How to Successfully Sell on Craigslist – 7 Tips

How to Successfully Sell on Craigslist - 7 Tips 5

Whether you are selling all of your belongings or just paring down your stuff, I highly recommend craigslist. I use craigslist occasionally for buying, but often for selling. In fact, when it comes to selling almost anything, craigslist is my first choice. I’ve sold couches, cars, cameras, and more.

Quite a few people have told me that they’ve tried craigslist and “it didn’t work.” In other words, no one bought what they had for sale.

Here is my 7-step method for maximizing craigslist:

1) Be concise! Very few items sell well with long descriptions. Make lists. Use bullet points.

2) Use pictures. They are almost as important as words. Make them look good. A listing without pictures communicates you are selling JUNK. Most people won’t take the time to contact you.

3) List a phone number. If you only give the option to email, you will lose potential sales. Email is slow. If someone is ready to buy, they likely want to know if they may look at the item immediately. I personally use my Google number.

How to Successfully Sell on Craigslist - 7 Tips 64) Don’t get scammed. Anyone offering to pay you additional money for shipping is a thief. Supposed buyers will email you inquiring about your “item” for sale. They write generically and often with poor English. Don’t be tempted to respond. Delete!

5) Be safe. If I am selling small things, I bring them with me in my vehicle as I run errands. Whenever possible, I meet people at public locations like grocery store fronts or a school parking lot. If you think you need a little extra security, meet in front of a bank. Everything will be recorded.

6) Text. About 1/3 of my craigslist sales begin with a text message from the buyer. If you don’t text, it is not the end of the world, but know you are likely missing sales.

7) Re-list your items. And do it often. Craigslist indexes its listings by keywords in chronological order. That means if a buyer is searching for a “Red Wagon” the most recent listing containing “red wagon” will be at the top. If you delete and re-post your listing, you will push your item to the top of the potentially long list.

Do you use craigslist? What other tips would you add to the list? What questions do you have regarding craigslist?


  1. @TimSheaffer is the master of selling things on craigslist. Here are his top 7 tips:

  2. Blessing Oyeleye says

    Nice tips!

    In other news, I found this RV for sale, it looks really good, a little expensive, but I think it might be worth it. Its a lot of space too.

  3. Blessing Oyeleye says

    You can refresh their blog, its more mileage now, and definitely cheaper since they have used it for two years.

  4. I love this list! Thanks for the tips – now that you guys are experts :)

  5. Great tips of you sell on Craigs List! RT @timsheaffer: How to Successfully Sell on Craigslist – 7 Tips

  6. RT @TimSheaffer: This is how we sold most of our things. #tc #craigslist #GiveEveryDay