Craigslist and Selling Your Stuff Online

Craigslist and Selling Your Stuff Online


We’ve gone into detail about how best to hold a garage, yard or estate sale on these pages, but we realize that these kind of sales aren’t always the best way to move what you own.

Online Marketplaces

Craigslist, eBay, Oodle and a handful of other websites are good places to list your stuff, especially if you don’t have a lot to sell at one time or if you’re looking to attract a wider audience.

eBay gets the most press, but you have to pay fees whenever something you own sells. Most of the others are free, but it seems that Craigslist is the best and easiest place to list something and get the most people to respond to your ad.

To that end, the following are some tips we have to offer to help you market online via Craigslist:

Open an account — Sure, you can post on Craigslist without benefit of having an account, but you won’t be able to change your ad later on. Register with Craigslist before creating your ad.

Consider your ad — One way to find out how to design an ad is to read similar ads for your city. Though Craigslist has an international reach, you’ll be posting locally which means you’ll find your city or metropolitan area and post your information to that subsite. Read ads that others have posted for ideas on what to say.

Write your ad — This is where you need to take care on what you present to people. Be as detailed about the item as possible, discussing size, color, condition and other pertinent details. Photos are very important, so take one or more pictures to let people see what you’re selling. Include contact information, but don’t include too much details if you want to avoid people showing up at your door or receiving endless phone calls. It is best to share a seldom used or throwaway email address.

Be crystal clear — If you want “X” amount of money for item, then share that information within your ad. You can always set your price slightly higher than the amount you’ll accept for it, giving you room to negotiate. Cash only means just that — be careful about agreeing to accept a check, other forms of payment or bartering.

Scams and more galore — One huge drawback for Craigslist posters are the number of scammers who frequent the site. Give out too much information and you’ll be spammed and hounded forevermore. Think twice about dealing with anyone who isn’t local — shipping adds to your cost and increases the risk that you’ll be ripped off.

Other Considerations

Is Craigslist right for everyone? No and not every product should be sold through this site although people certainly do try. Find out what works for you and then produce an ad you can live with or change later. Most ads expire within 45 days, but you can cancel your ad once your item sells.

Adv. — Are you getting ready to renovate your home? offers lots of good tips on how to get the job done and can save you money too!


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".