Friday, April 09, 2010

Craigslist 101 Part 2

Spring is here. Which means the cleaning/organizing bug is back. Which means I'm back on Craigslist. I used to be rather leery but have long since considered it one of the most convenient resources at my disposal.

Personally, I've had nothing but positive experiences with Craigslist. Almost every item I've posted has sold and within a few days... to polite and punctual people. I know. Knock on wood.

I created a Craigslist 101 primer back in 2008 when I first started using the site. Here now is a followup.

1. Post a picture ... using Flickr or Photobucket. Photos are important. Craigslist offers their own awful photo uploading service but I would strongly recommend that using a free service and copy/pasting the link into your post. Also, make sure the Flickr/Photobucket account isn't your personal one. Create an account specifically for this process, especially if you are selling more than one item.

Example: here's an ad of a chair I sold on Craigslist. The photos I used were exactly the same but this is how it looked using the Craigslist photo option.

Here's the same ad with the Flickr image embedded.

Huge difference, right? And it just takes an additional 2 minutes at the most. Note the [Insert RIGHT number]? For the first 2 weeks, I had the wrong phone number listed on this ad. Smart! After I made the correction, I sold the chair within 24 hours with no haggling.

2. Be honest. If the item is flawed or marred in some way, mention it. My chair had knicks all along the wood arms so I zoomed in and took a photo.

3. No crazy/drunk/stoned people please. I won't arrange to have anyone over if they're not coherent over the phone or legible by email/text. And I am extremely suspicious of everyone.

4. Appointments are for buyers only. I don't have the time or patience to put up with people who want to "look" at the item before they commit to buying.

5. Unless the item is very heavy (or in the garage), I'll have it waiting in the front entry. I don't want people trekking all over my house and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

6. Delete your post as soon as you sell the item. Unless you enjoy phone calls at 11:45 pm because apparently that's an appropriate time to contact someone about the financial calculator they saw online.

7. If you're trying to sell small, one off items, like a CD or a hardcover book, you won't have a lot of luck on Craigslist. Few people are willing to drive all over the city for such a small gain. However, people are definitely willing to drive to buy boxes of books, CDs, vases, shirt hangers or whatever.

8. Cash. Cash. Cash. Cash only. And despite appearing gauche, I recommend counting the money.

9. Safety first! I make sure James is with me for any scheduled pickups. He's usually in the background but pops around the corner to say hello which translate to "I am a man. She is not alone and I am watching you." If you don't have a James handy, ask a friend or neighbor. Or at least let someone know that you have strangers coming by at a specific time. I thought about having a bat nearby but realized it wouldn't be conducive to a sale.

10. I will accept a 10% commission fee on all of your future Craigslist sales. Thank you!

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