Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Craig has taught me about selling on his List

Have you ever wondered who started Craigslist?

Meet Craig Newmark.


He started Craigslist in 1995 from San Fransisco as a service letting his friends know about local events.

Clearly it expanded. :)

I get a lot of emails asking for tips on selling on Craigslist so I thought I'd cover a few things in a post. 

Craigslist can be a great resource to sell your finished pieces.

It's free to post on, it gets a lot of traffic, and usually you have local buyers so you don't have to deal with shipping etc. 

But, because so many people are posting on Craigslist every hour it's easy for your post to get lost.

These tips are just want I've learned, but obviously there's no secret formula.

1. Be honest.
Nothing drives me more crazy than seeing a piece listed for $1 and then opening the link and seeing it listed at $250. Even though you will get more hits listing it as $1, people unable or unwilling to pay your asking price won't be interested anyway when they see the real price.

2. Post in the right category.
This is a trick I've recently learned. I was usually posting my pieces under Furniture because that seemed like the most logical place to post. I did sell pieces that were listed under that category, but I felt like I was out of place. My restored piece would be listed between IKEA dressers and nasty couches. So I started listing them under Antiques. I found that my asking price was a better fit with this category and people searching under it were looking for quality work/craftsmanship. Another example is when I've done a piece that I feel would be better suited for a child's room, I list it under baby and kids.

3. Repost, repost, repost!
Be diligent in renewing your post. You can repost every 48 hours thus keeping you at the top of the list.

4. Be realistic with what price you can ask.
 Craigslist is not a high end boutique. Most people don't go there to find high end items. And your asking price needs to reflect that. Most of us have probably seen the formula for figuring out how to price an item.

Now if Craigslist is your only way of selling then you probably don't have overhead other than supplies. This means the second part of the equation probably doesn't need to be included in your final price calculations. Trust me, I know it's frustrating to feel like your piece is worth so much more, but if it doesn't sell, then you're not making anything. Also, if your willing to negotiate on the price say so. 

 5. Name your post so it stands out. 
Again, be honest with this. When I see a post that has adjectives like beautiful, antique, classic, I will always take the time to click on them.

6. Talk yourself up in the post! 
Say that the piece is professionally restored, that you put time into it. List the products you used, where the hardware is from. List your blog so that they can see more of your work.

7. Take a break.
If your post has been listed for awhile without success, take it off line. I know that might seem counter intuitive, but sometimes a break will give time for new people to start looking on Craigslist.

That's all! Like I said at the beginning, there is no secret formula (at least that I've found) to selling on Craigslist but I hope this helps. And if you've have anything you've learned feel free to share! I'd love to hear it. :)


PS My friend Kathleen from Between Blue and Yellow sent a great link to a post of her's with some more great tips!

Click HERE for the post! 
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11 comments:

  1. Those are great tips! I did a post on this topic last a while ago with some helpful info as well.
    http://btweenblueandyellow.blogspot.com/2010/10/craigslist-tips.html

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  2. Those are some awesome tips for anyone using craigslist! I have found some fun new clients for my photography through it.

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  3. Great tips! I'd like to add, take good pictures. I know I've passed up things where there weren't any pictures or one very small, dark picture.

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  4. Thanks for sharing these great tips, Julia. I have found that your tip of resposting every 48 hours really does the trick! I don't have a fancy camera but try to do the best I can with the one I have and stage pieces nicely for the photos. That seems to help draw interest!

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  5. Do you guys know where to buy nice but not too pricy living room furnitures? I would be glad if you will give me some tips and tell me where to buy em' and also tell me the factors to consider in buying furnitures. Can we buy em' online?

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  6. Thank you for great, realistic pointers! By the way, I've always wondered, how does Craig's list make money? Just to keep the system up and running, costs money.

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I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!