How To Sell On Craigslist: 20 Tips To Sell Your Products and Services On Craigslist

How To Sell On Craigslist
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Buying and selling of used items at a secondary market have gradually gained so much attention. Though, it is not as easy a place of doing business as many thought.

This explains how the business is more than snapping your old items and sending them on craigslist for sale and expecting good offers to come your way.

The only way you can make good gain out of your used items is when you apply the best way to sell your product and services on craigslist using our best pick guide 2022, when these specific set rules duly adhere, then success is guaranteed.

As you journey with us in this article, stayed focused as we shed light on the best way to sell your product and services on Craigslist (best pick guide 2022). Let’s go there! 

#1. Research and Pricing

One of the major steps needed to succeed in marketing is market research. Though many neglects this aspect but it turns out to be the most important aspect. 

One needs to research the market to know whether there is adequate demand for your product and if there is, at what price? Only this can give you the insight to become competitive on the highest level thereby making a reasonable price for your item.

An image calling for sales on Craigslist Market
Image credit: Pixabay

#2. Choose the Right Platform

It is important to know that not every used item that is sold for a good price on Craigslist. However, there are other platforms that can fetch you good cash for your used products such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

With this platform, you can find international buyers and as well increase your chances of getting a good return. 

Certain used items are best sold on Craigslist and include large items and furniture. On the other hand, smaller but expensive items like jewellery, rare collectables, and other valuables tend to have a good money value on Etsy and eBay. 

While Amazon becomes a suitable place for everyday items. Craigslist majorly tends to serve local buyers while Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have a much wider market coverage including international buyers. 

#3. Choose the Right Craigslist Market 

Craigslist market operates locally in cities and towns with subdomains across cities and towns. There may be multiple cities and towns surrounding your area to choose from, though it all depends on the population density.

It is therefore advisable to rather write several iterations of your ad, and post them in the domains of your surrounding cities and towns instead of posting them only on one Craigslist market where you are.

Remember, people in the neighbouring city and towns are part of the target market. This will ease the pick-up of the item from your place or you can as well send it to them easily. 

This therefore means, towns and areas with much young adult population are best for selling furniture and other used goods on Craigslist.  

#4. Price It Right

For you to have a fair deal of your used items on Craigslist, research and evaluate the item putting into consideration the condition of your item, this will enable you to know the right price for the item you want to sell.

Ask for a higher price, and you won’t see buyers of the item, when the asking price is very low, people will consider there’s something wrong with the item. 

Additionally, consider also whether you want your ad at a firm price or as an OBO. An OBO entices more buyers. Such buyers are aggressive in their negotiations. 

A firm offer saves you the trouble of negotiations, but it can turn off potential buyers. 

#5. Headlines that Attract Eyeballs

Use keywords that buyers might search for when your ad pops up in search results.  Being specific and comprehensive with an appealing headline while selling on Craigslist is key for you to cash out big time.

Always write headlines that will call the attention of potential buyers and that is the only way buyers will build trust in buying from you. 

For example, always “Used Ikea Bekant Conference Table for sale” This sounds cool and is indeed a great idea to list down the name of the brand and any specific model number in the title if you remember. Therefore, avoid headlines like “Table for sale” for they don’t attract buyers.

The use of keywords is also of importance when thinking of selling on Craigslist. Always use keywords buyers might be looking for in the search platform. Always try to find some related keywords and keep your headline as short but amazing. 

The characters to be used shouldn’t be more than 30, this is to avoid the hidden of some characters in case one is using mobile devices.

#6. The Ad Itself 

An effective Craigslist ad writing has a combination of both art and science. Ad writing is the art behind sentences while science deals with words.

When the two are combined, it becomes necessary to woo a potential buyer into action. Find here some of the tips to help you write effective ad descriptions for items on Craigslist.

#7. Disclose the Right Amount of Detail

The manner you describe Craigslist ads has an effect on the used items you want to sell. Many buyers tend to frown when the description has one or two sentences.

On the other hand, having a lengthy description of over 5000-words gets them boredom without result forcing them to knock at the door of other competitors.

azelle dutch bike for sale with description
Image credit: Pixabay

Given the right amount with details but a brief description, though depends on what you are selling, and being specific becomes a sure sales strategy that gives you an edge over your competitors.

Don’t forget, there are complex high-ticket items such as cars, houses, and other luxury electronics that required a full description. While describing your product, always mention the manufacturer’s specifications. 

Additionally, dimensions and features like color, condition, and age must be stated. This is a sure way your buyer can read as much technical information about the product and possibly call for action. 

It is also important to use proper relevant keywords. Remember always to use the keyword in the course of describing the item you are selling. This will help your ad rank higher on craigslist. 

Also of note is the mode of payment, this must be clearly defined but cash should be preferred as an ideal method.

#8. Disclose Damage and Imperfections Fully

No doubt, people who buy on Craigslist are always cautious knowing fully well that these are secondhand items. This fear factor arises known fully well that they may not be able to see the seller again after the business.

Building trust becomes key in a business of this kind, how do you do that?

Ensure you disclose all imperfections and damages that are associated with your item up front in the ad description.

Always take close-range pictures of the damages or imperfections areas and ensure you include captions. All these are aimed at building trust and in a way encouraging people to take action by contacting you.

This in a way reduces the risk of people flooding your doorsteps for inspection without buying.

#9. Include Your Name in the Listing

When your name is included in the listing, it is one sure way of building trust in your buyers. However, many sellers feel uneased about including their full names in the ad description for reasons best known to them.

Though for the avoidance of doubts in the minds of buyers, it is advisable, at least include your first name. You will agree with me that, no one will be willing to make a purchase from an unknown stranger talk more or a secondhand item.

Therefore, including your name shows how easily you can be accessed and how reliable you are for buyers to do business with.

#10. Include Your Phone Number

After stating your first name in the ad description, don’t forget to include your contact number. Including your contact number can’t only make people trust you but also is a quick means that will enable them to reach out to you on a mobile phone.

This is a chance for them to do the follow-up, and if all things been equal, schedule an appointment to come to check your item. 

Alternatively, in case you don’t want to use your cellphone number, you can create an anonymous phone number in order to have it forward phone calls and text messages to your real number.

Text message can also be advised since it’s one of the simplest ways to reach out to you not minding the time. And also remember Google Voice is totally free as long as you are communicating with other US numbers.

#11. Set a Deadline

A marketing expert once said scarcity and urgency are the basic indices that call many to take action.

with this, always set a deadline in your ads, this is indeed a clear show that your offer is not forever for buyers. Most times you can simply say, “This is for you to grab, pick up lasted till Sunday”. At least a pick-up date should not be longer than six days from the day of the ads description listing.

Image displaying limited time offer on Craigslist market
Image credit: Pixabay

However, ensure you don’t set up the deadline date too close or too far. If it’s too close, potential buyers will think they have the upper hand as you need to sell more than they need to purchase.

Better still the deadline may also pass too soon for good buyers. If the deadline is too far, they will think you aren’t really serious about selling your items or many can wait a bit to purchase from you. 

Don’t forget, plan B is an alternative in a market like Craigslist. Therefore, get your plan B ready in case no one approaches you by the deadline date. 

For instance, in a situation where you hold a grand garage sale to sell several items that you failed to sell on craigslist, don’t hesitate to donate them to a charity and take some tax deductions.  

#12. Include All Accessories

In case your ad description listing comes with accessories, always be specific as you include them in your list of items being published. For example, if you’re selling a DSLR camera, list out all the spare parts like batteries, battery chargers, additional lenses, kit cases, or other accessories in the listing.

Don’t forget to also add photos of each accessory separately to differentiate your listing from competitors. When you add separate photos as well as a group photo, this in turn adds more authority to your ad. 

#13. Consider Batching or Selling in Lots

Batching means conducting sales of different but related items together using the same price. It is one way to cross-promote with the aim to make good money. 

For example, if you’re selling baby toys or products for a certain category of age, it will be best to put them in batches or lots. But ensure you have descriptions and specifications for each item sold in your lot.

In addition, you can also upsell once a potential buyer arrives at your doorstep. this is a way to introduce them to the other related items that you are selling. 

#14. Compelling Photos

Different marketing experts have spoken and written much on the need of creating eye-catching photos for your products. That is to say, bad images will not make sales. Follow the tips below to get compelling pictures. 

Bad images will turn them off your buyers. The best tips below will help you to get compelling pictures and up your sales. 

  1. Clean up your item very well
  2. Place your item against a backdrop that makes it stand out properly. For instance, always use a white background in case your item is black. 
  3. Take a photograph under strong light. If the item is a bike, picture them under the sun. For indoor items like furniture, ensure you are throwing enough bright white light on them before taking pictures. 
  4. If your item is too large or too small, take a picture of it along with a universally known item. This way, potential buyers will be able to understand the scale of the product. 
  5. For electronics, take pictures when they are ON. It will show your item works. 
  6. Take close shots closely of any unique features
  7. Always caption appropriately

#15. Safety and Security

Safety and security are key in every business dealing especially when it is digital for the fear of scammers. This is why many fear dealing with strangers. It is obvious you can’t tell who you are inviting over to do business with. 

Being security conscious becomes necessary to avoid being a victim of circumstance.

#16. Plan Your Pickups

When scheduling for pick up, ensure the place is at a convenient public place. Though this depends on the item the buyer is going for. With large objects such as furniture, that don’t normally work, ensure the buyer comes to your home. Don’t forget, all scheduled pickups should be during the day so that someone else can join you.

Always put away anything small, or valuable, that can be easily stolen before prospective buyers arrive at your home. For example, if you’re selling bedroom furniture, don’t leave your jewelry box sitting open where sticky fingers can reach in. this may sound funny, but do it to avoid had I know. 

#17. Payments

Dealing with cash is the only sure way to do business on Craigslist. Checks, money orders, etc., may seem like “cash,” but they are not real cash per see.

Remember people can be funny at times, and anyone can forge a document today, and since you are not an expert, it becomes difficult to spot forgeries of such kind. So, it’s better to avoid all other forms of physical payments. 

All online payments have a similar story but if you must accept, then consider services like Venmo and Paypal since they may work fine. But, remember, these services have the option to reverse a payment. A buyer who transferred money to your account using Paypal can reverse it after going home. Therefore be careful.

#18. Use a Secondary Email Address, and Anonymize It

A secondary email address is required when dealing with buyers for any online business that you have a feeling of being scammed. Always use this on Craigslist. 

Don’t forget to use anonymized features to avoid getting displayed to the public. 

You can set up auto-forwarding of your email to avoid regularly checking it. Auto forward all mails to your primary address. 

Additionally, watch out for responses like “Is IJK still available?” These are usually mass responses sent out to hundreds of sellers by scammers. Avoid them! 

#19. Ad Management

Always check your posted ad on a regular basis and as well keep refreshing it from time to time. 

Never mind reposting your ad on Craigslist continually so that your ad won’t be cloned to get buyers confused. However, Craigslist permits you to refresh your free ads every forty-eight (48) hours.

While for your paid ads, get ready to pay an additional fee that will guarantee your ad to be moved back to the top of the listings.

Therefore, it is mandatory that you log into your Craigslist account consistently in order to keep refreshing so as to keep to the top of the listing. 

#20. Remove Your Post After Selling

The essence of ad description listing on Craigslist is to make sales and cash out as soon as possible and once the item is out of your home and cash is in your hand, do well by taking down the ad. 

This means, there is no point whatsoever holding an item for potential buyers, no matter how they beg. It becomes on a first-come, first-serve basis. Whenever the first person shows up at your door with the money, the item belongs to them and no one else. 

Be as strict as possible with this policy because “highly interested” buyers most times come at the last moment, and your deal breaks down. Therefore, be open and strict about it that you have a first-come, first-serve policy. 


Craigslist is indeed an exceptional marketplace that is classified. Though, most secondhand items sold here may not necessarily be at a good price. 

However, if the offers you received here are not reasonable, you can choose to donate the items to the less privileged.

No doubt, Craigslist is an online marketplace contender, but there are other alternatives to it these days where you can buy and sell goods and services but a trial on Craigslist marketplace will convince you.

Simon Orshi

Simon Orshi

Simon is a creative copywriter focused mainly on digital marketing and related topics. He loves sharing his expertise with our audience to help improve their blogging and traffic growth skills. He also loves reading, football and blogging.

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