How to Sell Items Safely on Craigslist


Craigslist is an online local advertising medium that allows you to post free classified ads on the web. You can get the same type of exposure similar to a garage sale but you do it over the internet. Even if you have never used an online classified site before, Craigslist is the perfect way to start as it is easy to use and only takes a few minutes to set up.

Step One – Create Your Advertisement

The first step when attempting to sell your used goods is to create an advertisement. Choose the most appropriate category of goods, such as furniture or exercise equipment, clothing or books to gain the most exposure. Enter your location (not your real address, just the city or postal code) as a reference for people searching your ad. Be as descriptive as possible and disclose any imperfections as not doing so can be a real time waster.

If you have the means to do so, upload a couple of pictures of the actual item you wish to sell using the image uploading tool available when creating the advertisement. Including a picture will definitely pique more interest and can generate a lot more leads than an ad without pictures.

Do not put any of your actual information into the advertisement; allow Craigslist to e-mail you when someone cites interest in your ad. Free advertisement boards are often trolled by people looking to add to their sales lists and having your phone or email address up for everyone to see is just asking to be overrun with solicitations.

Step Two – Weed Through the Calls

Regardless of the type of ad, you are going to find yourself on the opposite end of calls from people who are interested. More than half of those calls go no further than that initial call, so you need to weed out the good and bad apples at this time so you can better focus your attention on serious inquiries only.

Step Three – Meet with Your Prospective Buyer

I am a firm believer that you should always schedule meetings by phone and not e-mail, so you can get a bit of a feel for the person before actually providing your address and phone number to them. This personal information should not be shared with strangers if it can be avoided. For smaller items that can fit in your car, meet your buyer in a public location. If you are selling something that is too big, try to move it to a place in your house that is closed off from the rest of your house, such as your garage so that curious eyes don’t wander. Always have someone with you, such as another adult when possible.

Step Four – Conduct the Trade

Always let your buyer know exactly what you expect. You don’t want the transaction to turn awkward and uncomfortable if they didn’t bring enough money or try to talk you down. Be firm but reasonable when it comes to what you accept for payment.



1 Comment

anonymous by Jeff on 8/3/2012
If you want to get even more exposure for your stuff, sell it safely on Craigslist through You post your item to not only Craigslist, but Twitter, BackPage, even eBay Classifieds.

Add your comment

by Anonymous - Already have an account? Login now!
Your Name:  

Enter the text you see in the image below
What do you see?
Can't read the image? View a new one.
Your comment will appear after being approved.