Selling Stuff – Craigslist

I really don’t like clutter.  I am by no means a minimalist, but I just can’t stand being surrounded with things that I don’t use or that don’t bring me happiness anymore.

So whenever I am cleaning or organizing, you can bet I accumulate a large pile of items that I want out of the house.  Some of those items go into a donation pile, but if I see any value in something it goes into another pile to be sold.  I love a good deal myself, so why not try to make a little money and help someone else save money at the same time?  Sounds like a perfect equation to me!  In the last week I’ve made over $100 selling things that I didn’t need anymore, freeing up space in my house and putting money in my pockets for more home improvement projects.

There are a few different ways that I’ve made money in the past:

  • Yard Sales
  • eBay
  • Consignment Sales
  • Craigslist
  • Message Boards
  • Facebook Groups

Lately I’ve been using Craigslist a lot, mostly because I’ve been selling larger items. Since Craigslist is focused on local sales, I find that many buyers are willing to pick the item up immediately.  And I love that I don’t have to figure in shipping costs like I would on eBay. Recently I’ve sold a pack n’ play, a bag full of toddler shoes, a high chair, and two large toys.  All of which has helped me meet one of my summer goals of clearing out many of the baby items that we don’t need in the house anymore.

Here’s how to go about doing it:

First, go to  You’ll need to be sure that your city or location is listed at the top.  Click on Post to Classifieds.

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Follow through the first few questions – if you are selling something you’ll want to click on for sale by owner.

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Next you’ll need to choose a category for your item.

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After you choose your location, you are ready to create your listing.

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Some tips:

  • I try to keep my title as brief as possible, but keep in mind that you want to catch a potential buyer’s eye, so be specific.
  • Price your item competitively.  If you are trying to make money this might not be the place for you because you are not likely to make back what you paid for the item.  If it’s brand new (in the box, with tags, etc.) you can ask close to retail – but even then I wouldn’t expect top dollar.  As a general rule, if the item is used I will usually ask about half what I paid. Less if it’s in less than good condition, more if it’s new.
  • When listing your item, point out any key features.  Also be sure to note any wear on the item.  You don’t want someone walking away because the item wasn’t listed as described. If the item is still being sold in stores, I like to list the current retail price, as well as my source (ex: currently retails at Toys R Us for $49.99).
  • I always mention that the item comes from a pet-free and smoke-free home.  This appeals to people with allergies.
  • I also always encourage them to contact me with questions, and I clearly state that the buyer needs to be prepared to pay with cash.
  • I do not show my location on maps.  Ever.
  • I use the craigslist email service, which disguises my actual email address.

Once you have finished writing your listing, you can add in photos.  Try to take clear pictures of your item.  You can add up to 8 pictures, so I usually take a few from different angles, or a few to demonstrate the different features of the item.  I also post pictures of any wear or damage.

Here is an example of a listing I posted that sold recently:

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After you add photos you will be allowed to publish your listing.  Craigslist will send an email to you, and you’ll need to click on the link they provide and agree with the terms.  And that’s it!  Now you are published – congratulations!

Interested buyers will contact you via email, unless you have provided an alternative in your listing.  I communicate through emails until we have a date and time set up to meet, and I don’t give out my phone number unless I am unexpectedly unable to meet them and need to contact them more quickly.  Some buyers may try to get you to reduce your price, which is perfectly acceptable.  It’s completely up to you if you want to take their offer.  I am almost always more interested in getting rid of the item than I am in making money off of it, so I accept any reasonable offers.

As a safety precaution, I never allow buyers to pick up items at my home.  Instead, we meet at a nearby public place, such as a gas station or fast food restaurant.  If I am selling a large piece of furniture too big to fit into my car I make sure my husband is home and we’ll bring the item outside to make the sale in the driveway. This way the buyer will not need to enter our home. Please do not EVER let a stranger enter your home to make a purchase!

I hope you found this helpful!  If you have any other tips or questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.  I’m happy to help!


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