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Craigslist as a Resell Channel

Pros, Cons & Fees of Craigslist

Founded in the mid 90’s, Craigslist has been a tool to sell items online to local communities. In fact, many first-time resellers use this channel as an easy and rewarding way to break into selling online. While easier to list than other marketplace channels, Craigslist has a regional audience creating a local community of repeat buyers.

Buyers who purchase merchandise on and sell through Craigslist get the best return on new, gently-worn or useful items like home goods, electronics, furniture, tickets, etc. And unlike other channels, an account is not needed in order to list merchandise. However, an account does come in handy when you need to relist an item if it didn’t sell.

Easy to sell large, high-value items
No listing/selling fees in many markets
Quick and easy to list
Identity protection with anonymous posting

Less reliable and/or professional buyers
Lack of enforcement for buyers to pay
Spam filters – too many listings can get your account blocked
Lack of ad/listing customization
Smaller buyer base

None, in many markets

To be successful with reselling on Craigslist, we strongly recommend doing amble planning and research on each item you wish to sell to identify the best price to list it for, while still maintaining a profit. Search for the item, in a similar condition, on Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, Shopify and other resell channels to see what price they are being offered – your buyers are going to search for the best price so be sure to list it for a price that’s competitive.

After a price has been assigned, take the time to write a detailed description of the item capturing all the specifications of the item from scratches to accessories included to retail tags still intact – the more descriptive you are the higher the chances of selling for your desired amount.

With a price and description in place, buyers will skip over a listing if no photos are/ provided. Just like how a detailed description was written, detailed photographs are equally – if not more – important. Here are some tips to taking great photos:

1. Clean up the item, or items, before taking any photos – no one wants to see a layer of dust!

2. Take up close shots of any imperfections, model numbers or brand tags

3. Use proper lighting in order to capture the items as best as possible

4. If selling a sized item, like furniture or clothing, use extras in the photo to better explain the size (state the model size of who’s wearing the clothing piece, or standing next to a piece of furniture)

Once an item is listed sit back, have a cup of coffee and wait for the buyers to make offers. Be prepared for negotiations, as most will be after a great deal. This means you’ll need to be mindful of the minimum price you’re willing to accept to avoid selling an item for less than the initial investment.

When you have a confirmed Buyer, recommends arranging for a safe meeting place during the day, in a well-populated area to complete the transaction. Ask for the buyer to come with cash to ensure payment transfer is completed and secure.

As more transactions are made through this channel, it’s time to start thinking about what to buy next in order to increase your listings. To not oversaturate the local market with the same types of product, check out the “Wanted” section for the top items wanted in your area. Based upon the items requested, select your next liquidated merchandise purchase based on what’s in demand for your community.

Before listing, research each marketplace to determine where you’ll get the highest return for your item, or items. At this point, research was done on the initial investment of the liquidated merchandise, now take the time to research your reselling channel to find the one able to give you the return you need to maximize profits.

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