Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
Most of us have probably taken a deep, annoyed breath as we surveyed our homes, wondering how we managed to accumulate so much clutter. But there might be a way to turn that clutter into cash. It depends on one word: Craigslist.
Selling on Craigslist seems easy, but it does require some expertise to get the intended result and money into your wallet. We scoured the internet for the best tips.
So list the chair you’ve always hated. We’re here to help you find success and sell more of your items on Craigslist.
1. Take photos that work
Have you ever seen a craigslist listing an item that you can’t properly identify? Is that a bedside table or a coffee table? Do you sell the entire dining table set or just a chair?
A good photo can make your listing stand out, while a bad photo has the potential to shut any business down. Get a good photo by positioning your subject in a well-lit place, be it in natural light or in a warm artificial light, and focus on the details that make your subject special. Only photograph what you sell – leave strange things out of the picture.
2. It’s in the details
Your entry cannot simply be a photo and the name of the object. You need a description and all the relevant details – think about the dimensions or the number of items or, if necessary, even the age of the item. Ideally, your listing answers all of the questions a potential buyer might have so they don’t have time to really think about their purchase.
3. Tell the truth
That being said, it’s important to be honest in your listing. If your couch is stained or your wooden dresser has broken off, add pictures that show the damage. Make this point to potential buyers in your description. People are more likely to buy an item if they feel they can understand it beforehand.
For example, don’t post the catalog picture of your piece of furniture from when it was brand new. (People do.) Take a picture of your furniture as it is – after all, you sell it.
4. Be simple
While you should definitely share relevant details, you don’t have to tell the story of how your kids jumped around on those sofa cushions or how the table was passed down from generation to generation in the family. Potential buyers know they are looking for a used property but don’t want the legacy that comes with it. They want it to feel like their own.
And stick to the simplicity of your listing title. Often, potential buyers look for specific items – trash cans or mirrors – and are unlikely to search using different adjectives.
5. Offer delivery
Potential buyers love when Craigslist sellers offer delivery. This is an added benefit and makes things easier, especially if the website appeals to people from all over the world. Make sure you add a higher cost for delivery – whatever seems worth it depending on your location – and be sure. Bring someone with you when you go to the delivery.
6. The price is right
It really boils down to whether the asking price is right. Craigslist is known for sellers who practically give away items. Hence, it is better to rate your listing lower than higher. Interest is always key, and if you value it too highly, you may not have a taker.
But make sure to rate your article at a level that you are comfortable with. It’s not worth giving something away if it has sentimental value and you think it can bring more.
7. Reach your network
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. If you think you know someone on your social network – whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or more – who is interested in what you are selling, share it on these forums.
And even better, when you have a specific buyer in mind, you can be direct and share your listing with friends and family. If it doesn’t work for you, you may know the right person.
8. Always be safe
Always remember that you are dealing with strangers online on Craigslist. When someone comes to your house or you go to their place, you have a friend with you. Don’t assume that you will be fine when you are alone. Entering a stranger’s home or entering a stranger’s home always involves risk. It is better to be prepared and meet in a public place if that is the only way the meeting can take place.
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