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How to Write a Craigslist Ad that Sells

Selling on Craigslist

There are several parts to a craigslist ad. Although the form to post on craigslist is fairly simple and self explanatory people often tend to fill in those blanks with either the wrong information or not enough of the right information. The 6 parts of a craigslist ad are the title, price, location, description, contact info, and pictures. Find out exactly what you should write for each of those parts in your craigslist post.

Title- The title is usually the first part of your craigslist ad that a potential buyer will see. Your title needs to be specific and contain the words a buyer is looking for. Sometimes you want to ad the brand, sometimes this is a bad idea, it depends on what you are selling. With electronics, clothing and upscale furniture and décor the brand is a good idea. With things like mattresses, sports equipment and accessories and clothing, size is very important.

Here are some examples of good titles

Spark inline skates size 5

Ski’s Salomon xfree7 184 cm

Queen box spring

What you do not want to include in your title is unnecessary or vague words. You do not want to write 20 year old furniture as your title for your kitchen table. You should not put words that will make people think poorly of what you are selling such as well used couch or bed that has seen better years. People want to buy useful items not your junk, they want to know that they can get years of useful time out of the item.

Price- Many people have no idea how to price an item. Price depends on a lot of things; one of the most important is time. If you have the time and space to hold onto the item then you can afford to give the item a higher price on craigslist until the right buyer comes along. If you want it gone quickly then the price needs to be affordable so that the average Joe feels like he is getting a deal. Also remember that prices on craigslist are usually negotiable so price it a little above what your bottom line would be.

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An example

We are currently selling a pool table. We want at least $500 for it so we have listed it at $600 because someone willing to spend that much money on a craigslist item is most definitely experienced enough to know how to haggle.

Location- This seems like a no brainer, you know where you live right? Wrong. It doesn’t matter if you know where you live, the location is so that someone else can know where you live. This does not mean give them your address, do not do that until they have contacted you and have made plans to come over, and you should write down the person’s name just in case of problems.

Location on craigslist means to give the buyer an idea of where you live so that they know how far they will have to travel to you. Gas is expensive so travel costs to buy a craigslist item are important info. If your town or city is well known then that might be enough. A well known landmark such as an international airport that is right down the street or a big shopping center is better. Sometimes you can even do both: write the name of your city and then a dash then write the words “near ________ major landmark” Fill in the blank with the name of the major landmark.

Description- This is very important. The description of an item listed on craigslist needs to be detailed and to the point.

What to include


Condition- new, lightly used, brand new in box, used

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Any bells and whistles such as adjustable handles for strollers, foldable for stiorage, covers or storage bags for the item

Whether it works

How many- such as how many tiles or blocks

Be specific and to the point. List all good things and list only major bad things, such as I would not mention that a couch has a tiny little rip on the side of one cushion until a buyer gets there, it is not a big deal then but it could keep them from calling you in the first place if you put it in your ad. On the other hand if it is something they will have to fix, such as a big rip requiring sewing then you have to put that in your ad.

Contact info- this goes in your ad and is very important. Make it easy for people to contact you. Keep the bubble filled in that allows people to email you but with your email disguised. And then at the end of your ad say “Email or call (insert first name) for more information (phone number)

Giving them the option is important as some people want to talk on the phone and others really only want to communicate by email, make yourself accessible, have the phone number be the one that is with you at all times, such as your cell. If everyone has to call and leave message son your home phone they will be less likely to buy because they might have called someone else by the time you call back, or they might go out and spend their money on a new one. Be accessible and check email often. Also, it is best to have emails forwarded to your cell phone for instant notification.

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Pictures are worth a thousand words, or maybe a thousand bucks in this case. Take good pictures of each and every item after you clean it. Most of the time it is beast to use all 4 picture slots that craigslist allows you. Get close shots with very little background showing and the background that does show needs to be clean and uncluttered. Take a picture of labels or brand proof. Take pictures from the front, side and back. Be sure to only post flattering unfuzzy pictures. No people should be in the picture. The only exception would be form fitting garments on a very pretty model, but even then it may be best to just copy and paste the picture from an ad off the internet.

Use these tips and I’m sure you will have lots of success selling on craigslist!