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How To: De-clutter through Craigslist, Part I

Holding a garage sale is no doubt a lot of work with collecting the items, setting up the night before and peddling the goods the day of the sale, but de-cluttering, not money is my major motivation.

To help my parents de-clutter for a down-sizing move, I offered to use Craigslist.org to create a FREE virtual garage sale with all wheeling and dealing done mostly through email. The following details how I used Craigslist to sell my parents furniture for top dollar (as Clive Pearse of Designed to Sell says) with a minimal investment of time.

Creating Product Descriptions

To start, I made a list of each item’s feature, dimensions, condition, price and terms of sale. I want to provide the potential buyer with as much information as I want when I shopping a garage sale and have to ask the seller. Also, when I look at items on Craigslist, I am more inclined to take an interest if I know all the info upfront and do not have to wait on an email reply. I took multiple photos of each item since Craigslist allows four photos with each listing.

In terms of pricing, I never lose sight that a used item is worth only as much as another is willing to pay for it. For most items I set an asking price and withheld the lowest price my parents would take so that I could say OBO and hope that might interest more to know they can strike a deal with us. I was able price my items in relation to the prices others set and based on what I know from garage and thrift store shopping.

Creating a Virtual Garage Sale

I created a garage sale blog. Remember, I want to provide potential buyers with everything I would want to be persuaded to purchase, this includes larger photos than what Craigslist allows and to provide one spot for them to see all the items I am selling. Plus, I do not want to miss an opportunity to sell more than one item to a potential buyer! Using Blogger, I quickly created an entry for each item and included the information and larger photos.

Optimizing Craigslist Posts

After I completed the web site, I waited until about 11:30pm on Wednesday to begin listing my items on Craigslist, including the web site link suggesting potential buyers see larger photos and all items. Since Craigslist posts 100 listings to a page in reverse chronological order, by date I wanted my items to appear at the top of Wednesday’s posts, not buried in the middle. I hoped to catch the Thursday and Friday sale hunters who would be agreeable to buying Saturday morning.

How to: De-clutter through Craigslist, Part I
How to: De-clutter through Craigslist, Part II
Tips: For Using Craigslist

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  • Emmy September 8, 2006, 8:59 am

    Great tips Udandi! I used Craigslist last year to sell my 9′ Christmas Tree. I answered a post in the wanted section. We figured we’d be listing our house for sale this year and our next home isn’t likely to have a cathedral ceiling in the family room. I sold it for for $65 which was $1.68 less than I paid for it two years ago (bought for 75% off). I used that money to buy a 6′ slim line Martha Stewart tree (on sale of course). And of course, you have to love there are no fees unlike eBay.

  • Then Things September 8, 2006, 5:51 pm

    Great tips! I have used craigslist myself not to sell but to buy and found a fantastic deal on a sofa because of it- I even found someone to haul it for me on craigslist as well!