The CraigsList Resale List of 6

craigslist may seem like a disorganized circus sometimes, but it can be an invaluable marketplace for reselling inventory you have gathered from storage auctions, and thus build a great local customer base.  People do look for steals on this master list all of the time, but you just have to know how hit every major selling step along the way and how to avoid the common pitfalls associated with the site.  We’re here to help you out with that.  Let the countdown begin:


1. Paint the Best Pictures Possible

  • Use all four image posting cells every time, especially on higher priced items.  The more expensive, the more they need to be sold on it.
  • Decorate: In your shots, try merchandising the item in the pictures along with other decorations (if it is décor).  Or, if it is a machine (i.e. lawn mower, TV, or a scooter) show them that it is working through action shots.
  • As always, use a digital camera that shoots in crisp 720p or 1080i mode, and get your focus right.  The closer the image looks to the real thing, or even slightly more polished than the real thing, the closer a customer feels they are buying it from a notable store.

2. Re-Post the Right Way

Craigslist stores everything in reverse chronological order, as you may very well know.  The best way to keep your ads in the forefront of buyers minds (i.e. near the top of the list) is the “three day rule.”  Unless you live in a one-stop-light-town and postings are more or less dead, three days is long enough to allow your post to get buried in obscurity.

After three days, re-access the stored content of the post (i.e. the content you copied and pasted into Word before you finalized the post) and, after deleting the old one, paste it into the body of a new post under the same category (e.g.  “furniture”).  Strongly consider reworking your title and maybe even shaving a dollar off of your price to avoid being flagged for spam by Craigslist administrators.

Three days is good because a new wave of customers will be able to access the post at this time.  Reposting daily is just going to annoy those still on the hunt for what you are selling, but don’t necessarily want yours.

3. Offer FREE Local Delivery

If you own a truck, or have a generous family member or friend who does, it is an absolute clincher to offer free delivery to a small radius for large goods you have won, like fridges, heavy wooden desks, or big, older heavy TV’s.  Make sure to punctuate this point in your advertisement, sell it for slightly less than the neighboring ad, and you have just set yourself up for a lot of responses.

4. BARTER the Duds for Items That Sell on E-bay

There are going to be those items that were hard won at the auction which will inexplicably linger around and not sell, no matter how hard you try.  If they are putting a dent in your wallet or clogging up your revenue flow, post them to a bartering ad on Craigslist asking for something much more saleable in return (like new, brand name basketball shoes, or a Nintendo DS) even if you have to take a small loss.

Plus, you will get to experience the thrill that tribesmen once had in a world without a monetary system.

paypal5. AVOID PAYPAL: Use Cash

Although Paypal is a great middle man for conducting a variety of individual merchant transactions and wires, many storage pros have noted some consistent problems with it in this business.  Primarily, the fact that when you sell an item locally and deliver to a customer, all they have to do is file a “complaint” that they never received it (or that it wasn’t in working order) and this will result in an automatic refund.

Even worse, a customer complaint can freeze the bank account you’ve linked to your account, which can delay and detain your other transactions.  Sounds like a hassle.  Use cash locally.

6. Solidify Appointments and Guide them to your Store/Home

In the modern age, it is easy to get frustrated by doing business with complete strangers.  Here's a good step-by-step to maximize on closing Craigslist deals.

When a potential buyer contacts you, try to get them on the phone as soon as possible.   Don’t be pushy, just say you are on the move often and would like to arrange an appointment this way.  When people get to hide behind e-mail, they tend to gain power from their anonymity.  After you have arranged a day and time to sell to them (and made sure they sound sincere, interested, and willing to pay your asking price), try following back up with them 30 minutes before the sale.

During this call, be professional and try some sales tactics.  Reiterate the price, the time, and that you take cash only.  Make sure to have a cycle of two buyers at once, two appointments for the same day.  You can always let the later appointment know that you will notify them if it sells (then if it doesn't, chances are they will be head over heels to buy it themselves).

If your auction merchandise is in your garage, have it organized and arranged so that when the buyer shows up, they can be enticed by other things you have.  Tell them you are planning a garage sale and definitely avoid explicitly telling customers you got “x” item from an auction.  It's not a lie,  just unnecessary information.

31 percent of in-store buys are impulse buys.  Let them know they’re getting the sneak peak on the garage sale, and recommend they get it while it lasts!


Craigslist is advantageous because you get the best of both worlds: the internet shop and the live sale.  Here, we have identified many of the challenged spots with utilizing the free listing site for you so you can get the greatest head start possible in the relaxing process of posting, making appointments, and making cash from the comfort of your own home.


Incidentally, who is Craig anyway?


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