|Actual craigslist photo and an example of a good photo. The condition of the pieces is very clear and the setting is uncluttered and the lighting is good!|
Craigslist is an amazing medium for buying and selling almost anything and it is FREE so what's the big deal about fine-tuning the listing itself? After all, there is no-one judging your submission, no word limits to manage and no template to follow. In my judgement, however, it is even more important to do this right in order to secure sales and responses. There is so much activity that only well written and illustrated ads can even be really seen in the clutter.
Here are some do's and don't
- Be brief and concise but provide critical details about your location and your items for sale (e.g., age, condition, materials).
- ALWAYS provide some photos of items for sale taken in a clutter-free, well-lit environment (I have gotten to the point of only clicking on ads that have photos - using the thumb-nail versions to quickly go through many ads).
- Include an electronic way to communicate either using your own email address or (preferably) enabling individuals with questions to communicate through craigslist itself - I only very rarely respond/ask questions if I am required to make a phone call - it is too inconvenient!
- Include price - do not use a "bidding" or "best offer" process with no mention of your asked for price.
- Provide enough information about your location to inform potential buyers of how far they will be traveling - but don't give full address in ad.
- Clearly describe condition of item being sold so that there are no surprises when person comes out to look at it (e.g., broken/repaired, in need of reupholstering,
Here are some don't:
- Do not provide photographs that are too small or poorly-lit or show too many items in the same photograph - photograph each primary item separately (it's free)!
- Do not combine items in the same ad (the exception of this would be a garage or estate sale or where pieces are sold together such as dining table and chairs and sometimes a living room set).
- Do not use "stock" photos - photos copied from a catalog for example with note that this item is exactly the same.
Example of poor photo - too many items in photo - not well positioned Example of poor photo - neither a good photo of item for sale or neat and clean and free of clutter