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A Craigslist Cheat Sheet for More Successful Posts

If you’re trying to make a little extra cash, one of the first suggestions you’re likely to hear is “just sell your stuff on Craigslist.” But sometimes, it’s not that simple. If you don’t list things a certain way, you might not get any traction on your posts. It seems like a big waste of time when no one is contacting you about the items you list. So if you want your Craigslist items to sell quickly and at a dollar amount that you’re hoping for, make sure you use this cheat sheet with the best tips for successful Craigslist postings.

Post with Different Headlines

Keywords are a big factor in how your post ranks when buyers are searching on Craigslist. For example, consider that you could list a piece of furniture as a couch or a sofa. You could say that the couch is fabric or upholstered. You could also list the color as cream or off-white. All these options affect whether the item shows up in someone’s search results. Therefore, you should consider posting multiple times if you don’t get any bites with the initial post. Try out different headlines that include different keywords to attract buyers.

Take Good Photos

This might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many Craigslist buyers fail to include some decent photos of the items they’re selling in a post. You need these photos to show the item very clearly. Take additional photos from different perspectives, including some up-close shots to show more detail. If you want to show the size of an item, include a ruler in the photo. Use natural light and a neutral background whenever possible. This is one of the most important factors in selling an item since it really helps your posting stand out in the search results (be sure to use the best photo as the main image).

Include Specifics

Be as detailed about the product as possible when creating a Craigslist post. This is a good idea for two reasons. First, it increases the interest of buyers when they can get as much detail about a product as possible. One- or two- sentence posts that basically say “Here is the item. Email if interested.” get almost no responses. Adding more detail increases interest and makes the product more appealing. (It also makes the posting seem legitimate rather than a possible scam.)

A second benefit to including lots of detail is that it cuts down on the time you’ll spend fielding questions of potential buyers. To use the example of a couch, if you fail to list the dimensions, you can expect plenty of responses asking how big the item is. This is time-consuming and annoying for a seller, so minimize confusion by listing all the details up front.

A great way to include lots of detail about your item is to include a link to the item’s listing on a retailer’s website. When possible, this makes it much easier for buyers to see that they’re getting a deal off the price for the item when purchased new. Plus, it provides all the details they need to make an informed decision. You can also list details on Craigslist (even if you copy and paste from a retailer’s site). This is even better than a link alone since words in the description could be helpful keywords that boost your post in the search rankings. For the best results, organize the information neatly – rather than listing features in a single line with commas, create a bulleted list that’s easier to scan for information.

Make Yourself Available

A big no-no for Craigslist sellers is to post an item for sale and then ignore potential buyers. If you list an email address that you rarely check, buyers will forget about you quickly. When you don’t respond, they’ll quickly move onto the other items listed for sale on the site. So to get the best results, make yourself available to potential buyers. List both an email address and a phone number (it helps if you let buyers know they can use the number to either call or text). Include a note that you usually are able to respond within a few hours – that way, buyers will wait for your response rather than getting frustrated and moving on. The key, however, is to actually follow through. Make sure you check your email regularly and respond to calls and texts as soon as possible.

Use Your Connections

Don’t just send your Craigslist post out into the vast space of the Internet and hope someone will bite. Often, some of the best buyers are already in your network. So after creating your post, be sure to share it on Facebook. You can also email a link to friends or coworkers. This is a great way to get other people to click on the link or send it to a friend who might be interested in the item you’re selling.

Now that you know the top tips for selling on Craigslist, it’s time to make some money! Put these tactics to good use the next time you try to earn some extra cash with the site.

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