The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Stuff on Craigslist

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACraigslist has become one of the best places to find buyers for your used (or new) products and goods. Whether you acquired them from a storage auction, yard sale, estate sale or elsewhere, chances are you can find a buyer by creating a Craigslist listing. However, you'll want to following some basic rules to increase your profits while ensuring a safe and smooth transaction.

Do Include Pictures

Unlike the auction website eBay, it's completely free to include images in your Craigslist posting. Sellers should take advantage of this feature by uploading several different photos of the product they intend to sell. Don't just copy and paste stock photos of the product, but instead take a couple minutes to take real photos of the actual product. This creates a greater level of transparency between you and the buyer, which should encourage people to purchase the product.

Do Describe The Product

I think this probably sounds like common sense to most seasoned Craigslist sellers, but make sure you thoroughly describe the product in your listing. Don't just write the title, but instead write the model number (if applicable) and all of its features. Also, if there's any blemishes or damage, let potential buyers know ahead of time. This will save both you and buyer time in the long run.

Don't Allow Pickups

Why shouldn't you allow buyers to pick up the product? Well, in most cases nothing would happen, but there are countless horror stories about sellers being robbed and/or mugged. A smarter and safer method is to meet in a public, well-lit area, such as a police station, to conduct the transaction. I've yet to hear about a Craigslist seller being robbed when conducting a transaction in front of a police station.

Don't Accept Personal Checks

While Craigslist is a powerful tool for buying and selling used items locally, it's also a haven for scammers. One such scam involves buyers attempting to pay for items with a personal check. Even if the check looks real -- and it might be -- the buyer's bank account may not have the necessary funds to cover the transaction, at which point the check would bounce. The bottom line is that you should only accept cash when selling items on Craigslist.

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