As you all know from my shopping method post, I love to shop on craigslist. There are so many great things that people don’t want that can always be used by someone else. I recently purchased a bedroom set from a seller on craigslist who was quite frustrating to deal with. I know there are no “set” rules for how to deal with buyers and sellers, but I wanted to offer up some advice for when you are selling on craigslist. These are the top five things I think about when I make a new post on craigslist.
1. Always include a price and some pictures if possible. I am not sure about everyone else, but I don’t even look at a post if it doesn’t have a picture. I don’t want to waste my time getting excited about and going to look at an item if I don’t know what it looks like first. Words can be very deceptive, and if you want more responses to your post, include pictures and a price. Leaving off a price can discourage a buyer because they might think you are going to ask too much for what you are selling. I narrow down most of my searches by price, so if there is not one on your post, it is missed anytime I do a search.
2. Don’t be deceptive in your description. If there is a hole in your couch or a scratch on the top of your dresser, disclose that in your post. No one wants to go look at an item just to be disappointed by its condition. People who are shopping on craigslist generally know they are shopping for previously owned items, so don’t be afraid to list any damages or issues with what you are selling. I would much rather know there is water damage on the furniture than waste my time going to see what I thought was a piece of furniture in great condition.
3. Say whether you are accepting cash, check or both. There is nothing more frustrating than thinking you are going to buy an item and getting there without the right form of payment. I recently went to buy a lamp from a seller and the post did not say what form of payment to bring. I only had a check with me because I had not made it to the bank yet, and she pretty much threw a fit and wouldn’t sell it. I always include a “cash only” at the end of all my posts so buyers know I don’t want to take checks.
4. Answer e-mails or phone calls in the order they come in. When I found that bedroom set on craigslist, I was at work on my lunch break but told the lady I would take it for sure (the price was just amazing for what she was selling). I couldn’t get to her apartment until 6 because my husband had the truck and I needed it to get everything home. She e-mailed me back an hour later saying she had someone who could come get it right then and that she was probably going to sell it to them. I got very frustrated because I guaranteed her a sell and she was treating it like a garage sale, “first come, first serve.” I believe craigslist operates on more of a “first e-mail/call, first serve.” Maybe that is just me? Craigslist is different than a garage sale since garage sales are based on you being there versus craigslist which is based on e-mails and phone calls.
5. ALWAYS, ALWAYS delete a post after you have sold the item. It is good to always delete a post or add “item already sold” to your post after you have sold it. This not only prevents your inbox and voicemail from filling up, but it keeps customers happy because they won’t have false hope when they see something they really want. I found this great couch table that I wanted to put in our living room but the guy had sold it the week before! Come on now dude, get rid of the post and you won’t have to deal with grumpy people like me!
These are just five of the things I try to keep in mind when I am selling things on craigslist, and the same things I would like everyone else to keep in mind when I am a buyer. I searched craigslist for tips and “rules” as far as etiquette for buying and selling, but didn’t find anything. I may be totally off base with any of these tips, so please let me know if you disagree, or agree, with any of them. I love craigslist and hate to be disappointed when a sell goes wrong.
What other tips or guidelines do you use or have for buyers and sellers on craigslist? I would love to hear what you have to say also!