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Learn how to make money selling your stuff successfully on Craigslist, a popular and free site! After taking this course, selling your stuff online will be both easy an profitable, and accomplished without any special software or skills.
Every wonder why some folks sell their items much faster on Craigslist? Do you wonder how you could best get rid of the things you have laying around? How you can make your buyer feel like they got a great deal?
At the end of this course, you will be able to:
A great skill to have for both beginners and intermediate Craigslist sellers.
The format is video lectures with notes, that contain tips and bullet-ed summaries. Try the techniques in this course, and come back to tweak them and learn more.
What this course is not: Selling services or techniques that go against Craigslist Terms of Service (TOS). In fact, I'll show you that you don't need to break any rules to get your stuff sold!
I designed this course to be easily understood by both beginners as well as intermediate Craigslist users.
All ad postings are free except for job, apartment rentals, cars for sale, and therapeutic ad postings in some areas.
This course is about learning how to use Craigslist to get the interest and attention of buyers, so you can sell your stuff fast and for the money you want, as well as have a good experience doing it. There is a fundamental dynamic that is helpful in understanding where you will end up.
If a seller is desperate to sell, the buyer will likely get a great deal. If you are a seller and willing to be patient, you can get some extra money. If the buyer is in need of an item, the seller can get away with getting a higher price. So if you want to sell fast, you will also need to charge similar to what others sell the same item on Craigslist. If you have more time, you can squeeze a little extra out of the sale in front of a buyer who's in need of your item.
The rest of this course will show you ways in which you can get the most out of your sale with the least amount of hassle.
This lecture describes in more detail why you really need to consider Craigslist for selling, over other alternatives like eBay, Amazon, classifieds, and yard sales, or even thrift stores.
Buying new doesn't make sense for most things, think of depreciation as soon as you buy something new.
For most things it does not make much sense to use eBay or Amazon or the local paper. Here is a recap of some of the reasons.
This course won't cover particularly aggressive hustling techniques like figuring out ways to post a new ad every few hours, or multiple versions, or buying to fix and flip. I'm also not wanting to promote unethical techniques against Craigslist terms of service. There is really no need for that! If you do the things mentioned in this course, your selling experience will be very successful!
Brief tour of Craigslist and how to search, filter, and favorite.
You can use quotation marks to search for a phrase:
Excluding Terms (filtering)
honda black -red
This search finds postings that have 'honda' and 'black' but not 'red'.
honda | toyota
This search finds postings that have 'honda' or 'toyota' (or both).
You can group terms together in parenthesis when queries are complicated:
red (toyota | honda) -2000 -2001
This finds listings that have 'red' and either 'honda' or 'toyota' (or both) but do not have 2000 or 2001.
Use 2 or more characters before the * and none following it, e.g. "ip*d" will not work
Really just about anything! If you are not sure and want to validate that someone else is selling it, just do a search, and make sure to include other areas, if no results show up. Except things like rusty boards with nails sticking out, or expired food, or guns!
Some examples of things you can sell for good money:
Browse within Craigslist to see what others are charging for items. Then watch when the ads get deleted (so you know how fast things sell at that price). You can favorite certain ads easily by clicking on the small star to the left of the posting title (upper left in grid view). It should turn yellow.
If you have an unusual or rare item, like a collectible, and don't have enough comparables of the particular item in your area, simply broaden your search area to include other cities using this site http://www.searchtempest.com/
You can also check Ebay to see what the items go for like collectibles or parts. The fact that you can't find the item on Graigslist and other areas, is probably a good indicator that perhaps you should be selling your rare items, or parts on Ebay, rather than Craigslist.
What is selling successfully all about?
Benefits over features explained.
Be sure to pick the right category to post if one exists for your item. Remember that many folks do not use search, they may only look for items through the category option.
If a category does not exist, then pick the "General" category, and add keywords! (see description)
It is the first thing people see, so make sure it stands out and gets attention!! (Use AIDA principle)
The title's keywords are crucial. It is what people search for, so helps the search engine find your ad. Be sure to include as many keywords as possible without creating a confusing ad.
ex. Include the brand and name of the item, make, and is possible the quality or condition of the item.
See an ad example, it is best to just experiment.
Post Title: Great Looking and Working Jenn-Air Downdraft Range! Won't Last! GREAT PRICE
Example 2 Adding some symbols to your title (ASCII code, see all possibliities below)
ASCII Character Set for Craigslist
For more detailed code, go here http://character-code.com/special-character-html-codes.php
Simply copy the code ( e.g., ▀ ) to the right of the shape you want to show in your Craigslist title and paste that code into the Craigslist title field when setting up your Craiglist post.
The more concise information you supply in the description, the better.
People appreciate that you put some effort into describing the item, it shows you are serious and considerate.
First, people don't have to wonder if it has this or that feature, or what condition it is in. You also avoid all the inquiries. For example, by adding the dimensions, you avoid the emails and calls about does this fridge fit in my kitchen?
Be sure to describe the condition in detail, that will avoid frustrated buyers who may assume that it is in mint condition and then discover that something is missing, or they will need to buy some parts. By being honest, your transactions will go much better.
Include specs. You can simply copy and paste the items specs, and dimensions from the manufacturer's web site.
While you've already had to enter the price in a separate box, you can remind the buyer in the description of the price, and if you're willing to negotiate (OBO), or if you are willing to throw in an extra, such as delivery, or help loading the item. This builds up further goodwill with the buyer.
And finally, be sure to check if you need to include any additional keywords that you may not have used to describe the item, but that folks may use to find your item. Please do not use inappropriate keywords that have nothing to do with the item, just so you can show up on more search results. This will only clutter up CL, and get your ad flagged by users and then removed.
Things and tips to check when adding photos. How to get great deals on cameras if you need one. The importance of light. Explanations of why posting multiple images helps.
Think about your item and the folks looking for them. Do they work during the day away from home, or work from home. Do they have time to pick up the item in the middle of the day?
Since most people work mon-Fri, be sure to post either early, before work, or after work, and then perhaps again at night for those who want to pick up the next morning before they go to work. Otherwise your posting may be two pages down by the time folks start looking for your item.
Researching pricing, see video lecture 6. Firm or OBO. depends on your willingness to sell for lower, or stick to a specific price.
If you want to give the buyers the most ways to contact you, you can include both your phone and email. Note that Craigslist nowadays hides your email, by routing it through a randomized email address. That way when folks email you, they can't see your email address. More detailed explanation on how your email gets protected from spammers and scammers.
More FAQ's regarding email communication can be found here
There are two ways to get your listing to the top, either renew the ad (which you can do every 48 hours on an active post), or delete and re-post the ad. A post in most cities will last 45 days regardless of whether you renew it. In larger cities the post may expire after just 7 days. So once it is expired and you cannot renew the post, simply re-post it.
Both these methods will put your post back to the top of the list.
Note: Re-posting will create a copy of your original post.
Note #2. Be aware that if you repost for weeks, that this could mean that your item is just priced to high. Be sure to lower the price if that is the case, or you will get flagged with users who get tired of your re-posting.
If you have gotten this far, and you have learned even just one tip or trick that will help you sell that item that has been collecting dust in your garage or attic. Then I would love you to take just a few seconds and click the rate button (5 stars would be most appreciated!) Thanks for helping me continue to add value to this course!
Deal with Locals only, and only accept cash.
Avoid money orders, checks, travelers checks, etc. In fact especially money orders are most likely scams to get you to pay. There is no reason why the buyer can't go to the bank or grocery store to get cash. If they can't, just wait for the next buyer. It is not worth dealing with that.
Scammers will ask you for money, or are out of town. And others will post inappropriate ads, which you can flag. Bottom line, always deal locally, and face-to-face, and you'll avoid 99.9% of issues.
More info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams
Phishing is rare, but here are the signs. Just avoid clicking on emails pretending to be from craiglist, asking you to log in and provide information.
More info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/phishing
Be sure to read the TOS first, before flagging. See an example of a scammer message in the resources area.
This goes over how to identify tire kickers and no shows, and how to save your energy by first making sure they are truly interested.
Possibly leave just your phone number, and a good time to reach you at.
Make sure you pin down the time right away.
Make sure to get a good sense of the buyer. If the buyer sounds good, you can provide your address. If you are uncomfortable with buyers at your house, you can keep buyers out of the house, is to bring the item out into the garage. This avoids the buyer from checking out your house. Otherwise, select a place near you, like a grocery store parking lot. This is a public space, making it safer. You can also bring someone with you.
You can find the official Craigslist FAQ here:
If you have any questions about what was covered in this course, I will put the questions and answers here, and then possibly create new videos about it. So go ahead and put any questions in the discussion area to the right.
Craigslist Apps you can use on your smart phone or other mobile devices.
This video shows you how you can set up a Google Voice account, so you can have a separate phone number for all your craigslist buyers.
This allows you to keep your personal number private.
- It also allows you to block certain callers through Google Voice.
Google voice not only saves each message as a sound file, but also transcribes each message, so you can read the voice message
You can also set up voicemail notifications, and text notifications.
Love Health, Technology, and Learning
Worked in Higher Education for over a dozen years helping teachers and students utilize technology for enhancing teaching and learning and solving problems creatively.
Passionate about Creativity and Solving Problems
I'm passionate about creatively solving problems and helping people. I hope to contribute our human potential to flourish and become more conscious and kind to each other and the planet in general. Click on the twitter icon to check out my meditation and mindfulness related quotes.
Live with my wonderful better half, Kristina. Love hiking in the mountains, playing with our dogs, shooting video and other (sometimes crazy) projects, like running his truck on garbage (waste veggie oil).