Life Hacks, Life Lessons, Weekend DIY

PSA: Five things to keep in mind when selling on Craigslist

Recently I was looking for an item on Craigslist and I decided, what better way to share my experience than to tell everyone how to do something better! I’m looking for a specific item and this post will focus on that. however these rules apply for almost anything you are selling on CL except perhaps a small child. Don’t try to sell a small child on Craigslist. That’s what Etsy is for!

  1. Do Your Research
  2. Snap Good Pictures
  3. Provide Accurate, detailed Measurements
  4. Check your Spam/Junk Folder
  5. Let People Know the item has been sold

Do Your Research
Do 5 minutes of research on your item. I was looking for a Roll Top Desk. A quick search on Craigslist shows that Roll Top Desk yields 100 hits and RollTop Desk had 45 hits. If you were trying to sell one of these, you’d want to go with “Roll Top Desk” even if you are certain it is “RollTop Desk.”


Snap Good Pictures
Snap a good picture, from multiple angles. This might not seem like it applies to everything but some objects need more than one view. since it doesn’t cost you anything to post photos, why not. More importantly, make sure the picture is clean and clear. Not too dark, not too light. You should check your photo from different devices like multiple computer browsers and smart phones/tablets. okay that last one might be overkill.


Provide Accurate, detailed Measurements

Provide measurements especially if it is a piece of furniture.  I cannot stress this enough. People want to know if that desk will fit in a specific corner or against a certain wall. heck even if you are selling a blender telling someone how tall it is will tell them them whether it will fit under their cabinet counter. Why not wait until someone asks? well you might get several people asking you which means you have to reply to each one individually. Also it helps weed out people who aren’t able to use your item.

Check your Spam/Junk Folder

CL has automated the method for contacting people and you might think you are not getting any responses.  It could be that the auto-generated email went directly into your Junk Folder next to the Nigeria Prince Bank message and the ad for Viagra and Cialis.

Let People Know the item has been sold

Let people know you sold the item…within reason. If you get a ton of emails you don’t have to respond to each one. but if you get a couple and you sell the item, it’s good karma to let people know that the item is no longer available.  Also, take down the ad even though Craigslist eventually does it for you.

Do have the heart to cut the back of this for computer cables?

Do have the heart to cut the back of this for computer cables?

Incidentally I did find a Roll Top Desk that was suitable for our needs for $80 chair included. Since we are having children, my office is being converted into a nursery and the computers need to come downstairs.  It was solid enough that I feel like I got a nice antique but in bad enough shape (and cheap enough) that I won’t feel too bad when I  cut small holes in it for computer cables, or if we find something even more awesome and antique-ee later down the road.

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