Here’s How I Sold 5 Big Ticket Items on Maine Craigslist in One Week
I'm moving this weekend so the past month has been all about packing my life into boxes and purging my unneeded items. I've unloaded lots of clothing at Plato's Closet, donated unwanted household items to Goodwill, and sold some larger furniture items on Craigslist. I never put much faith in Craigslist. For one, selling things on the internet to strangers seems like something my mother wouldn't want me to do. Second, I didn't think I'd ever get what I wanted for my items and I'm a terrible negotiator.
Still, I needed to unload some big items (a couch, bed frame, desk, bookshelves, and more) and I had a quick timeline to get it done. Despite my concerns, I turned to Craigslist. I sold all five of my major items in less than seven days, all within 10% of my asking price. Here's the strategy I used to get unwanted stuff out of my apartment and line my wallet with cash.
How to Sell Your Things on Craigslist
1. Quality Pictures
You need to have at least three photos of your item from different angles. Capture the best features of the item and use the best photo as your featured image. Take the photos in decent lighting (daylight is best) and do your best to remove clutter. If you have a cute dog, use your pup to your advantage like I did with Eloise to sell my couch.
2. Bullet List Descriptions
A paragraph format is only going to bore potential buyers. Put the most important information about your item in 5 or so bullet points. If more info is needed, stick to a sentence or two. If the person needs more info beyond that, they'll ask via e-mail.
3. Fast E-Mail Response
There's no excuse for slow responses to Craigslist inquiries. If you have your e-mail sent to your phone, respond ASAP to keep the buyer interested. If possible, setup same day or next day meetings to see and purchase the item. The faster you respond, the faster you have cash in your pocket.
4. Settle Price Before Buyers Arrive
Don't leave the negotiating to the in-person meeting. Settle your price before you setup a time and place to meet. If the buyer shows up and still wants to negotiate, they're wasting their own time and you're getting what you want for a price.
5. Include a Phone Number but Beware of Scams
A local 207 phone number gives buyers confidence that you're a real person. Careful, you will definitely get scammers text messaging you with offers to wire you more money then you're asking for your item. They'll offer to send a shipping company to pick it up. The best way to spot a scam is the phone number: If it's not 207, it's probably a scammer. If the text message includes offers for direct deposit, mailing the item, or a word-for-word copy and paste of your ad title in the first sentence, it's probably a scam.
Good luck, Craigslisters!