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Craigslist Selling Tips

26 Jan
Craigslist

Hmmm... now what??!!!

I would like to think that I’m a pro at selling things on Craigslist after having done it for some 4-5 years now – but in truth I’m constantly learning new things. One thing I’ve learned after having done it in two cities is that every area probably has its idiosyncracies, but there are several general ‘truths’ which still prevail —
  1. Timing – ie. selling outdoor toys in winter time – especially in cold or colder areas is not a good idea – although there may be (lucky) cases where someone is looking for outdoor toys for indoor use (like a slide).  Same goes for winter coats in the summer, etc. If you can’t wait, you might need to take a steeper cut on your sales price, otherwise- waiting till the season or timing is better might be a good idea.
  2. Competition/Pricing – Always, always, always check out the competition and price correctly for your market and the condition of your item.  Search for your item on Craigslist and see how many are being sold, what condition and model/age and at what price. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen multiple listings where people have clearly not done their homework. It does not matter if you bought your item full price – if someone else  has the same item in similar shape  and you price ‘over’ them – you technically just helped them clinch a sale.
  3. Include a Link – If the item is available in stores, include a link to the retailer so your potential purchasers can view the specs on the item and see retail price.
  4. Add a photo of the item and fully disclose any wear and tear – it might not be a deal breaker to you, but it might be for your potential buyer. I don’t know about you, but as a frequent buyer myself- I don’t even bother looking at ads without photos.
  5. Respond in a timely manner – if you are busy or are anticipating to be busy, don’t post your sale, just like any business you need to be responsive to your potential buyers.  Even if you feel you have a buyer coming to buy the item already you should still be responsive to others, because there have been numerous occasions where a “sure” buyer dropped out and I was glad I still was able to contact the others who were interested.
  6. Take advantage of the situation – I mean this in a good way — not in a ‘hijack the buyer’ sort of way – I mostly sell kids items and have found that people who come interested in buying an item might also want to ‘look around’ and buy more, so I usually have the other items I have for sale also semi-displayed on the side.  I don’t even have to do a hard sell at all – it’s there, if they want to look they can, and most of the time that’s how I get rid of  smaller items like toys.
  7. Think outside the box in terms of pick up areas – I’ve done it during my lunch break at my work parking lot, at a gas station (someone was on their way to their son’s soccer practice), I think you get the point. Honestly some buyers are also leery now of going to someones house – so it’s always good to be flexible.

Hope this helps — there is nothing like the feeling of unloading something you no longer need to someone who does.  Good luck on your next sale!  Check out my other Craigslist blog posts and please leave a comment to tell me how your Craigslist sales go!

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So What Sort of Kid Stuff Really Sells on Craigslist?

12 Jan
Image representing Craigslist as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

We have a LOT of kids stuff.  I’m almost embarrassed to say – probably 90% of what we sell on Craigslist is kid stuff. We’re lucky that Craigslist is such a good marketplace for kids stuff and has worked pretty well for us over all.  We tried looking into doing one of those consignment events and found the amount of work, not to mention the cut they get – not to be worth our time and effort.  Yes, you could probably sell your kitchen sink on Craigslist, it is just that no one might buy it.  Same thing goes for certain type of kid’s stuff.  I’m not saying its impossible, but after trying to sell numerous items through the years, I’ve come to a number of semi-conclusions and unofficially coined the phrase “Declutter for Ca$h!”

  1. Clothing is touch and go… depending on how you market it – a no-photo rough ad about ‘2T clothes for sale’ will not get you anywhere.  Individually selling clothing is not quite worth your time either (IMHO) what has worked for me is taking group photos of the bunch for sale and selling it all for one price – list brands, sizes, and be honest about any wear and tear.  On the positive side, if successful – you probably will get more money selling clothing this way rather than selling them either at a consignment shop or at a ‘Just Between Friends’  type of event.  Shoes are another thing that I think some people are leery of paying a good price to get second-hand – ALTHOUGH an exception might be girl’s tap shoes.
  2. Maternity Clothes – yep, you can try to sell this as a package deal.  Worked for one of our friends and she unloaded all her maternity clothes in good condition for a flat $125!
  3. Infant ‘Essentials’ i.e. high chair, stroller, pack n’ play, etc.–  if a decent brand

    Our old Play Area/Gate-- useful, cute, and sturdy makes for a quick sell 🙂

    (Graco, Britax etc.) will usually sell well.  PLEASE take a good photo and try to clean the item beforehand. If it doesn’t sell immediately – patience – wait a couple of weeks and re-post. Having moved to Tulsa we found that ‘trendier’ items may not sell as well here compared to a major city – things like a Stokke chair, or a Learning Tower might sell pretty fast in Chicago, but not as quickly in a smaller city.

  4. Toys – is another touch and go category — ‘classics’ such as train tables and train sets, climbers, ride-ons, usually do well depending on wear and tear.  Smaller pieces or toys with lots of pieces (ie. fisher price doll houses, etc.) maybe not as much.  We found that ‘large’ toys do pretty well (climbers, slides etc.).  We are on the fence when it

    I posted this art table twice before I got a sale. I love Step 2 or Little Tikes stuff- they always clean up real well and look brand new in a jif!

    comes to bundling vs. individual selling of toys – just like much of Craigslist it really depends on luck and the decision would fall more on you to decide whether you want to bother selling your toys piece meal or in one go.

Hopefully this helps you look at your ‘stuff’ differently – we certainly do.  I know there are certain items I’m itching to sell but my wife is still adamant about keeping (indoor trampoline anyone? kid’s bookshelf?).  At the end of the day Craigslist satisfies a lot of our needs, the need to declutter, the need to have a little extra cash, and the need to recycle – win win all around in my opinion. Happy Selling!

Itching to sell this train table someday 🙂 We actually got this off of Craigslist for quite a steal.

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My Best Purchase & Resale on Craigslist!

8 Dec

Back in 2006 I bought this sturdy plastic toy chest/bookshelf in the style of a castle for my daughter’s room.  It was perfect – she used the bottom toy chest for her stuffed toys, the selves held her books and on the flat top shelf we placed a lamp and a CD player/clock radio.  We paid $28 for it, used it for 2 years and then when we moved and were changing up some furniture, I was able to resell it for $25!  Not bad – $3 for 2 years use of this nifty piece of children’s furniture!

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We have been fortunate enough to have been able to do this with a couple other items as well (i.e. a Little Tikes slide and a play kitchen) but the above example if my best purchase & resale!

Another Successful Sale!

1 Dec

De-clutter for CA$H!  Just sold the following item yesterday!!!  Here’s my Craigslist ad:

Like New Baby Einstein Entertainer / Exersaucer. Barely used for a few months in a pet free and smoke free home. Retails new for $89.99 – selling cash and carry for $65. Keep your baby/grandchild busy and happy as you eat, cook, do things in the house! Makes a great holiday gift!!!

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3904625

See pictures of this and other items for sale at the following link:
http://picasaweb.google.com/tulsamoy/CraigslistBabyStuff?authkey=Gv1sRgCP64tNDr9KrUZg&feat=content_notification#

Baby Einstein Entertainer – Around the World

The Baby Einstein Around the World Discovery Center allows baby to explore sights and sounds from around the globe. This fun play center entertains and stimulates your little one in true Baby Einstein fashion with activities, music, games and engaging characters. Baby can explore 12 different activities as he or she experiments with the penguin top spinner, click-clack giraffe, panda teeter-totter, rocking parrot, removable discovery cards, globe-shaped teether and more. Babies will be enthralled by their own reflection with the baby-safe mirror, and the lion puppet and drum help get grown-ups in on the game to encourage interaction between parents and little ones. The musical piano lets tots explore their auditory senses as they play melodies, nature sounds or learn color names in 3 different languages. The Discovery Center features music from the Baby Einstein World Music DVD (sold separately) for coordinated fun. Keep baby comfortable and free to play with the 360-degree rotating seat and 3-level adjustable height control. You can always add additional toys with the 2 link loops or drop extra toys in the handy tray. The seat pad is removable and machine washable for convenience, and the center can lay flat for easier storage.

Tips on Selling Multiple Items on Craigslist

20 Nov

Once my wife and I identified all the baby gear we no longer needed, I was on my mission to “De-clutter for CA$H!”  So, I took photos of all the items and created an on-line Picasa album just for the sale items and included a brief description and price in the individual photo caption.  I was so excited when I had 3 sales in one day (on a Saturday – the weekend shoppers) and my wife started calling me the Craigslist King – LOL!  

Here’s the text of the multi-item Craigslist ad:

We have a lot of like new and excellent condition baby gear and girl’s 6-12 months  clothing for sale – cash and carry – weekdays from 9am to 4pm at ABC Ave. & XYZ St., weekends by Main St. & First Ave.  All items are from a pet free and smoke free home!  Buy multiple items, get a little discount!  Special pricing if you want it ALL items to prepare for your daughter/granddaughter’s arrival!  Thanks! 

LINK to pictures of all items for sale:
http://picasaweb.google.com/SAMPLE

Bare Naked Boppy ($26.99 new) with a Boppy Cover ($9 new) – Ours is in great condition and we are selling both together for $13
Great for nursing moms or to lay your baby down for a nap in a snuggly pillow!
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2507965

Fisher Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek a boo crib soother ($44.99 new) – Ours is like new – only used a few months (our baby didn’t sleep in the crib) ;0(  Selling for $28
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2455073

Serta Perfect Dream Mattress  ($99.99 new) – Ours is like new – our baby only napped on it a handful of times…selling for 1/2 price at $50 firm.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3452263

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker ($40 new) – ours is blue farm animal themed – very good condition and selling for $13
http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=2002&e=product&pid=47989&ncat=thumbnail&pcat=bgb

Brandee Danille Flutter Bees Crib Bedding Set – ($160+ new)
100% cotton, great condition, gender neutral – our set includes, fitted sheet, crib skirt, blanket, bumpers and toy holder. Selling for $60!
http://www.allchildrensfurniture.com/Brandee-Danielle-FLUTCOLL-BDA1502.html?cv=

Summer Infant Large Comfort Bather – Pink/white & flowers. Retails for $23 new, excellent condition and selling for $10.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2970280
Product Description
The Mother’s Touch™ Large Comfort Bather from Summer Infant grows with your child from newborn to infant. The bather’s large frame, cushioned edges, and soft mesh sling seat help to ensure your baby’s comfort and safety at bath time. A deluxe head support adds extra stability for your infant and can be easily removed as baby grows. The quick drying fabric and folding ability of the bather make it convenient and easy to use at home or while traveling. Summer Infant prides itself on being a company of moms, dads, aunts and uncles dedicated to making great baby care products for parents and children. The cornerstone of the company’s product development and operational philosophy is open communication with its customers. Summer Infant develops and manufactures a range of baby and child care products in areas including child safety and convenience, nursery, baby bedding, baby gear and baby furniture.

Like New STRIDE RITE Stage 1 (prewalkers) baby girl shoes – retails new for $30, selling for $18.  Super cute shoes! See picture in the album link at the top of this ad.

Like New Tiny Love classic music crib mobile, retails new for $45, selling for $28, in original box. See picture in the album link.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3836093

Great comfy lazy boy type recliner chair for toddler-child. Great condition, nice neutral color, no stains or tears.
Give your child his/her own special TV or Reading chair!  Selling for $28, cash & carry.
Baby clothing pictures and prices are in the Picasa Web link above. Sold by the category/bag. Email me if interested!

THANKS!!!

Starting a friend on Craigslist (De-clutter for CA$H)

18 Nov

So, here’s how I went about helping a friend get started as a seller on Craigslist to “De-clutter for CA$H.”  She has heard about my success with Craigslist and asked me to help her out.  I’ve copied and pasted portions of our emails below to document the process.

FRIEND:  I have this exact snow suit from The Children’s Place that [my son] doesn’t need anymore that I wouldn’t mind selling.  It is a size 6-12 months.  He used it only a couple of times to keep warm and for pictures so it is pretty new.
http://cgi.ebay.com/NWT-CHILDRENS-PLACE-BABY-BOY-SNOW-SUIT-0-6-MONTHS-/370453803286?pt=US_Baby_Toddler_Boys_Clothes&hash=item5640c47116
They are selling it on eBay for $15.99 (link above) and I see on The Children’s Place website that they have something similar for $19.99 on sale.
http://www.childrensplace.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TCPSearch?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&N=0&Ne=&Nao=0&sale=0&url=SearchView&Ntt=snowsuit
I’m thinking we can price it for $17.99.  I don’t want to take less than $13 for it probably.
I’ll send you a picture or let me know if you can use the one from the eBay listing.  Also, let me know your thoughts on pricing.

ME:  I’d include the link to the retail one at Children’s Place but use my own photo.  People want to see the actual product to verify no rips, stains, etc.   On pricing, since they could get it new for $20, I’s list it for $15 and consider going as low as $10-12.  Do you want me to create and set up the post for you after you send me a couple jpegs (front & back)?  [The wife] and I always think “what are we willing to pay for the item?” – ideally 1/2 price since it’s used, but as much as 75% of retail if it’s like new and a “hot” item.

FRIEND:  Pricing sounds good.  I’ll send you pictures and a few other things this week for you to post.  I sent you my c-list account info.

ME:  I took a look at Craigslist for the competition, most ads are for girl snow suits, so this could be a plus!  Start with $15, but consider selling for $10.  The girl snow suits are listed for $6-$12 for like brand, size and condition.  Most people may not want to pay a lot because it’s a single season item and not necessarily worn everyday.  Send me the jpegs and I will set up your first ad!

TEXT OF THE CRAIGSLIST AD:

LIKE NEW light blue boy’s snow suit in size 6-12 months. Keep your baby warm this winter!
Only worn a few times – no tears or stains. From a pet free and smoke free home.
Retails new for $20 at The Children’s Place. Asking $15 – cash and carry.
http://www.childrensplace.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TCPSearch?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&N=0&Ne=&Nao=0&sale=0&url=SearchView&Ntt=snowsuit

Tips for Succe$$ful selling on Craigslist

15 Nov
Craigslist

Image via Wikipedia

As an avid Craigslist user for almost 6 years, I wanted to share my “Steps to Successful Selling.”

  1. De-clutter to identify items to sell/donate.  If thinking about the entire house + garage + attic/basement is too overwhelming, just focus on one room at a time and have a spot to put the “for sale” vs. “donate” items.  Be honest and serious on this all important first step!  For instance, my wife and I are not planning to have more children, so the maternity clothing was donated (an easy few boxes/bags of stuff out of the house!).  We saved everything from our first daughter (I swear I bought like 50+ plastic totes to hold clothes, baby gear, infant toys, etc), so now as our second daughter outgrows things, it’s sold or donated.  Things we don’t need/use anymore were sold on Craigslist – i.e. pack n play, infant car seat, etc.  This is where my mantra “De-clutter for CA$H” came from.
  2. Research market price for exact/similar items and “new retail” price.  Check Craigslist in your city to see if others are selling the same or similar item.  Note the condition and sale price.
  3. Be honest on condition of item and price accordingly.  What would you pay for it if you’re willing to buy it used?  My wife and I would usually hope for 1/2 of retail price, but it also depends on how in demand the item is.  The most we paid for anything is around 75% of retail if it’s in excellent or like new condition.
  4. Consider if the item is “hot/popular,” a “necessity” or total “discretionary/splurge” type item.  Hot/popular items in great condition can possibly sell for closer to retail price.  A necessity, if priced fairly, should sell quickly.  While the discretionary/splurge item may take sometime, especially in current economic/unemployment times.
  5. Have in your mind a realistic minimum price you’re willing to sell the items for.  Don’t be surprised by low ball offers you receive from some shoppers.  Either stick to your original price or discount a little for a sure and quick sale.  If you are firm on your price, say so in your ad.  When I was selling a Tiny Love play mat, I posted it for $15, but knew I’d sell it for as low as $12, especially if the person was going to buy multiple items. 
  6. In your ad/post, always include the link to the retail item for the actual product if it’s still sold at stores.  This provides all the details/description and also verifies how much the item is new, vs. your resale price.
  7. Always use your own photos.  It’s okay to include the “catalog” picture of the item, but you want to also take your own photos and include them in your Craigslist ad so buyers can see your item and know if there are any tears/stains/damage/etc. 
  8.  Set a date on which if it doesn’t sell, you will donate it (at least you get a charitable deduction).  Some charities go through neighborhoods several times a year and leave a postcard in your mailbox to inform you of the next date and you can leave your items at the curb and they pick it up.  Some charities will come pick up items if you call to schedule.  Others have convenient drop off stations.  For example. check out Goodwill or Amvets.  Now that winter is approaching, we have a few items at home that didn’t sell that will be dropped off at Goodwill or my daughter’s school’s rummage sale!
  9. Repost to Craigslist weekly to make sure your listing is “fresh” – best day is usually Thursday or Friday so you get the weekend shoppers!
  10. If selling multiple items in the same category (i.e. baby gear, clothing, DVDs) offer a small discount for purchase of multiple items.  Also, as you can only include a maximum of 4 photos in a Craigslist ad/post, if you are selling multiple items, set up a free Flickr or Picasa web album with photos of all your items for sale, with a short description & price in the photo caption and include the link to the photo album in your ad.  This worked really well for us when we were selling a lot of the baby clothing and gear!
  11.  State “Cash and Carry” in your ad!  I actually had one person want to write me a check for a purchase!  Hello…I don’t know you from Adam!  Another person wanted me to deliver the item.
  12. Once you’re schedule to make a sale, exchange cell phones numbers to be able to contact each other should schedules change, the buyer is stuck in traffic/running late and to verify the buyer is still coming so you’re not waiting around for nothing
  13. Be prepared to make change.  Depending on the price of your items, have five singles, a five and a ten dollar bill so you are able to provide change.
  14. Once a sale actually occurs, delete the ad/post on Craigslist so others are not contacting you on an item no longer available.  If I’m still contacted by possible buyers, I always email them back that the item has been sold – just common courtesy.
  15. Check my earlier blog post on Safety Tips when buying or selling via Craigslist!  Also, stay tuned for future blog posts with some of my actual Craigslist ads as examples and more stories of “De-cluttering for CA$H!” as I am also helping a friend to start selling her no longer needed items on Craigslist!

If you have some other tips or suggestions, please leave a comment.  Thanks!