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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Craigslist = AWESOME

Have stuff lying around that you can definitely part with, but you know it's got to be worth something to somebody?

"Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics."

Quite simply, we heart
Craigslist! Sure, we've all heard of and probably used eBay. But Craigslist is so much cooler than that. Craigslist is a much more casual and cost-effective way to buy or sell items. If you're selling, you simply create a FREE posting within your city site and wait for the buyers to contact you. If you're in the mood to purchase, just make sure you browse in areas geographically close to you, and only plan on contacting those with the most recent postings (items can move quickly).

In 2005, we were able to sell my car in about
3 hours, to the first person who came looking, for much, much more than the dealership was willing to offer us. In 2007, we were able to sell Brian's snow tires and his behemoth TV within a weekend. Yes, Craigslist has treated us very well!

So, have some items laying around your house that you'd like to get rid of?
AT:Chicago had a great post with some pointers on how to write a Craigslist ad. Their ideas included the following:
Say Cheese! A photograph of the item for sale is paramount! Many potential customers won't even look at an ad that doesn't include a photo. The picture doesn't have to be award-winning but it should be focused. No one wants to buy a couch covered in laundry and cats.

Describe, describe, describe. The title of the ad should include the type of furniture, brand name (if applicable), and price. The body of your ad should always include dimensions, material, color, and mention of any flaws. Other than that, try to be witty (but not long-winded). Most importantly, be honest.

Be negotiable. Understand that the good folks on Craigslist are going to try to talk you down on price. If your main goal is to get the furniture out of your house, price it fairly and tag OBO (or best offer) onto the description.

Clear your calendar. There is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect Craigslist item and then not being able to meet up with the seller. Don't post your ad right before a weekend trip to Vegas and don't make an email address your sole method of contact if you don't have a computer. Post your ad a day or two before you have plenty of free time. You want to stay open to meet with all the customers that will, since you followed these guidelines, come beating down your door.

For ideas on how to style those photos, check out this post. Finally, don't worry about complete strangers having your contact information. Use the anonymous e-mail feature on Craigslist to weed out anyone you might deem "crazy", or use a junk e-mail address from Hotmail or Yahoo, etc. Numbr.com allows you to assign yourself a temporary phone number that expires when you need it to, and forwards all incoming calls to the home, work, or mobile number you specify. Have fun!


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