Monday, December 9, 2013

Craigslist Part 2: Selling

Never posted to Craigslist? No problem.  Between our furniture refinishing for The Amber Bottle, Grant has been buying and selling music equipment on the site for years.  Hope this helps!

1) Post in several categories.  For example, if I re-finished a dresser, I would post it in "Antiques" and in "Furniture."

2) Use an email you actually check on a regular basis, like one on your phone, so you can get back to buyers quickly.  Once a potential buyer emails me, I'll give them my phone number so we can work out the details.

3) Take lots of pictures to show off your pieces.

4) Spam emails are very common.  They are generally people who want to wire you money instead of cash.  The emails are typically written in poor English, and the item's name is never mentioned.  For example, if I were selling a buffet, an email from a spammer would say, "How much would you take for the item?"  Normal people would say the word "buffet" at some point in the email.  Also, if you post several items at once, you'll get the same number of emails saying the exact same thing.  It's a spammer.

5) One of the most common mistakes is pricing the item too high.  Peruse the listings to see how much other items are going for because every city is different.  If you see an antique sideboard for $200, your pressboard & laminate desk isn't going to sell for $150.  Just because you paid $150 for your  coffee table brand new, don't assume someone will pay close to that amount now that it has been used.

6)  Generally, upholstered things sell for less than you might think.  Think about it: would you want to curl up in a wingback that's been who-knows-where?

7) The description is key!  Include dimensions because picky buyers always want to know. (It'll save you a lot of time answering the same question over and over.)  If applicable, give the type and color of paint you used. I also list different uses for a piece: could it be a dresser or a buffet or an entryway table?  If an item has several names, use them all in the title. For example, when I'm selling a sideboard, I'll title the listing as "Antique Solid Wood Sideboard/ Buffet/ Console" so that anyone searching for any of those words will come across my listing.

8) Renew your listing as often as you can.  It's around every 3 days.  This keeps your post near the top of the list of things for sale.

9)  Do not be offended by low offers. Just counter-offer!  Would you rather have three coffee tables in your garage for the next month or have the extra money?

10) If you have any non-negotiables, say so in your post.  I always include at the bottom of the post, "Face-to-face, cash-only, no shipping or delivery."For example, if you want to sell your sectional couch, but drive a tiny sedan, don't offer to meet somewhere... it's just not going to work! Include in your post, "Buyer must pick-up in North Chattanooga," etc.

Check out our post about buying pieces on Craigslist.

Happy Craigslisting!

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