Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tips for Buying and Selling on Craigslist

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

Dear Girls, 

Whoever Craig is, I love him almost as much Gene Kelly.  Well, let's not get crazy.  But I do love his list.

I've sold and I've bought and I've gained some tips along the way (is that a Taylor Swift song?).  So I thought I would share some things I've gleaned from my craigslist experience.  


1.  List With A Picture - I always list with a picture because I know when I look for items I won't even look at the listing without a picture.

Gene Kelly Biography FOR SALE

2.  Make it a Nice Picture With a Clutter-Free Background - I always try to take a nice picture that clearly presents the item for sale and doesn't include pets, puzzles or junk.  See previous note.  Personally, if I see an ad with a bunch of junk I figure the item I'm possibly buying was not cared for. On the flip side, if I see an item in a pretty, neat setting, I'm more apt to jump on it.

3.  Add Key Words - If the item I'm listing is similar to a certain brand / store I add words to the listing that will solicit more activity, ie, "West Elm, Pottery Barn, Ballard, Gene Kelly"

4.  Don't Make Promises!  When people respond to me, I never promise them an item.  I've had so many people swear they were coming and wanted something and then never showed up.  I now simply say, "Yes the item is still available and it is first come, first serve."

5.  Don't Give Addresses Out Until The End - I don't give my address out until the very last moment.  Basically when someone is ready to drive over.  Why? Because I don't like EVERYONE having my address unnecessarily.  I made the mistake of telling someone our address and then wasted an entire afternoon because I thought he was coming over.  BOO!

6.  Only accept Cash.

7.  Don't Accept Suspicious Proposals-Usually From Nigeria.  You laugh but this has happened to me more than once--I've gotten an email from a person in Nigeria offering to wire money to hold an item.  Here's an excerpt from one:

How is your day going?the money order will be from the bank I have made an agreement with a shipping company to come pickup the item as soon as you receive the payment.I would like you to do a little act of kindness for me.I want the item to be shipped to Benin cos am presenting it as a gift to an old time friend.I will be sending you money orders for $2850;this includes the shipping cost and extra fixed cost by the shipping company.All you have to do is to cash the money orders at your bank,get your required amount for the item, and send the balance to the shipping company. It is the policy of the shipping company to receive payment before going for any pickup.You have to please stand with me, as it is the best I can do in this transaction. The shipping company will contact you in good time.Please feel free to ask me questions. Thanks

8.  Link to the value of the item.  I've had some nicer items I've sold and I always try to link to the item online.  It gives the prospective buyer more information and shows what a deal he/she might be getting!   


1.  Respond right away and say you are interested.  

2.  Say you can come NOW - or as soon as possible.  The early bird gets the worm.

3.  Say you will come with cash.  Nobody wants you to show up and then ask about payment.

4.  Tell the seller if you are close by.  I've had people in different cities respond to my listings.  Sometimes I will entertain them if the item is hard to sell but mostly I try to sell locally because it's just less of a hassle.

Who else has tips they want to share?  Spill it!

Happy buying.  Happy selling.  Happy scrolling.


JJ Honeycutt said...

I am shocked by how many people think that posting a Craiglist ad, without any photos, is ok. I don;t look at CL ads without pics either.

Naptime Notebook said...

Hah! Right? Now my next topic: is really bad photo better than no photo? Discuss... :)

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