Craigslist is a website designed for local, person-to-person sales. However, if you post enough items for sale on Craigslist, you will occasionally get people that will want you to ship an item.
I am not talking about Nigerian scammers, either. I am talking about legitimate buyers that live in a different area or state that want you to ship an item to them.
In this blog, I will provide a method to help you safely sell and ship items to Craigslist buyers.
Don’t Just Use Email
First, do not solely communicate through email if you are going to ship an item to a Craigslist buyer. Be sure to get the buyer’s phone number or give them your phone number so you can speak over the phone and get a feel for each other.
Then you can answer any questions the buyer may have about the item and decide if it is a person you would like to do business with. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t offer to ship the item.
Decide if They are Trustworthy
After I have decided that I want to do business with the person, the next thing I do is direct the buyer to an online selling website called Bonanzle. (Now called Bonanza.com)
Be sure to sign up and browse the website to become familiar with how it works before directing a Craigslist buyer to the site.
It is very easy to use and there are plenty of helpful people in the discussion forums if you need help listing items.
It is free to sign up for Bonanzle, free to list items for sale, and the final selling fees are low.
I then explain to the potential Craigslist buyer that the only way I will ship the item is if they buy the item through Bonanzle. I tell them that it is safe and will help protect both parties.
Most legitimate Craigslist buyers that want you to ship an item will just want to send a payment to your Paypal email address. I do not fully trust that method no matter how nice and trustworthy the person sounds on the phone.
You could also just send an invoice to the buyer through Paypal, but I also don’t feel like that is enough protection since it would be easy for the buyer to dispute the shipment after they receive the item.
That is why I feel that adding Bonanzle to the sale creates a better sense of security.
If the buyer agrees to purchase the item through Bonanzle, I then create a listing for the item on Bonanzle and update my Bonanzle booth so it is for sale on the website (there are tutorials that will show you how to sign up and list an item if needed).
Then I email them the link to the item and they complete the checkout process. They can pay with Paypal. I then package and ship the item and update the buyer with the tracking number.
I have done this process many times for Craigslist buyers that want me to ship an item to them and I have never had a problem. I feel that using this method of selling to Craigslist buyers through Bonanzle is safer for both the buyer and seller.
Email me if you have any questions!