Monday, March 5, 2012

12 Steps to Craigslist Cash

Through the years, Craigslist has been my friend. It's an easy, cheap, relatively hassle-free way to rid my house of clutter.

Now that I'm working through 40 bags in 40 days, I'm finding one or two Craigslist-appropriate items each day to post. I have a pretty good success rate, and I'm enjoying a little extra cash in my wallet and knowing that my unused items are going to someone who can use them.

Here are my 12 steps to Craigslist cash:
  1. Clean your items up. Make sure you have all the parts. Only post new, like new, or in good condition items. 
  2. Take good pictures. Use the best light you have available to you, and take multiple shots from different angles. If it's a name brand item, take a picture of the tag.
  3. Write a clear description of what you are selling. People often search using keywords, and you want to increase your chances of your listings popping up in their search. Check your spelling. 
  4. Google your item and add product links to your posting whenever possible. You can also use the stock photo as an additional photo in your listing if it captures the item better than your photo did.
  5. Post multiple items at one time. Add a unique search term (i.e. your initials or a one-of-a-kind keyword) to each of your postings. Do a practice search to make sure it only pulls up your listings. This helps people to see more of your postings and might inspire them to buy multiple items at once.
  6. Add keywords like "NEW with tags", "from a clean, smoke-free, pet-free home", or "well-cared" for when applicable.
  7. Be up front in your posting about why you are getting rid of an item. That's often one of the first questions people will ask.
  8. Be realistic with your pricing. Price it to sell, and price it for what it's worth, not what you paid for it (ask yourself, "How much would I pay for this?")
  9. Only post larger items ($10+ is a good rule of thumb) otherwise it's a waste of your time. For smaller items, save them for a garage sale or just donate and take the tax deduction.
  10. Post/renew your postings on the weekends. People tend to be more active on Craigslist on Saturday's and Sunday's. Take advantage of the fact the Craigslist now allows you to renew your items periodically, which moves them to the top of the list (but don't do this too often or you will annoy people).
  11. Pre-screen your emails before handing out your address. If something seems fishy to you, wait until you are confident that this is a legitimate buyer before handing out personal information. Sometimes I even google the person's name or email address before proceeding.
  12. Be willing to take lower offers - in my experience the first offer you get is often times the best one.
Good luck turning your clutter into cash!


  1. Last night I started selling some unwanted things on a website similar to Craig's List but based in my community and I love it. I've already sold 3 items. I can't wait to use your advice before I post my next set of items.

  2. We love Craigslist! I've currently got 11 things on there and I have to list more today on both craigslist and ebay. Great tip about listing multiple things on one post. I should do this (and the keyword search) more often than I do. Saves time and hopefully will sell more items!


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