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Finances & Money

The Way of Craigslist

(Guest post by Fat Money Pig)

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Do you have a lot of clutter in your house? Is your trophy, from winning the 4th grade field day race, collecting dust?  Get rid of it all by learning the Way of Craigslist; sell the things you do not use frequently and invest the money you make.  I understand you might upset and unwilling to part with your belongings, but having less is better.

Money in the bank should be the only thing you want more of. Most physical items do not appreciate in value. No, your howling wolf t-shirt will never be worth more than you bought it for. (Unless of course, you could prove the shirt has the magical power to attract the opposite sex). So ask yourself, why not sell your things today rather than months from now, to avoid depreciation?

Additionally, having too many physical possessions can tie a person down. Moving becomes a hassle. Cleaning becomes a nightmare. And eventually you run out of room.  All of which, costs you more time and money. You might be afraid and think why would somebody want to buy my used stuff? Yeah, you might not be able to sell it.

If you have something crazy, like a used water bottle collection, that might be hard to sell. But if you have something you can buy new, on Amazon.com, odds are your item will find a local buyer on Craigslist. For instance, when I first started making money, I went insane and bought a lot of useless crap; I bought a $500 BlueAir Air Purifier, even though I did not have allergies. Two years later, I converted started following the Way of Craigslist and sold it for $400.  If I can get rid of my stuff, you can too. Get off your butt and start selling!

Now that I convinced you to begin cleaning out your house, I am going to give you a crash course on how to use Craigslist Effectively.

1) Figure out what you want to sell (10 minutes per item)

  • Make a list of everything, include on the list specific details ( e.g. model #, year made) and a description of the item.
  • Go online and see how much you buy the item new for
  • Search Craigslist and Ebay to see what the used price for your item is
  • Use the new price as the Maximum and the Craigslist/Ebay used prices as a Minimum to create a price range. Then use the price range to make an educated pricing.
  • Take pictures ( this is pretty important, because most people like to see what they are buying before they will meet you up )

2) Go to Craigslist.org, find your City,  and Create an Account (2 minutes)

  • You will need an E-mail address

3) Upload the pictures you are going to use in your description  at your favorite image host (3 minutes)

  • I usually use imgur.com because it is the fastest.

4) Click “post to classifieds” on Craigslist to begin your post. (5 seconds :))

  • Select “for sale” and the corresponding category your stuff belongs to.

5) Create your post (4 mins)

  • Title – This is extremely important. Craigslist has tons of listings and it is crucial that you make yours stand out. When I make my titles, I try to make them as descriptive as possible. The longer the title the more exposure you will get.  You can also spruce up your title by including some symbols by using ASCII Code: You can copy paste the symbols below or you can copy paste the symbols below or just use the code.
    • ▲    ▲
      ▶▶    &#9654 ▶
      ▖     ▖
      ▆    ▆
      ♠      ♠
      ♥      ♥
      ♦♦    ♦ ♦
      ♬     ♬
  • Description – Do you remember the list I told you to make? Now that comes in handy because you can copy and paste your description here.
  • Pictures in Description – I put images in my description because you can have much larger images in the description than using the Craigslist image function. If you want to do this, you will need HTML
    • Put this HTML code in your description “<img src =”http://yoururl.com”>”
    • Replace yoururl.com with the location of the picture you uploaded. Should be something.com/something.jpeg
  • Continue until you see it Captcha. Enter the code and congratulations you are done!

Now that you have listed your first item on Craigslist follow these tips to avoid any trouble.  

Beware of Scammers:

  1. Be cautious of people who have @yahoo.com and have generic sounding emails. Such as “Hi, I’m interested in your item”. Or “who do I send payment to” Based on my experience, I do not reply, because those people are usually scammers located in a different country.
  2. Do not accept payment online. Paypal payments are easy to chargeback.
  3. Count your money before they leave. I never had a guy short change me before, but I always count the money.

Safety Tips:

  1. If your item can fit in your car, you should meet up the buyer at a gas station instead of your home. Gas stations are usually the safest place to meet, because there are always people nearby.
  2. Never meet too late at night.  (This is pretty common sense)

Ok, that was a lot of information. But just remember, sell the things you do not use frequently; you will have fewer burdens and more money. And selling can be easy if you follow the steps above!

————–
MoneyPig is a frugal individual, who is interested in helping his readers save money. He writes about various saving strategies, such as frequent flyer miles, investing, budgeting, great deals, and more. Check out his site at http://fatmoneypig.com and follow his twitter today!

About the author

Clever Dude

2 Comments

  • Craigslist is a great place to sell off your unnecessary stuff. I recently spent some time on there since I was moving at the end of the month. I managed to sell a couple of bikes, a rock band video game and a patio bench. Just to make the move easier I also posted 2 rusted BBQs and a broken dresser on there in the free section. It was all just stuff that wasn’t being used and I wanted to make the move easier. Rather than do it last minute before a move, I’m going to try to do this periodically so that I can get the most money for what I’m selling. Good tip about the ascii characters and images hosted outside of craigslist.

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