Over the past few years I have noticed people posting on different websites that it is too hard to sell something on Craigslist. They complain that no one responds to their ads and the buyers are too flaky and never show up to actually buy the item. They also complain because their item is only on the first page of results for a short period of time before it gets buried into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th page and so on. I can’t help you force people to show up with cash to buy your stuff, but I can give you some tips so your stuff gets found in the search results so you don’t have to worry about being the top-post on page 1.
Be thorough in your item descriptions.
The more information you include about your item in the description, the better. Since the search function returns results based on the exact words in the title and description, it is best to be as thorough as possible. The more you describe the item, the more you will naturally include keywords that will help your item be found.
If you want more info, check out my guide about how to sell on Craigslist. Be sure to include all of the basic information about the item including the brand, model number, condition, accessories included, age (if possible) and whether the item works or not. If you don’t say that the item works, people might contact you and ask. Just including “it works” in the description can prevent an annoying phone call or email.
After you have included the basics, then it is a good idea to find an official product description for your exact item. Most of the time, a simple Google search with the brand and model number will work. Amazon and Google Products will usually have good descriptions that you can use. Just copy and paste them into your description.
Using an official product description with a few other key features about the item (if possible) will do two things. It will make your ad look more professional and full. It will also put more keywords relevant to your item in the description so more people have a chance of finding your item in the search results. Be sure to read everything you copy & paste, though, because sometimes they will have information about a warranty and you probably won’t be offering a warranty on your item.
Also, including a lot of information about an item helps minimize unnecessary phone calls and emails from people asking if your TV is 720p or 1080p, etc. The more questions you can answer in your description, the less annoying your selling experience will be. People will already have a good idea of what you are selling before they contact you.
Below are two examples of Craigslist ads. One is a good, full description and the other is a bare, not-so-good description.
As you can see, these two descriptions are very different. One is full, descriptive and has tons of relevant keywords about the item they are selling. The other ad barely has any info about the item. Guess which ad will get more hits from search results?
Also, if people happen to find the Shure Legendary Performance Microphone ad, there really isn’t any info about the mic. This person will be more likely to receive unnecessary calls or emails asking about the condition, accessories included, age, etc. If you put that info in the description, you won’t be annoyed by casual Craigslist browsers that like to call and ask questions and aren’t really serious about buying!
And don’t spam your description with unnecessary keywords. Buyers do not like searching for an item and clicking an ad with a list of keywords. Obviously, a keyword spammed ad will show up more in the results, but buyers will not take you seriously if your ad includes 100 irrelevant keywords. They will know that you tricked them into clicking the ad…
I hope this info will help you sell on Craigslist. Please share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ if you found it helpful!
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