Craigslist 101

If you know me, you know that I love to sell stuff. Whether it's cell phones, clothes, shoes or furniture, there's nothing better than getting rid of stuff I don't need/use anymore and getting some cash in return.

So, in light of selling my iPhone recently, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I've picked up from my experience selling things online, namely Craigslist. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I like to think I can give some good advice on the subject.

  • Do your research on competitive items
    • Before listing your product, look up similar products like yours and see how much they're going for. Compare the quality of yours to the quality of others and determine if you should price it higher or lower. 
  • Have a threshold price 
    • Classic negotiation tip: start high and meet in the middle. Craigslist is filled with bargainers (myself included). Understand that people will try to low-ball you no matter what. Price the item with this in mind and give yourself a threshold price that you're not willing to go below. If a buyer goes below that price, wait for another buyer or repost the item another day (if you're not desperate/in a time-crunch).
  • Take good pictures
    • Lighting is key - make sure the product looks good and the product looks 'attractive'. Also, make sure you show a few different angles so people can see the true size and condition of the product. 
  • Write up a quality description 
    • Describe your product in detail. What color is it? What are the dimensions? What is it made of? How heavy is it? The more details, the better. Also, disclose the true condition of the product. Minor scratch? Just say it. The buyer will see it in the pictures or will find out in person and may refuse to buy it so you might as well tell them before. 
  • Spot the scammers
    • There are TONS of scammers out there trying to take advantage of people who don't know the game. The beauty of Craigslist, in my opinion, is that you can meet up with the seller locally and collect the cash or watch them do the payment via venmo or PayPal. Be cautious of people telling you ridiculous stories and reasons why they need you to mail the item and that they'll PayPal you (and then they send you a fake PayPal email). "I live in ____ country and I need you to ship the phone to me. I'll even PayPal you $200 more for the inconvenience". Sound too good to be true? It is, so don't fall for it! 
  • Always meet up in a popular area
    • You're meeting up with a complete stranger, be safe. Do your research and meet up inside of a shopping mall, outside of a nice grocery store, in a well-lit parking lot of a shopping center, etc. If it's a cell phone, I oftentimes like to meet at their carrier's store (or an Apple store if it's an Apple product). If you can, bring someone else with you. 
  • Inspect the product before forking over the money
    • I learned this lesson after I bought the brand new Windows phone that I later found out was a demo phone that was stolen from an AT&T store (think: the phones that you see on the floor of a mobile phone store that have fake contacts and demo-features to show you what the phone can do...apparently people rip these phones off of the security mounts). Since the Windows operating system was so new, the software that I would have been able to flash on the phone wasn't available yet, so I was less than stoked. Lesson learned - inspect the product thoroughly.  

Here's the thing with Craigslist - it's extremely hard to come across quality buyers. Most people are either trying to low-ball you or scam you and it ruins the beauty of Craigslist. It can be time-consuming but worth it if you do it right!

Do your research, be safe, and happy selling :)