If you’re decluttering or want to make room for new stuff, you’ll be wanting to get rid of your old furniture somehow. If, like us, you don’t like seeing perfectly good furniture go to waste, why not sell it via a site such as craigslist and make a little bit of money while you’re at it?
As always, there are a whole load of things you need to pay attention to when selling your old stuff on craigslist. It’s a busy site, full of ads, as well as rules, conventions and the occasional scammer out to get you. Luckily, we’ve knocked up this handy guide for you, full of great tips and tricks that will help you get the best deal for your old furniture with minimum investment of time, energy and funds.
1 Open an account
Yes, you can sell on craigslist without an account, but if you want to be able to make changes in your ad or rerun it at a later date should your item not sell the first time, an account will make your life a lot easier. It only takes a few minutes to set one up and it’s free.
2 Do some research first
Unless you’re an expert at selling used furniture, you’ll want to take the time to look at existing ads on craigslist and familiarise yourself with prices, descriptions used, photos, etc.. There’s no point pricing your bit of furniture significantly higher than the competition without a good reason. Similarly, there’s no point pricing it much lower than what’s available unless you’re very keen to sell or your stuff is in bad condition. Without looking around first, you won’t have a ballpark figure to base your price on. It helps to also know a lot about each item you’re selling. The more information you can provide to potential buyers, the more likely they are to choose your item over similar ones. Also, you may discover some unique selling points along the way, such as an item being rare or particularly popular.
3 Take good photos
Don’t even consider putting items up for sale without photos. Photos sell and the better the photos, the more likely you are to make a sale. Yes, you can take pictures with your phone camera, but a proper digital camera is much better. If you’re going to be selling a lot of stuff, it’s worth investing in one and learning how to take good photos, or asking a talented friend for help. We know you’re probably only selling off a few things and don’t plan on making a whole business out of it, but at the very least make sure there’s sufficient lighting in your photos and that everything is clear and in focus. Make sure the item is clean and put it against a solid, contrasting background if possible. If the item can’t easily be moved, you can use a sheet or piece of material behind it if necessary. Provide photos from different angles and highlight any obvious flaws in your item such as holes, discolorations, etc.. This may seem counterproductive but will prevent potential buyers from complaining about being misled.
4 Price reasonably
As mentioned above, there’s no point asking for more money than people are likely to pay or pricing so low people will think you’re a scammer. On the other hand, your research probably gave you a range of prices for a particular item, rather than hard and fast rules. Remember that people on craigslist are looking for a deal and will not hesitate to make ridiculously low offers, especially if you’re willing to consider a “best offer” price. Because of this, it’s handy to price the item up to 30% higher than you’re willing to accept. If you hate haggling, put down your final price, but make it something people are likely to pay.
5 Use keywords in your headline
You want people to be able to easily find your ad, especially as you’re not supposed to repost it every day (though some people do). Make your headline as clear as possible, include brand, if necessary (“Ikea Sofa”) and if you have the space, be as descriptive as you can in regards to condition, features, etc. If you’re willing to accept a best offer, this can also go in the headline, if you have the space.
6 Create a clear description
Give as many details about the item as you can – dimensions, condition, colour, any extras included, price (always worth reminding people) and whether or not you’re willing to deliver. If there are any problems with the item, mention them here so that people are aware. It also doesn’t hurt to mention a reason for selling, especially if the item is in good condition. Otherwise people may wonder if you’re hiding something.
Give your contact details, but avoid putting your real email address or phone number in the ad. Scams do happen and people do scrape craigslist for people’s personal details.
7 Use caution
Watch out for scammers who send out mass emails to anyone who sells on craigslist. Look for impersonal language, bad English and anything that appears too good to be true. Don’t agree to deliver expensive items to dark, isolated locations – meet in a public place. If someone is coming to your home, you can always ask a friend to be there with you.
While being paid in cash is always tempting, consider asking for Paypal payment in advance – this way you are protected from scams and know you can part with the item safely.