How to sell stuff on craigslist – How To Sell on Craigslist? 12 Simple Tips For Beginners

How to Sell on Craigslist

As we explained in our What Is Craigslist article, Craigslist is a bit different from traditional e-commerce websites, such as Amazon and eBay.  It allows you to post advertisements for things that you want to sell (or buy), but it does not facilitate the transactions themselves (such as processing payments or taking care of shipping and handling).  Therefore, you’ll have to make up a bit of the legwork.

There are three key steps to selling on Craigslist: posting an advertisement, communicating with prospective buyers, and then meeting up to complete the transaction.

How to sell something on Craigslist

1. Create an advertisement for the product or service.

The only way that other Craigslist users are going to know that you have an item or service that you want to sell is if you tell them about it.  Therefore, the first step in selling an item on Craigslist is to post an advertisement, like this one:

You should provide as much detail as you can about the item, such as what condition it’s in, an asking price, its manufacturer or model, unique identifying numbers, and so on.  It’s also important to include one or more pieces of contact information, so that anyone who wants to buy what you’re selling can get in touch with you.  Finally, you may want to provide some pictures, too, so that people can see what your item looks like.

See our How to Post on Craigslist tutorial for instructions on putting an advertisement up on Craigslist.

2. Get in touch with people who want to buy your item.

As we mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, Craigslist leaves the details of a transaction between a buyer and a seller up to them to hash out.  This is why, in the previous tip, we said that it’s extremely important to include contact information for prospective buyers to reach you at.  The default is email (and Craigslist will partially anonymize your email address to help keep people from sending you junk mail), but you can also provide a phone number. 

You can even add some location data, if you want to meet (this is useful if the item is stored somewhere other than where you live).  However, just be careful about revealing more personal information than you’re comfortable with!

3. Finalize the transaction by meeting in person.

Once you’ve worked out the details with the buyer, you should ask them to meet you in person in order to pick up the item and make the payment.  You can, of course, ship the item to them once they’ve paid you (or have them pay you later), but we would suggest completing the deal face-to-face if possible.

The reason for this is that most deals that go bad on Craigslist do so when people don’t meet face-to-face, instead solely working out the details over emails, phone calls, or text messages.  Our Is Craigslist Safe and Craigslist Scams articles have more information about that.


There!  We’ve just made selling on Craigslist as easy as 1-2-3!  Check out some of the other articles we mentioned for more detailed instructions on how to hawk your stuff on Craigslist!

More Great Related Articles

How to Successfully Sell Your Stuff On Craigslist for Cash

Whether you’re all finished with spring cleaning or just getting started, there’s probably a few things (or many things) lying around your home that you no longer need. That’s how it is for my house.

You might be inclined to just toss these things away but as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Selling gently used items is a great way to make some extra income.

I’ve typically used eBay in the past and it has worked great. But eBay is more effective for smaller, higher valued items. You reach a wider amount of people, even globally.

So what if you want to sell a piece of furniture easily and have the buyer come by and pick it up? While you can do that on eBay, you get much more flexibility on Craigslist.

Sure, selling on Craigslist seems scary. While you should be wary of scams, Craigslist is a great marketplace to sell you stuff fast. Here are 4 tips to successfully sell your stuff on Craigslist.

Put Extra Effort Into the Pictures

Make sure to put extra effort into the picture. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling an antique or a pen. Whatever it is, always include multiple pictures with your listing. It’s the first thing a potential buyer sees and it’s what attracts them to read more.

Pay particular attention to the lighting and keep the background clean. Good pictures make a world of a difference. The little effort you put into these shots can get you more money in the end.

Get Creative With the Headline

Aside from your images, one of the first things potential buyers see is the headline. Boring headlines don’t get noticed. Get creative with your headline and it will increase your chances of catching someone’s attention.

Think about what the main selling point of your item is. Is it price? If so, include it in the headline. Be careful not to make your headline too long or have it sound too gimmicky, though. That can backfire and drive potential customers away.

Write a Detailed But Concise Description

When you have the image and headline ready, it’s time to focus on your description. You don’t want a super lengthy one. No one wants to read a novel. But it’s important to include as many details as possible.

While keeping your description concise, include as many selling points as you can. Different buyers are looking for different things and you want to appeal to as many people as possible. This will also cut down on questions buyers have for you

Price the Items to Sell

The most important part of any Craigslist listing is pricing. It doesn’t matter if you have the best pictures, a catchy headline, and a great description. If you’re priced too high, no one will want to buy.

Craigslist buyers are looking for deals. Do your research and see how much similar items are selling for. Also consider factoring in a discount if the buyer can pick up the item themselves.

Selling on Craigslist can certainly take some time. But with just a little bit of effort, you can make some quick cash on items you were never going to use again.

Have you ever sold furnishings locally? What’s your best tip for successfully selling on Craigslist?

How to Sell Stuff on Craigslist

Wise Bread Picks

Welcome to Wise Bread’s Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on how to sell stuff on Craigslist, ways to manage your money, and how teens can earn money for college.

Top 5 Articles

How to Sell Stuff on Craigslist — When selling your stuff on Craigslist, don’t post your email address. [Bargain Babe]

25 Insanely Easy Ways to Manage Your Money and Get Back on Top — Joining in on weekly finance tweetchats can help you manage your money and get back on top! [PT Money]

10 Ways Teenagers Can Earn Money for College — If your teen needs to earn money for college, have him or her tutor someone. [Free Money Wisdom]

How to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely — With April 15th behind us and tax refunds being issued, consider spending your tax refund on paying down your debt. [Generation X Finance]

Fitness on the cheap: How to start running — Before you start running, talk to your doctor to make sure you won’t hurt yourself with your new exercise routine. [Living on the Cheap]

Other Essential Reading

What to Do Before Your Last Day of Work — Before your last day of work, take the time to ask for recommendations. [Cash Money Life]

10 Good Reasons to Get a Personal Loan — If you want to buy a used car, it may be a good idea to get a personal loan. [Joe Taxpayer]

7 Tips to Being the Best Homeowner You Can Be — Be the best homeowner you can be by going green and protecting your wood floors. [MintLife Blog]

One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away — Declutter your life by throwing away extra photo prints and cooking utensils you have two of. [PopSugar Smart Living]

7 Sanity-Saving Tips for Grocery Shopping With Your Kids — To save your sanity when grocery shopping with your kids, time your trips strategically. [Parenting Squad]

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