Auctioneers certainly have a way with words. But you don’t have to be a fast talker to sell the items you no longer want. In this video, I’m spilling the beans on strategies to sell your belongings on Craigslist. I’m talking the talk so you can walk the walk through an organized home.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/tcdcraigslist.)
Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and I’m sitting here at this desk that I have decided to sell on Craigslist, and I wanted to share with you my guidelines for using Craigslist. It’s a wonderful tool, but you do need to know what you’re doing.
The first thing I want you to do is to create a new e-mail account or identify an e- mail account that you don’t use very often to compartmentalize your transactions on Craigslist and protect your privacy. When you create a listing there will be a feature for an anonymous e-mail that is a reply feature for the potential buyers. Definitely use that feature, and so they won’t be able to see your e-mail address that way, but then if you receive that response from them and you reply back, that will come from your e-mail account. So keep that in mind. Also, I want you to create an account on Craigslist. You can put a listing up without creating a Craigslist account, but it’s better to do that. There are some great benefits for that. And you can manage your listings a little more easily.
So set the account up, then you want to start with your pricing. Compare by searching to see what other people are selling similar items for. And you might want to price a little on the high side since people shopping on Craigslist might want to bargain with you, so you might want to leave a little room for that.
You want to give them lots of great pictures. So put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, always. Think about what it feels like to be looking for something, and you really want to have all the information you can get about it before you go to the trouble of going to visit and see the item and getting cash out of the bank for it. So, do several well lit pictures that are staged without your personal items in the setting. So take away little family photos and things from the picture. And you want to provide any pictures of details that the buyer might be interested in. So, any of the drawer hardware, or any damage actually would be great to show. Not only because you’re just an honest person, but because that helps the buyer make their decision and understand the pricing better.
You can show the item from several different angles, and you also want to provide the dimensions. This is very important if they’re going to decide how it fits in their space. You can use a free app called Skitch that’s available on both iPhones and Android. And you can see here in the picture why this is a great idea. You can draw right on there all the dimensions. You want to write a great description, so think about why you’re selling this. Again, putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes, think about how it feels when you’re looking at an item to buy and you’re saying, “Well, this looks like a great item, why are they selling it?” Well, you want to answer that question. If this item is simply too large to fit in their new house, that’s a great thing to know, so that means, “Hey, this is a perfectly good thing; that makes sense why they’re selling it.” So provide that kind of information.
Tell them your payment terms. I recommend cash only. Maybe Paypal, if it’s a large amount. Also specify, depending on the item, if you have a smoke-free home or if you have pets; this may be relevant to particularly upholstered furniture. And then you want to tell people if they need to provide their own pick-up options as far as, you know, you not delivering the item. They need to actually provide the hauling and transportation. Tell them when you’re best available for meetings and phone calls. Definitely use that anonymous e-mail response feature that Craigslist provides. And when people respond ask them to provide their phone number in the response so that you can reach out to them at your convenience, and that makes the transactions happen more quickly.
When you’re writing this description, remember that Craigslist searches will look in the description text for the search as well as in the title. So, if there are any phrases that are relevant to this item that people might be searching that you can’t fit into the title, make sure you write that text in that description really thoroughly to cover all those possible searches.
Also, you might want to list any other available items that you’re selling at the same time on Craigslist at the bottom of the listing, so you can provide the links to the other things that you’re selling and that’s helpful. It’s almost like a virtual garage sale. And definitely include your neighborhood in the location information if you can because that helps people understand, “Oh, you’re in this neighborhood, that’s close to me.” So it makes it easier for them to decide if they want to drive over there and look at the item.
When people do respond, respond back to them quickly. Remember, when you’re in their shoes, how it feels when you’re looking for something. You want it now and you want to get the information as soon as possible. So, be a really good seller and respond and call and also be safe. You want to meet safely with people. If you can, meet elsewhere. If it’s a small item you’re selling, meet them in a coffee shop. You don’t always need to meet at your house. And if you do, have someone there with you. Be as safe as possible. If it feels strange or it feels too good to be true, don’t do it. Search on-line. There are a lot of common scams that happen on Craigslist that if you search to read about Craigslist scams, you will learn a lot about these things. So check it all out.
And finally, confirm all of your meetings. You don’t want to waste your time or anyone else’s, so if you’re supposed to meet the person at 7:00 o’clock at the coffee shop, confirm that via text and make sure they’re really going to show up before you drive over there.
I hope this has been helpful. I hope you have a very fruitful Craigslist experience and you use this tool to make room for all the wonderful other things that are coming into your life now that you’ve gotten rid of these things and gotten organized.
So, if you want more help getting organized, we can help you with our program on-line. You can check us out for free with our Light Memberships. You can find out more about that at clutterdiet.com/learnmore.
See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
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