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Friday, December 3, 2010

Craigslist

I recently received this question from a reader of My Dear Trash:

I manage to sell pretty well on eBay and I love reading through your blog. I've never sold anything on Craig's list but just came across the most incredible childs table and chair set at Uncle Sal's for $20. The stickers are still on it, the table alone went for $299. original. Any advice for posting on CL? Do you have a separate email account set up just for that? Do you have people contact you by email or by phone? Also, I do love people but I'm not letting strangers in my home, do you meet them outside? A nice post on CL advice would be awesome. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. 

Thank you for your email. I’ve been meaning to do another post on Craig’s list, so this is the perfect lead-in.
craigslist.org is a great place to get started to find out which site you should list on for your area.  For example, I post on phoenix.craigslist.org.   
A little about Craig's list as listed at craigslist.org/about/factsheet.  Worldwide, craigslist gets about 20 billion page views per month, making it the #7 worldwide most popular website. There are over 700 cites in 70 countries.  In 2004, eBay acquired 25% of craigslist equity from former shareholders.  Why is craigslist domain .org?  Because it symbolizes the relatively non-commercial nature, public service mission, and non-corporate culture of craigslist.
Craig’s list is such a great tool, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, be sure to always have someone with you when you allow a potential buyer into your home.  You can never be too safe.  One time I was selling a diamond ring for a friend of mine and I offered to meet a potential buyer at a McDonalds up the street from my home.  Of course, I took my big strong man with me.
I’m cautious about letting people into my home. Most of the time, I have the item for sale in my garage.  After greeting a potential buyer at my front door, I walk into the front yard with them and we walk together around to my garage.  I know nothing’s full proof, but this has worked for me.
Second, do not respond to emails offering cashiers checks.  Never give out bank information.  I get scams all the time from my Craig’s List listings.   Never link to a website in an email or download any information.  I once received an email from a woman asking if I’d link up to a site showing the picture of the type of couch she wanted.  “If your couch is similar to this one, then I’m interested in yours.”  That request seemed somewhat odd to me.  Trust your gut.  If it appears weird, then it probably is.  I recently received this email for several of the items I have listed on Craig's list:
reply i.f ur genuine 
Needless to say, I didn't reply.
With that said, I do use my personal email account for my Craig’s List postings. 
If you’ve found something really great to sell on Craig’s List, I would start with a Craig’s List search.  In your case, see what other kids table and chair sets are selling.  Check out the price range to get a feel where you should be starting. Personally, I would start at around $80.00.  This is a nice profit for you and a great deal for someone else.  Be willing to negotiate off your asking price.  In this case, I might go down to $70.00 or $65.00.
I’m always surprised to find furniture listings with no photograph.  I’d imagine these items do not sell very well. If you're going to take the time to list an item, it's worth taking photographs.  Take several photos of the item you want to sell.  Stage it in a way that appeals to its value.  Take the picture in a clutter-free area of your home (yeah, that’s not easy for me).  Make sure the images in the photograph are clear. 
I always list my phone number in my listing.  I want to make it as easy as possible for a potential buyer to get a hold of me.  This has worked out great because I’m not always on-line.  My email is automatically linked to my posting.
My secret to Craig’s List success while out thrifting/garaging?
If I see something beautiful, but have no need or room for, I buy it as a re-sale item.  If I find something that needs minimal repair or a paint job, I might take on the task (Kelly is so much better at this then I am, remember, I'm an as-is kind of girl).  I never know when I might make a nice little profit off my investment.  It’s fun to filter chairs, couches, bookshelves,  home d├ęcor, etc. in and out of my home (maybe that depends on who you ask).  Although my kids may have some sort of furniture detachment disorder in the future (my husband’s a counselor, but I don’t think he’s every diagnoadisorder in all his years of practice), they like to try new stuff too.
Currently on Craig’s List I have listed:

large solid wood dresser


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis People Magazine Commerative Issue



Large Wood Fold-out Buffet Table on Wheels


Beautiful Black Floral 8x11 Large Plush Area Rug


Christian Michele Size 0 Red "Bella" NWT $399 Formal Gown



Remember, Craig’s List has no seller fees.
Good luck and keep Kelly and I posted on your success.

5 comments:

  1. Hi. Great post, thanks for the advice. How much are you selling that dresser for? How long is it? I have been looking for a cute dresser like that as a TV stand for our tv. THat would go perfect.

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  2. If you still have it, can you email me at mela@simplybeautifulvinyl.com

    Thank you. :0)

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  3. I agree with the safety side of Craigslist. Here's what I do to avoid scams. I say in my listing that you MUST send a phone number in your email or I will not reply. This helps tremendously. If people do not give me a phone number, I do not contact them.

    It is sometimes difficult to meet someone elsewhere because of the size of items. Like Laura, I use my garage and always have someone else home and in the slight chance that my hubby is not home, I tell my neighbor that I have someone coming and to watch.

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  4. Another idea .... for furniture that is in good, almost new condition, try a consignment store. You may not make as much money, but you do less work too. A consignment store for childrens clothing might sell the child size table and chair also.
    I'm a single mom. I really wonder if it is a good idea to let strangers in to my home. I have sold some things on Craigs List and the people have always been really great.
    ~ Christie

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  5. Great post. I, too, have had good luck selling things on craigslist.

    Thanks for the advice, that rebel, Olivia

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