Craigslist has been an amazing resource for flea-market junkies like me and Jill. When it started, it provided this whole new world for vintage seekers to hunt, negotiate, and score their perfect next treasure. You’ve seen lots of examples from Jill of items she’s found through Craigslist and spruced up to fit her home. She seriously has a knack for it. I was a bit leery of it at first, just because I’d read stories of burglaries or people taking advantage of those buying or selling. However, last year I decided to give it a whirl, and now it’s definitely a go-to resource for our family. I’ve also had luck selling a few things, which makes it even better!
After taking baby steps and talking to pro’s, like Jill, there are a few tips for buying and selling on Craigslist that I’ve learned along the way:
- Make sure you’re photography is helping sell the item. It amazes me that people post coffee tables with trash all over them, or a chair with clothes all over the floor in the background. C’mon, put a little effort into it people! Those of us buying online are so visual, so anything you can do to “stage” your piece will help sell it. Clean up your item for sale and take a photo of it in a room as you would recommend using it if you can. If not, try to at least make sure the photo is bright enough that potential buyers can really see it. Too often, people take a photo in their garage or basement on their phone, and it’s really difficult to see the full potential of the piece.
- Give all the dimensions and product information you have. This is something I didn’t really think about at first. I posted my first items for sale and forgot to even measure them. The first questions I was always asked was, “what are the dimensions?” So, after that, I decided to give every measurement I could, the brand name, the exact color, and anything else I thought was pertinent for a potential buyer. That helped cut down on the email questions I received that never turned into sales.
- Be willing to negotiate. You have to understand that people shopping on Craigslist are looking for a deal. Part of the fun is negotiating a price that makes the buyer feel like their hunting paid off. So, start your price a tad higher than your bottom line – that way, you have some wiggle room. If you aren’t willing to alter the price at all, type “price is firm” in your description. But what’s the fun in that?
- Keep yourself safe. If you’re a buyer, have the seller meet you in a public parking lot if possible. Do the same as the seller. Or, if you have to go to the seller’s house, ask them to bring the piece outside for you to view it. As the seller, you should do that as well for your buyer. Email is great for initial discussions, but talk with the person over the phone as well to understand why they’re interested. And try to have someone else with you if you can.
Here are a couple of my favorite Middle Redefined Craigslist finds.
Jill’s fabulous media console re-do.
And my pendant lights.
Hope this inspires you to give Craigslist a whirl if you haven’t already! It takes some serious time to weed through everything. But when you find that perfect treasure, it’s all worth it!