How to Sell Stuff on Craigslist Extremely Fast

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items to be sold on craigslist

Last night I decided to sell my old cell phone on Craigslist and I didn’t want to wait a couple of weeks to get rid of it. So I implemented the following steps and I was able to sell it within 2 hours of listing it. Here are the tips I used to sell my phone quickly and I’m sure they’ll help you to sell your items on Craigslist quickly and at a decent price.

Tips to Sell Items on Craigslist Quickly

Below are my top tips on how to make sure that your item sells pronto on Craigslist.

1. Determine the Market Price

When looking for the market price, you can start by going to Ebay and checking the ‘completed listings’ because this will show you what has actually sold and for how much. This will give you an idea of what the demand is for your particular item. If there is no demand then your item will not sell fast. Another option is to check current Craigslist listings in your area for similar products and see what they are going for. 

If you’re selling a big ticket item such as a car or boat, you can check prices online through sites like Kelley Blue Book or NADA.

2. Price it Right

Once you’ve done your research and checked out the market price, you’ll want to price your item competitively. You can do that by pricing it similarly or slightly less than one in a similar condition to yours. For instance, when I sold my phone on Craigslist there was a phone like mine on there for a $240 asking price, so I listed mine at $220.

Remember, just because something is listed at a certain price, doesn’t mean somebody will get that price for it. If there are items similar to yours listed, you’ll want to have the better deal.

3. Be Willing to Negotiate

You must be willing to negotiate otherwise you may end up stuck with the item that you are trying to sell. People always feel better about a purchase when they get a deal. A good expectation would be to plan to sell your item for 10-20% less than the list price. When I sold the phone I talked about earlier, I listed it for $220, but in my mind I expected that I would sell it for $200.

One of the first things the guy who bought my phone asked me was what my lowest price was. I told him that I just listed it and the lowest I could go was $200. He bought it and did not even try to negotiate any lower.

4. Describe the Item in Detail

Have this question in mind when you list the product, “What would I want to know if I were buying this item?” Here are some good answers you might consider when determining what details to include in your description:

Condition: Does it have any flaws, damage, and is it fully functional? The better you describe the condition, the less awkward the conversation will be when the person comes to look at it because they will have clearer expectations when they see the item in person. If a person knows exactly what to expect when they’re coming to see your item, the chances of purchase are higher. However, if you list your item in “excellent” condition and it’s full of wear and tear, prospective buyers will likely walk away disappointed.

Specs: What are the specific characteristics? When I sold my old phone I listed the screen size, storage capacity, processor speed, how many mega-pixels the camera was, etc. Some people are searching Craiglist for an item with certain specifications, so if you list the specs, you will have a better chance of these types of buyers finding your listing. For instance, if you are selling a car on Craigslist, you should consider listing the engine size, whether not it is 4 wheel drive, how many miles it gets to a gallon, current mileage, etc.

Accessories: What comes with the item? Listing the accessories is important because it could be a reason someone buys your item over somebody else’s. For example, when listing a cell phone some accessories would include a case, a car charger, or even an extra wall charger. When selling items such as cars, talk about accessories such as heated seats, power windows, CD players or DVD players, etc.

List a Reason: What is the reason you are selling it? This does not have to be long. One sentence should do. This way people know the “why” behind the listing and they will be more comfortable about giving you a call. Sometimes if the price is too low and there is no reason, people may avoid call because they think it may be a scam. Or they might think you’re trying to get rid of a poor quality item. If you have a good reason for selling, people are more likely to take a second look at your listing.

Telephone Number: You must list your phone number to sell it quickly. I actually don’t even contact people with just an email address. Often times those are scams or marketing ploys to get your contact info. Also, use the digits like this: 602-555-5555. Don’t do this: Six 0 Two 555-555Five. This is annoying because often I like to call from my cell phone. if done right, I can just touch the number when I see the ad and it instantly places a call. If you list it the latter way, this is not possible.

Special Features: Is there anything about this item that is different from others listed? If there is, make sure to put that as well. Share special features without criticizing similar listings – the goal is to share what it is about your product that makes it worth taking a look. This could be the difference between someone buying yours or another item they find.

5. Take Good Pictures

People want to know the quality of a product before they will take the time to come and see it. If the pictures of your item are taken from the Internet, that tells the buyer that you’re not crazy about revealing the actual condition of the item. If you take poor quality pictures that are blurry or have poor lighting, they might make the item you’re trying to sell look in worse condition than it actually is.

You don’t have to have an expensive camera to take great photos for Craigslist, but it is important to make sure the pictures are clear and taken in natural daylight for the best results. Also, if there is any damage on an item, add a picture of that as well so people know up front what to expect.

6. Sell Items in Batches

If you have more than one item to sell, list all of the items at one time, and check the “include more ads by this user” box when you list your items. This will help you get more exposure for all of the stuff you want to sell and might encourage potential buyers to pick up other things they need or want that you are selling, even if they’re only initially calling about one particular item.

7. Allow Text Messages

The fact of the matter is that we live in a world where people would rather text than talk. If you allow text messages on your ad people might be more likely to respond and to come and see your product. Text messaging is more convenient for potential buyers and often results in a faster response time than communicating through traditional email.


If you want to sell your item quickly, then you need to separate yourself from the competition. By describing your item well, taking great pictures and making it easy for potential buyers to contact you, you have a better chance of selling your items on Craigslist or similar sites faster than the competition sells theirs.

These are tips that I have personally used to get rid of stuff fast and if you implement them, you may be surprised to see how quickly you can turn your stuff into cash.

Have you sold anything on Craigslist fast? If so, did you do anything different from what I described above?


23 responses to “How to Sell Stuff on Craigslist Extremely Fast”

  1. Kimbernator says:

    These are such great tips! I can’t believe how quickly we’ve sold stuff doing these things!

  2. Rita Johnson says:

    Wedding dress for $150. It’s been cleaned and restored already.

    • Deacon says:

      That is great to hear Rita! Way to get some money out of a dress that would otherwise just hang in your closet.

      • Steve Economides says:

        Deacon, this is excellent advice. The only thing I would add is to always keep safety in mind. Meet the seller or buyer at a public place and never at your home (if possible). Also, it’s always good to have a family member or friend with you.

        • Deacon Hayes says:

          Thanks, Steve! I agree, it is definitely a good idea to have someone with you when you go to check something out on Craigslist.

        • Bria says:

          This is a GREAT point. Always, always focus on keeping yourself as safe as possible. I usually go to purchase sites with a buddy (especially to help carry a couch) and whenever I buy or sell – I carry. Yet another reason to love Texas!

  3. Cecelia says:

    I agree. You’ve got to include a phone number. But you can’t do the format 602-555-5555 or CL will remove it. You can’t even do 602.555//5555 or more creative versions. It auto-rejects it now. “Six oh too five 5 phive” may be annoying, but really the options aren’t great. My version is something like this: [6]|[0]|[2]|[5]…etc.

    Smartphones probably can’t “grab” my number for dialing – it’s eye catching only – so I guess in the end the ‘Reply’ box CL gives you, with numbers and (anon’d) email of seller intact, is really the best 😐

  4. The Savvy Couple says:

    These are spot on! We just sold our old van in two days on Craigslist. There’s nothing better than cash in hand. I can’t wait for the summer to start flipping items from garage sales.

  5. Jerry Fletcher says:

    If you have an item in need of repair do you recommend fixing it before posting it for sale?

    • Deacon says:

      I know this is a vague answer, but it depends on what you are selling. Some items can be purchased “as is” even if they are damaged, broken, or not working. There are buyers who will specifically buy them for use as parts. But other items are of absolutely no use if they are not in working condition. If you are unsure, look to see if similar items have been selling on Craigslist even though they need repair. I hope that helps.

  6. Terri Thurmond says:

    I have a pretty gray sofa with matching pillows for sale and living room chairs, blue and white in color. Negotiations are accepted.

    • Deacon says:

      We don’t sell stuff on this website. Feel free to try Craigslist, as the post suggest. Or, you could try one of the other links in other posts we have about selling stuff on our site. Good luck!

  7. Patty says:

    I have a recliner and a log rocker I want to sell.

  8. Patty says:

    I need to sell a glass coffee table and two glass end tables that match. The frames are black and they are very nice.

  9. Nora bata says:

    I want to sell my stuff.

  10. Paula says:

    Thanks for the tips, I inherited some stuff when my mom and aunt past away. Need to sell it because I don’t have any storage room for it. I will follow the guidelines that you posted, it is the information I needed. Most people like me or unsure what to do or how to go about selling their items. Thanks for the help.

  11. Lisa says:

    I would like to sell my photos on canvas on Craigslist

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