The dangers of selling on Craigslist include getting scammed or experiencing bodily harm. However, Craigslist can also be a vein of gold for the right seller. Savvy Craigslist sellers make some serious cash by selling their wares.
If you have furniture or other items to sell before your interstate move and you’d like to join the ranks of successful Craigslist sellers, here are some things you need to do to sell your items quickly and safely.
1. Safety First: Use the Buddy System
In many respects, when selling on Craigslist, your safety lies in numbers, according to The Huffington Post. After you sell something on this platform, make sure that you have someone with you to exchange the property. Don’t allow a random buyer to meet you at your home when you are there by yourself.
Even better yet, try the following Craigslist tips to keep yourself safe:
- Meet in public first if possible
- Offer to deliver, making sure to take a friend or two along
- Conduct business in your garage with the door open so that the neighbors can see and hear you
- Use a Google Voice number instead of your number
- If you meet at your apartment, meet in front of the building without telling them your unit number
- Learn to recognize the lingo of scammers. (This usually involves fantastical language, offers to pay more than the item is worth, or vague references to your listing.)
2. Deal in Cash Only
An article in the U.S. News and World Report warns potential Craigslist sellers to deal only in cash. Otherwise, you’re likely to attract scammers. Additionally, once your sale is complete, you’ll have money in hand and won’t have to wait for a check to clear.
3. How to Create the Perfect Craigslist Post
Once you’ve taken safety precautions for selling on Craigslist, you’re ready to make some serious cash. The following tips will help you maximize the effectiveness of your Craigslist sales.
Create Multiple Listings
There is no need to wait for summer and garage sale season before you make bank selling your extra stuff. You can be like the savviest Craigslist sellers, who create online garage sales via Craigslist.
Here’s what you want to do:
- Make multiple listings of the furniture you want to sell, plus the accessories that go with them. Think end tables, throw blankets, cushions, etc. to go with a couch or chair.
- Link your Craigslist sales pages to each other. To do this, add hyperlinks to all the other sales you’re running at the bottom of each Craigslist listing.
- Write stellar descriptions. Start them out with a bulleted list of the item’s features. Then add a full description on to the bottom. This structure allows you to capitalize on keywords and people’s tendencies to skim over lengthy web pages.
Know What to Sell Where
One smart seller on the Apartment Therapy website points out that big items like furniture and most tech items do best on Craigslist. Try selling smaller pieces on auction sites like eBay.
Additionally, if you want to sell some smaller items in addition to your furniture (if you’re running a virtual garage sale, for example), sell those items in lots like auction houses do. The key to making a salable lot is to include one or two things you know will sell in with the whole lot. Then, add items you know won’t sell to that lot. Finally, make it a “rule” that if a person buys a lot, then he or she agrees to carry away the whole thing. That way you’re not left with stuff you won’t want, and in the process, you’ve made money on things you might have otherwise thrown away.
Use Great Photos
In some respects, Craigslist is no different from any other kind of auction site – you make more money if you include excellent photos of the furniture you’re selling. Use these tips to capture great images:
- Good Lighting: When you’re taking pictures make sure that the photos have good lighting so that the buyer can see the details.
- Include Imperfections: Speaking of details, be sure you include photos of the dings and nicks in your items. Showing these imperfections conveys honesty to shoppers.
Price it on the High Side
To make sure you get the price you want for your things, the Well-Kept Wallet recommends that you do a bit of research. First, you want to determine what amount is considered the fair-market price for that item in your area. You want to do this for a couple of reasons. Although you’re going to ask a slightly higher price for the item – we’ll cover that in a minute – you also want legitimate buyers to know that you’re not a scammer. People who scam on Craigslist will often price items so low that they’re practically giving things away. For example, if you see a 2016 MacBook Pro on Craigslist for $100.00 would you think the sale is legitimate? Or would you believe that someone stole it and is probably trying to make a quick buck? If the price of an item is too reasonable to be true, it’s probably a scam. Therefore, avoid looking like you’re scamming buyers by pricing your pieces correctly.
The second reason to overprice an item is to leave wiggle room for haggling. Let’s say you’re selling a leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman and that you’ve determined the fair market price in your area for that is $900.00. Go ahead and price the couch for $1,000.00 or even $1,100.00. After your buyer haggles with you a bit, it’s likely that you’ll still get your desired $900.00 from the set.
Making money quickly and safely on Craigslist requires a bit of prep. Arrange for friends or family to be with you when you meet up with the buyer and only deal in cash. Finally, make sure that you’re presenting your wares in the best light at the ideal price. From asking for a higher price and grouping your items in a virtual garage sale, these techniques can help you sell your stuff safely and fast!