Selling Your Old Stuff on Craigslist

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Whether you’re looking to make some quick cash or trying to simplify your life (while trying to make quick cash)- Craigslist is a simple and lucrative way to turn the stuff you own into a bit of extra money. This isn’t a long-term gig (unless you want to turn it into a gig selling OTHER people’s stuff for money- but that’s a similar-yet-different kind of plan)…it IS a way to garner fast cash when you really, really need it, though.

The Practical Part of Selling on Craigslist

The process is pretty straightforward- you pull up your local Craigslist page, click on the category of item you’re selling and follow the directions to list it. It’s a good idea to create an account so you get alerts about your sales and can repost them easily if something doesn’t sell on the first try.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Craigslist

The big advantage is- duh- selling your stuff quickly and getting cash in hand when you need it most (along with getting rid of some clutter.) The disadvantages are that it can be inconvenient to make appointments for people to come pick up stuff and give you the cash, and some things may never sell at all.

Pricing Your Craigslist Items

Pricing might seem like a huge mystery when it comes to Craigslist, but it doesn’t have to be. Search for similar used items in your area or on sites like eBay and price yours about the same. Expect that people will bargain, and plan to get about 10-25% less than the price you ask for.

Finding Items to Sell

The biggest sellers on Craigslist tend to be things like electronics, baby accessories (such as baby swings, monitors, etc.) and camera gear. Things like clothing and books are unlikely to sell because people have plenty of options to get those on the cheap already. Specialty items, such as antiques and collectibles, might do better on a national or international site, such as eBay, because there may not be a huge pool of interested buyers in your town.

Tips for Selling Your Stuff on Craigslist

You’ll get more interest and have better chance of selling at or near your asking price if you make an ad that looks professional. Take a nice photo to post of your item and make sure grammar and spelling in your ad are perfect before you put the ad online. Communicate with potential buyers by email and phone before agreeing to meet them to exchange goods and money- and arrange to meet at a public location (like a coffee shop) if you don’t feel comfortable inviting them to your home.

Selling Crafts on Etsy

If you make crafts or other handmade goods, you’ve likely heard of Etsy. Opening an Etsy shop is simple, and extremely cheap. All you need are some good quality photos of your merchandise and a little cash to pay for the ultra-cheap listing fees (20 cents per item for a listing that stays up four months) to get started. If you sell something, Etsy takes 3.5 percent of the price as their fee. You can pay using a credit card or Paypal.

Some ideas of things you can sell on Etsy include:

  • Handmade jewelry
  • Homemade candy or other food items
  • Specialty clothing you’ve made at home
  • Craft supplies you’ve purchased wholesale elsewhere
  • Vintage clothing
  • Vintage collectible toys
  • Holiday decorations made by hand

As you might have noticed, having a crafty hobby can be a big help if you’re thinking of trying out Etsy as a way to make extra money. It’s also a great way to test whether your particular craft will appeal to a large audience. If you aren’t crafty, though, Etsy can still work for you. Vintage items are another huge category on Etsy, especially if you find a specific niche, such as vintage handbags, engagement rings, or kids clothing. Stock up on merchandise at local estate and garage sales, then sell your wares to people across the country who are searching for something that’s easy to find in your neighborhood but lacking in theirs.

If you decide to set up shop on Etsy, stand out from the crowd with a creative shop description, a wide selection of merchandise, and a personal story about your brand that makes potential customers comfortable shopping with you. Being social also seems to help with increasing your sales on Etsy, so join teams and share others’ hard work by creating Treasury lists and you just might find some new friends willing to share links to your shop and specific items in return.