How to Sell on Craigslist

It’s been an awful long time since I’ve published an article on my site but because my last Craigslist tips article was so popular, I decided to follow up with a new set of tips for effectively selling on craigslist.

I don’t sell on craigslist that frequently but I find that I can usually solicit a huge number of responses to the ad and receive an offer closer to my target price. Through my experiences I have a compiled a list of steps you can take whether you’re trying to sell a car, a house or even something as cheap and small as an old chair.

This article will include some research tasks as well as a tiny bit of Web Coding tutorial. I’ll keep it very simple so as not to overwhelm and if you have additional questions please ask them in the comments.

This is the most important asset to your craigslist ad.  It needs to possess an element of honesty and attention to detail.  If the product your selling has scratches or cracks, you should be sure to include that.  Its easier to trust someone that is forthcoming about blemishes and imperfections.  So much of craigslist is about figuring out whether to trust the person you’re buying from is actually selling what they say they’re selling.  Be reasonable, provide information that justifies your price.

Take Photos
Taking the extra time to provide photos of the product your selling will easily double the number of responses you’ll receive.  Prove that you have the product you are selling and show them what it looks like.  This is part of being transparent but also it allows people to visualize what they’re buying, the condition it’s in, and even get attached to it before they’ve even made a deal with you.  Never hurts to do a little bit of marketing on the spot.

Another important reason to provide photos is because craigslist highlights listings that have done so.  Scroll through the classifieds right now and you’ll see a little pic icon at the end of the title.  See the slight difference between the two listings

That one little, orange indicator can make or break the sale just based on the fact that someone may not click on it because they know you don’t have a picture provided.  Nobody wants to waste the time with something they don’t absolutely need if they can’t see it before they make an offer.  Its a lot of effort for me to venture into either of those virginia cities in order to just get a first glimpse of what I want to buy.

Break it up
The next most important thing has to do with the visual appeal once you get the user onto your page.  Lots of craigslist ads tend to look like this:

They provide a lot of really good information in here but its so buried that the reader is forced to read through this very long paragraph.  Minimal words should be used aside from the important details.  One way to quickly communicate the features or important information is to break it up.  The only way to break it up is to learn a little basic HTML formatting. The HTML formatting goes in the same big text box where you write the description/information of the item you’re selling.

Creating a list in HTML looks like this:

<li>Includes <strong>44</strong> mint condition plates<li>
<li>Manufactured by delphi, brandex, etc.</li>
<li>most have certificates and original boxes</li>
<li><strong>sell on ebay for $15-$35 each</strong></li>

which produces this:

  • Includes 44 mint condition plates
  • Manufactured by delphi, brandex, etc.
  • most have certificates and original boxes
  • sell on ebay for $15-$35 each

You will also notice that I was able to bold certain important pieces of information.  This makes it easy to highlight the benefits and selling points of the product.  Bold is accomplished by wrapping the text in <strong>text that needs to be bolded</strong>.  There are tons of resources for HTML styling and formatting but don’t get too fancy because craigslist limits the things you can do within their ads.

If you have things you do to improve your craigslist conversion rate, please share in the comments.  Also, remember that people will try to scam you whether you’re selling or they’re selling so read up on how to spot craigslist scams before you get taken by one.  Be safe and happy selling 🙂

One thought on “How to Sell on Craigslist

  1. I like it when people get together and share views. Great site, stick with it!

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