Well, well, well…part 3 of our Craigslist series took some time to write, didn’t it? I must apologize for the delay, but I have good reason. We’ve been on the road visiting liquidators down in Southern California. Ok, I’m not going to spill the beans about our travels just yet, but know I’ve got some really cool information coming your way soon! If you want a sneak peak, mosey over to our Facebook page and check out a few photos of our travels- Oh, and by the way please remember to “like” our page.
Alright, back to Craigslist. Let’s recap a bit since it’s been awhile since we last spoke. We’ve bought our pallets of merchandise, we’ve learned how to factor landed cost, and we’ve had a discussion about pricing tactics. Are you with me? Good, let’s get to listing on Craigslist!
Here is what you need to know if you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years. Craigslist is an online classified platform that allows you and I to list items for sale without charging a listing or final sales fee. Bingo! What better way to sell merchandise? No overhead or fees, and did I mention the fact that Craigslist is highly visited by hundreds of millions of people daily? Talk about exposure for your liquidation items!
First of all, stroll on over to Craigslist.org and search for the city closest to your location.
Once you’ve found your local listings, search through the ads under For Sale/Wanted just to become familiar with the listings in terms of layout. Pretty simple layout, huh?
When you’re ready to open a sellers account, click on MY Account, and then click on Sign up for an account. Fill out the required information and hit submit; viola…you’re done, and now ready to list your first item!
Prior to listing your first ad, you need to take some time deciding what items you plan on selling first. Once you have figured out your first 10-15 items, open up a Word document and start to write down product details for each item including: product name, description, condition, original retail pricing, etc. The more detail you place into each item description, the better. Do this for each item until you have 10-15 listing descriptions ready to go.
Next come pictures. No worries, you just need to snap 1-2 photos of each of the first 10-15 items. Use your call phone and then email the photos to yourself, so you can access them from your desktop.
You now have item descriptions and photos, which means you’re ready to start listing items! Go back to Craigslist if you’ve closed out your browser session. Sign into Craigslist and, from your dashboard, select the New Posting in…[your city] link to get started.
Select for sale by owner and then the appropriate category hierarchy your item belongs to. This will allow potential buyers to scan through specific merchandise categories when they are browsing Craigslist looking to spend money.
Once on a blank listing in your category, go ahead and write a single item title, price and product description. The product description can be copy and pasted from the Word doc, where you’ve listed your item notes. Make sure to include a contact phone number, so prospective buyers can get in contact with you to discuss a purchase. The next page will ask if you want to upload pictures. Simply click browse and scan your desktop for the photos of the specific item you are listing. Upload as many as you would like..it’s free!
Once you have gone through the process of listing a single item, rinse and repeat. It will become easier and easier as you become familiar with the process. If well prepared ahead of time, you can easily list 10-15 items within an hour or two. Once items are listed, make sure the volume on your phone is turned to high because the phones should start ringing that afternoon! Are you ready to make your first sale? How exciting!
Here are a few Craigslist tips to further increase your success:
Give Details & Take Quality Photos – As stated above, details about your item are very important! If you’re selling a customer returned item that is damaged, explain the issue at hand. Be honest. You might offer item size and dimensions if the item is bulky. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but make sure you take clear photos of your items utilizing natural light. A great picture will sell your item faster than anything else!
Pricing Suggestions – Have your manifest close at hand so you know what you’ve paid for each item when pricing on Craigslist. Work on a fair markup, and remember to leave a little room to bargain with your buyer. No one typically will pay full asking price, so be sure to markup your item 10-25% allowing for wiggle room.
Response is Key – When a buyer emails through Craigslist or calls about an item listed, be sure to respond quickly! Capitalize on the customers enthusiasm before it wains. Wait hours or days and you will surely lose the sale.
Keywords? Yeah, Pay Attention – Keywords that describe an item should be used in each item title. Use specific name brands, size, model numbers, etc. when listing an item. Think about what a shopper would type into the search box when looking for each of your items. Stay away from words such as Awesome, Like New, Rare, etc. when listing ad titles because people do not search using these types of adjectives!
The Meet & Great – Practice safety when setting up a meeting with prospective buyers on Craigslist. If uncomfortable giving out your home address, pick a centrally located spot to meet prospective buyers who call. This location should be a well-lit, populated location if you plan on meeting people alone. I know a lot of sellers who like to meet within specific parking lot, such as Starbucks, Walmart, etc.
Awesome! You’re on the road to success as a Craigslist seller! Spend a specific amount of time per day listing items, writing future listings, and taking photos of items. Also remember, when listing higher priced items, you can list outside of your local area. I’ve had tons of people travel to my hometown to buy items from me!
I would love to hear about your success on Craigslist. Please respond below and tell me about your adventures selling!
Our 2017 Liquidators Guide chronicles 12 years of wholesale product sourcing experience and includes my personal black book of direct source contacts! As an industry expert, I'll share the success I've enjoyed along with the mistakes I've made buying and reselling liquidation merchandise.
If you are thinking about buying pallets of liquidation merchandise from a liquidator, broker, or direct from department stores, you need to check out The Liquidators Guide