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Selling Items on Craigslist: How to Sell Anything

Craigslist is one of the top websites for selling items. We have provided a guide on how to sell items on craigslist successfully.
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Craigslist has been the go-to place to find anything you need—and then some—for over two decades. While it hasn’t changed much over the years, when it comes to wanting a reliable platform for online bartering, selling items on Craigslist is the way to go. In fact, according to a 2018 Bloomberg article, Craigslist is one of the top five most popular sites in the world right now.

Research and Pricing 

As you research your item, look at the average price of similar items on Craigslist and eBay. This will give you an idea of how much people are willing to pay for similar items in your area.

The value of your item is one factor that can help determine its price. For example, if it’s brand new or still has a warranty, you can probably charge more than if it’s used or secondhand. 

If there are many other similar items available on Craigslist and eBay for much less than yours, that may mean that the market isn’t aware yet of the value of what you have—so don’t sell too low. But be sure that you aren’t overcharging. 

Choose the Right Platform 

When selling items on Craigslist, you should consider the platform best for your product.

If it’s a high-value item or a unique piece of furniture, Craigslist can be an excellent place for that. It’s also suitable for tools and small electronics that are easy to ship. 

eBay is better for more specific products—like used clothing and furniture—because there are stricter rules against reselling them as new items.

If your product isn’t quite so unique, you may want to consider the local market when choosing where to list it online. Some areas have fewer buyers than others; if this is true in yours, then it might make sense for you to go with one of the larger platforms like eBay or Amazon instead of Craigslist because they’ll reach more people in general (and thus help increase demand). 

You could also try both platforms just in case one turns out better than expected.

It would be best if you also considered how much profit margin your item has before choosing which platform will work best: 

if there’s little room between cost and sale price, then listing on eBay might not be worthwhile since they charge fees on top of any profit made by selling through their site, while Amazon charges upfront fees but offers discounts after certain thresholds are met ($10k annually). 

If plenty is left over after paying shipping costs or transferring funds into an account, both companies offer great incentives without additional penalties.”

Choose the Right Markets When Selling Items on Craigslist

For your post to get the most attention, you must choose the right Craigslist market. The easiest way to do this is by using Craigslist’s “cities” tab. 

Once there, select a city that matches your item’s location. For example, if you live in Chicago and have an iPad Mini 2 for sale with no charger, don’t post it in New York City or Los Angeles.

Instead, try posting in smaller cities like Evanston or Waukegan, where people are more likely to be looking for an iPad Mini 2 (and maybe even pay the total price).

Price It Right 

The most important thing to remember when selling anything on Craigslist is that you will get what you pay for. 

If your item is priced too high, you will get no interest. This will also be true if the price is too low. Otherwise, you might be selling yourself short on your profits.  

Pricing things right means that enough people want your product and can afford it.

You need to price the items according to their value so that they will sell quickly and easily without compromising yourself or your business.

Headlines that Attract Eyeballs

Headlines are the essential part of your ad. The headline is like a resume’s “summary of qualifications” section: it tells people what you can do for them. So it should be clear and concise.

You want to write your headline to catch the reader’s attention. Think about how headlines work in magazines, newspapers, and even on social media: they’re short (like this one), clear, and to the point; they use the word “you,”; and they use a strong call-to-action (“I need help,” “Buy now,” etc.). Your Craigslist ads should follow these guidelines as well.

Disclose the Right Amount of Detail

When disclosing details about your item, it’s essential to keep in mind that you should never reveal too much or too little detail.

Disclosing too much detail is bad because it can make your listing less attractive. So, if you include too much information, potential buyers may feel overwhelmed by the information. This will turn them off from reading further and might encourage them to look for an alternative item instead.

On the other hand, if you don’t include enough detail in your listing, buyers might not understand what they’re buying or why they would want it in the first place!

Disclose Damage and Imperfections Fully 

If you are selling an item that has been damaged or is otherwise imperfect, it’s crucial to disclose this information fully and accurately.

If there’s a crack in the item, let potential buyers know. If there’s some minor damage that doesn’t affect its functionality and only affects the appearance, be honest about that as well—but don’t overstate it.

It can help to include photos of any issues with your listing so buyers can see what you’re talking about for themselves.

The same goes for repairs or replacements: if something was broken when you bought it, let people know how much time has passed since then and whether any other parts have been replaced to give them an idea of how well-maintained the product has been during its life cycle. 

-This will also help them assess whether they should expect further problems down the road due to wear and tear versus intentional modifications by previous owners (or even yourself).

Take clear, quality photographs.

Your photos are the first thing people see on your listing, so they must be eye-catching and clear. 

Make sure you include multiple angles of the item so that it can be seen from all sides, and use a good quality camera with natural light if possible.

If you don’t have access to natural light, take your photos in a well-lit room with white walls for the background (a bathroom or kitchen works best). 

If people are in the shot, try using a tripod or timer if possible – this helps ensure everyone is smiling naturally. Tripods also allow you to take steady pictures, so they don’t turn out blurry and low quality. 

List all relevant details about your item, including size measurements, color; condition (new or used); any accessories included with the purchase; return policy information if applicable; shipping costs/methods allowed by the seller, potential arrival time, and estimates where appropriate.

What to include in the listing when selling on Craigslist

● Please include your name in the listing: This is the first thing people will see when they click on your ad. If you have a business name, include it and ensure it’s spelled correctly.

● Be sure to include your phone number.

● Include your email address: Do this if you’d like to receive inquiries from potential buyers through email rather than having them contact you through Craigslist’s messaging system for public postings.

● Include your address: If someone wants to meet in person at an agreed location. This will help them find their way there without needing directions from another party or having to ask anyone else for help with suggestions that may or may not be accurate.

● Provide links for more information about yourself: You can link directly to relevant pages on social media profiles. You can also add a short bio of yourself along with links to the home page and website URL within this section at the bottom right corner after “Additional Info” above the text box where the title goes by default under “Your Name.”

Include Your Phone Number

The best and most convenient way to reach you is by phone, so include your phone number on every ad, email, and text message you send out.

Set a Deadline 

When selling items on Craigslist, use a deadline to help you decide what to accept as payment, whether or not to lower your price, and if you will take less than what you are asking for an item. 

The best strategy is to have an exact number of days the ad will be active before the listing expires. This way, people know they don’t have much time left before losing out on this deal forever. 

You can also use a non-specific deadline such as “24 hours” or “tomorrow,” which will give buyers more flexibility but still let them know how quickly they need to respond if they want this item in their hands today.

Add contact information and hook up with PayPal or Venmo so buyers can pay immediately when they pick up the item. Otherwise, no one will ever see how much money you made on Craigslist (or any other site) during those late nights when no one else has time for anything but sleep.

Include All Accessories

Once you have all the necessary accessories, please include them in your ad. This will make it more likely that someone will want to buy your item, and since it’s not so much of a hassle for them to view the accessories too, they may be more inclined to do so.

To include any information about the accessories:

● Include it in the description – this is where most people look when deciding whether or not they want something. It’s also helpful to mention anything unique about each accessory (e.g., “This mouse has been hand-painted with glitter”).

● Include an image of each accessory – this way, anyone who needs more info can look at precisely what they’re getting before buying.

● List every accessory individually – every time I’ve done this before (and there have been many), someone emails me asking for a certain one once everything else has already sold out!

Write a great description to sell items on Craigslist

Your ad should include:

● A description of the item.

● A description of the condition.

● A photo of the item, ideally taken in natural light and showing as much detail as possible. It’s better to take a few pictures than one poorly lit one that doesn’t show everything! If you don’t have a camera, use your phone or borrow someone else’s—you can always crop and edit it later on Photoshop or GIMP (a free photo editing software).

● Links to any other places where you’ve listed this item for sale, either online or locally (eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist). This will help buyers feel confident that they’re getting exactly what they think they are getting. It also increases your chances of selling it fast because there’s less risk for a buyer who knows what they are buying.

Consider Batching or Selling in Lots 

If you’re selling multiple items, consider batching them together. This is a great way to sell more items at once, especially if you don’t mind waiting for the next person to come along who wants the other item in your batch.

Selling in bulk or in groups is also an option:

● If you have multiple similar items that people might want to buy together (e.g., five used books), this could be an excellent way to sell them without having to do any extra work or keep track of what’s available or not. 

For example, if someone wants all five books but doesn’t want any extras, they can get them all at once without waiting for individual sales or checking back later on Craigslist.

● You can also try combining two different things (e.g., a couch and an armchair) into one “lot” and selling both at once—make sure the buyer knows ahead of time, so there are no surprises down the road!

Safety and Security 

● Use a secure platform. If you’re selling items on Craigslist, your best bet is to use a platform like eBay or Amazon.

● Use a secure payment platform. When buying and selling things on Craigslist, you should use PayPal or another trusted payment service (or cash in person) to ensure that the other party can be authorized.

● Use a secure shipping platform: It’s also essential to use an established shipping company when sending or receiving items through Craigslist; 

-otherwise, there’s no way of knowing if they’ll ever arrive! If possible, try using FedEx or UPS instead of USPS—they offer many more protections for sellers and buyers alike; 

-if someone does manage to steal from you through USPS mail service, then at least the post office will probably know about it since there are cameras everywhere nowadays (thank goodness). For example: “I always used FedEx because I knew my parents had insurance if anything went wrong with one.”

Include your contact information and a way to pay

Include your contact information and a way to pay. It’s not enough to be able to find the person you are selling your item to; you also need to know how they plan on paying for it.

If you accept cash, include the price and instructions on how they can give it to you. If they want PayPal or Venmo, share those details as well.

Make sure that everyone knows how to contact each other quickly if something goes wrong or there is an issue with payment arrangements (or any other miscellaneous things). 

You may even want to include a phone number or email if someone wants more information about your listing (like what condition your item is in).

Set up a time and place where both parties can meet up in person if possible and ensure there is ample lighting so they can see what they’re buying before handing over any money.

Refresh Your Ad Regularly 

When you post an ad for selling items on craigslist, it’s essential to refresh your listing every few days. This will help you get more views and responses, leading to more sales and money!

Responding to your ads can also help with this process. If you answer a lot, more people might respond. Of course, there are no guarantees, but it won’t hurt.


This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can use Craigslist to sell practically anything and make it work. 

With time and effort, you can create a successful business or side hustle on this site that can bring in some extra monthly income.

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Hi, I’m Crosby Jeffler. This blog will discuss my methods for creating multiple income streams. I generated over $2M of sales in the past two years, and I’ll share how I did it.