Getting The Most Out of Your Craigslist Posting

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Selling on Craigslist is a great way to get rid of some extra clutter lying around the house and also potentially make some quick cash.  If you just a purchased a new cell phone or MP3 player, then craigslist is a great place to rid yourself of your older model.  Although the system for selling on craigslist may look simple enough, there are a few quick strategies to selling on craigslist that may be the difference between selling your old electronics for $10 or $50.  After all, we all want the most for our used merchandise, and with a little added effort getting that extra buck could not be easier.  You may even find yourself with multiple buyers the very next day after posting your item and start yourself a mini bidding war.

Pictures are very important

Posting a picture in general is an absolute must when you’re trying to sell your used electronic equipment on craigslist, however posting the right type of picture is just as important.  The truth is that on average a buyer may spend roughly 5 seconds viewing your listing before deciding whether or not it’s time to hit the back button and continue browsing, an eye-catching picture is all that is necessary to attract your buyer to read the description and potentially give you a call or shoot you an e-mail.  A quick tip, wipe down your electronic device with a dry paper towel or tissue. This will clean the screen and housing of any smudges or junk that may have been left by continual use.  After the screen is as spotless as it can be, place it on a clean countertop or table with a single light source above such as a lamp.  When taking your picture, try to catch the glare of the light source above, the lamp light will reflect off the screen and housing of your electronic and it will make it look spectacular.  It is best to leave the flash on the camera off because the only light source that you want for your picture should be emanating from the electronic itself.  It will look ideal to your buyer and act as a type of lure for your listing. Great, now you have a picture worthy of a craigslist posting.

Prices are always negotiable

It is fairly common practice on craigslist to haggle for price.  If you do not wish to do this and would rather have a set price or firm price for your item, then be sure to make that clear in your listing by writing “firm” after your price.  However, if you’re willing to be flexible on your price then it would be a good idea to aim high followed by the letters “obo”.

This will let the buyer know that you are flexible even though the price may be a bit high, it will induce them to at least send you an e-mail and try to negotiate and little do they know that you would gladly accept $10-$20 less anyway.  And on that note if you plan on haggling, set your price $10-$20 higher(as a general rule) than you would deem acceptable for a sale.  This way everybody wins, the buyer feels like they got a deal by talking it down, and you, the seller have gotten your desired price for your electronic in the end.

The description is important but it should be fairly short

As stated above, the buyer will likely spend a few seconds browsing over your listing before determining whether it is worth any more effort on their part.  If you pass the picture test and they are enticed by your item, then they will likely read your description.  Be sure to keep your description quick, concise, and to the point.  But also be sure not to leave out any significant details.  The buyer will likely spend up to 10 more seconds going over your description, and no longer.  Try to avoid any stories about how you got it or why you’re selling it, the buyer simply doesn’t care and will likely get bored and move on.  All they care about is that it’s working and in decent shape.  A list format for this is not a horrible way to go.  Describe your item by hitting key points in a list and you can’t go wrong.  Key points should include: working condition or not, cosmetic condition 1 to 10, what accessories are included, contact information and the best time to reach you.  If a buyer truly does care why you’re selling it then they will ask that question after contacting.

Open communication is important, be available

Buyers on craigslist are for the most part bargain hunters with very short attention spans, it is very important to check your e-mail multiple times throughout the day.  Honestly, check your e-mail as much as you possibly can throughout the day, the quicker you respond to any inquiries, the quicker your item will sell.  If you’re one of the brave souls who put their actual telephone number on the listing, the same rule applies, make sure that you’re available to pick up your phone all of the time.  Even an hour’s time can be the difference between making a sale and losing a potential customer.  The bottom line is that right after they e-mailed or called you, they continued hunting on craigslist for what they were looking for, and if you don’t respond quickly enough than it is likely that they found it somewhere else.

Find a balance between Stern and loose

Just as important as listing the item effectively and talking to potential buyers, your demeanor and attitude when attempting to close the deal can either make or break your day.  The buyer needs to feel comfortable with you so they do not get paranoid that you’re trying to rip them off, and you shouldn’t be.  But on that same note, they shouldn’t be too comfortable with you, because they will likely try to take advantage.  If you do end up meeting with a potential buyer or speak to them on the phone it is important to be extremely friendly and cordial, but at the same time decide ahead of time on a set price for your item and refuse to go below it.  The mixture of a friendly demeanor who has a stringent standard for the electronics will often maximize your profit.  Even if the buyer is a serious haggler, they will usually come around if you stay firm but also friendly.

It never hurts to talk about someone else

Even if you don’t have another buyer interested, this is a good strategy to employ if you have a particularly aggressive buyer who is trying to get the most for their money by insisting on a lower price than your set price.  Talking about another buyer who is interested is often an easy way out at this pointless circle.  Simply say “Sorry, I do not need to go that low, I have someone looking at it tomorrow morning, if you want to pick it up now, than that is fine, I am a first come first serve person”, if the buyer is truly interested and really does feel that your set price is justifiable, then they will cave after hearing that.  If the buyer does not cave after hearing about another buyer, then they were likely genuinely not going to budge on their own set price and you should both go your separate ways.  At the very least you saved yourself some time and if everything is going according to plan then you really will have a new buyer lined up shortly anyway, patience.


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