technical specifications
  • The condition of your item
  • Your contact information

Use these selling tips to help you make a profit on Craigslist

It can take some time and hard work to sell your things on Craigslist, but it may be worth all your effort. Whether you have a bunch of leftover things after organizing your home or you’re looking for a side hustle to earn a little extra money, these selling tips may be able to help you turn previously unused items into money. And the more you go through the process, the easier it’ll become, so what are you waiting for?


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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