I browse Craigslist fairly often looking for things that are needed. Craigslist is one of the jewels of the Internet, it is a place you can easily sell something and have it seen by millions of people. While browsing Craigslist I am often dismayed at the lack of common sense when listing an item on Craigslist. This post will attempt to shed some light on what not to do, and what to do when listing an item.

  • The first thing I see is lack of details in a listing. If you walked into a store looking for a toaster would you be happy if all the selection of toasters came in plain cardboard boxes with the word “toaster” on them? No, you would be pissed that there were no details about the toaster. The same thing goes for a listing on Craigslist, you must be specific about your item! Spend time creating your listing, give the model number, the dimensions, how old, what the shape is, any defects, location, how to contact you, anything and everything you can think of should be put into the listing. Don’t try to hide things that are wrong with the item, be up front about everything. Always use spellcheck, and try to use proper grammar when creating a listing.


  • Take good pictures. Go to Google and type in “how to take good pictures” In a nutshell always have a ton of light on the subject item and have the light behind the camera not pointing at the camera. Put the item in the center of the picture and take pictures from a different angles. Take at least 5 pictures and choose the best two to three to include in the auction. Don’t even think of listing an item without a picture, unless you are ready to write a book about it. A picture is worth a thousand words. This is the digital age everybody and their brother has a digital camera or a camera on their phone. There is no excuse for not having a picture in your listing. Get rid of distracting items in your picture meaning junk on top of or next to what you are trying to sell. Crop it out using a photo program (Irfanview) or simply move it before taking the picture. Clean your item before taking pictures of it, no one is going to buy a dirty, dusty, piece of merchandise.


  • Be acceptable for all forms of communication with a buyer. It pains me to see people say “only call me” when they list things. Give me a break, you just listed something on the Internet and now you want someone to turn to a 150 year old form of communication to contact you? Accept communication from whatever you are comfortable with especially email, text, and lastly phone. The more the better. Craigslist shields your email address from abuse,  you may as well use it.


  • Max out your title space. Make sure the title of the post is descriptive, don’t use words that are worthless and waste space like sweet, awesome, must see, etc. Use keywords that are relevant and weigh heavy with meaning. These words can be a model number, make, brand, color, size, etc. Be fairly descriptive about the location of the item. You shouldn’t put your address but at least put the city you are in and drill down to the area you are located.


  • The pricing you put on your listing can have a huge impact on whether you sell your item. Be realistic on your pricing. Go to Ebay and try to get a “completed items” price on what you are selling. That way you can set a price that is in line with the going value. If you are trying to get top dollar be prepared to wait for a sale. If you just want to get rid of something price it low and it will go.


  • Should your item sell, immediately take down your listing. This is common courtesy to other people who may take the time to inquire about it. Don’t be lazy about removing your listing. Be careful meeting people, and always play it safe.