Craigslist can be a really irritating place for anyone looking to buy or sell something. Whenever I set up a listing, I always dread getting the emails from people asking if I will take half my price or if I will trade for a “engine that don't work real good, but has a lot of good parts”.
Is there any way to avoid this on Craigslist? We all know that selling locally is by far the best way to sell. As long as you don't have a store, you don't have to charge the person tax nor shipping at all so you can sell the item for a better price and make more money from it. And no fees! As well, you don't have to deal with keeping up with listings other than just answering email and meeting someone who wants to purchase your item.
So how do you effectively write a Craigslist Post so that you make sure you sell stuff as quickly as possible, get the best money for your item, and avoid the the people who seem to hang around Craigslist just to make it worse for others? Here are a couple of good rules to follow when creating one:
- Make a title that is quick and to the point. Tell them exactly what the item is and whatever important details you want them to know. Some people write their listings very vague, possibly thinking that more people will look at them. For example “Box of Legos”. Yes a lot of different people might look at this listing, but everyone that emails you or calls you is wasting your time unless they purchase it. It's not like Ebay where people bid themselves and someone takes care of all the transaction exchanges and processes behind the scenes. Instead, list exactly what you have in the listing. “Large box of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings Lego Sets – Includes <set numbers>”. This will keep away anyone who is not interested in the listing.
- List a price in the “price” field– not just inside, especially if you are just listing one item. It is very irritating to a buyer when they can't figure out what you are asking for something until they click inside the listing. Plus again you will keep away the people that are out at that price range in the first place.
- Put your location in the location field and put your exact location in the listing. Making people look at your listing or have to ask you just to find out where you are is a waste of everyone's time. If you are selling a Lego set for $10, people who live 30 miles away from you are not going to be interested.
- Add good pictures to your listing. This is an absolute must. If the item has condition issues, or certain details you want to show, or you want them to see the best parts of your bulk items, you need to have good pictures of it. Again, the more vague it is, the more people that are going to look and then ask you questions. You want only people who are interested, so don't hide anything about your item. If you do, you are going to be sorry when you meet up with them and then they don't want it.
- Add a description to the listing that is short, concise, describes every single detail of what you are selling, and lets the buyer know whether you are firm or willing to talk. Again, this comes back to eliminating the non-serious buyers. If you put in your listing that you are firm on $500, you will hopefully keep away all the people that are trolling around with $100 offering it on everything they can find worth 5 times that amount.
- Make sure you write your post in complete sentences and use correct capitalization and punctuation. Everyone here knows what I am talking about. “Yeah I got these Legos a while back and I want to get rid of them my kids are not wanting them anymore but I paid a good amount for them so I'll take like $100 bucks because I got a bad back now and I need the money to make sure I can take care of my car that broke down the other day thanks” (I made that up but you get the picture). This is important past just not looking immature. If a seller sees something like this, they are going to come to you thinking they are dealing with someone that lacks professionalism and could be taken. You want to portray that you are not playing games. The more serious and professional your posts are, the more serious and professional people you will get.
- Leave a preferred method of contact. I like email much better than phone. Make sure the buyer knows how to get to you and make sure you respond to anyone who answers you. These people could look at your listings in the future and if they recognize your listings and you never respond, they won't keep contacting you.
If you do these things, you should have about as positive an experience selling Legos on Craigslist as you can. You won't always be away from the crazies, but you avoid that 11.25% Fee-bay charges you.
Note: All of the information here are my own opinions and are pulled from my experiences. You may or may not have success with these methods.