Selling items online on sites like Craigslist.org

by on March 9, 2010

Q: How come when I post items online on sites like craigslist.org I rarely get people contacting me about the items?

A: There are a few things that can attribute to your listings going unnoticed by the people you want to notice them. If your item is an item that people should want then we can help you. We will discuss the 5 different things people often over look in a listing. These are items that you must include if you want to get your item sold fast.

The first thing you need to do if you want to sell your item fast is to include a phone number. I am guilty of not including a phone number in my listings because I don’t like the phone and would rather deal with people via email but there is a large group of people that will not deal with an ad if it does not have a phone number. I can understand where these people are coming from because sometimes it takes people days to get back to you via email where a phone call is very simple and you can get all your questions answered in just a couple minutes. So while having to answer the phone might not be enjoyable it will help you get your item sold a lot faster.

The second thing you need to do is include pictures. Most sites allow you to include pictures but some, like craigslist.org, make the images rather small. You have to include images in the ad if you want to get noticed by the largest number of people because many people will check off the “Only show ads with pictures” option. It is also a great idea to include links to larger versions of the image. This will make it so people don’t have to email you to get the higher resolutions of the pictures and you can host your images for free on sites like PhotoBucket.

The third thing you need to do is describe the item in detail. There is nothing worse than an ad that just says what the item is without any details. You need to describe the condition of the item, what the item is, and who the item is good for. There might be people who find your item and know little or nothing about it but after reading your description they might become interested so make sure to get as detailed as possible. A good idea is to write your description in a word processing program like Word so that you can spell check it when you are done as well.

The fourth thing you need to do is your research. I cannot believe how many times I see the same items listed within days of each other by different people who want two completely different prices. I have seen the exact same item listed at 20% difference or even more from two different people so do a search to see if anyone else has listed an item similar to yours in the last few days. If someone else has listed an item like yours recently then give them a call and see if it has sold and if it has then maybe your higher price makes sense but if it is still for sale then your higher price will probably lead to you holding onto your item longer than you want to.

The fifth thing you need to do is be flexible. I am always amazed when I see someone saying they will not accept a penny less than the price they are asking. I am even more amazed when they have not done their homework and there is the exact same item listed for a good amount less just a day or two before.

People have all the rights in the world to ask any amount of money for an item but if you want to get it sold then you have to be flexible. People are usually looking on craigslist.org and other similar sites to get a deal. To most people getting a deal means knocking down the seller a little bit and if you present yourself as a store, where you wont accept anything less then you are asking, then you will be cutting out a large group of people that use these services. Sure it is not always fun when someone comes and offers you 50% less than you are asking but you just have to negotiate with the people and get the price back up or just tell them no thanks and wait for the next person.

Hopefully the five different things to remember when selling an item online will help you get your items sold fast and for a reasonable amount of money.


One Response to “Selling items online on sites like Craigslist.org”
  1.  

    To get a good idea of what you should price your item for, take a look at completed listings for similar items on ebay.com This will give you a good feel for an items market value and if it is really even worth anything.

    I also like to try to post my items on Thursday nights. People usually get paid on Fridays and tend to poke around Craigslist more Friday-Sunday. Posting on Thursday gets your items on the front page on these more active days.

    If after all this people still aren’t interested in your stuff, then you should consider donating it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You’ll be helping others and you’ll get a tax deduction!