I briefly touched on the subject of pricing items for sale on Craigslist in my eBook, however, I will go into a little more detail in this blog post. Craigslist buyers love to find a bargain and they love to negotiate prices. This can become annoying if you are selling a lot or plan to sell a lot on Craigslist, but it just comes with the territory. In a perfect world, you would post your price and buyers would be willing to accept it, no questions asked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Leave Room to Negotiate
While reading the following tips, be sure to remember that you should always leave room to negotiate. Post your item on Craigslist for a little more than you are willing to accept.
Check eBay First
Before I post on Craigslist, I try to find the exact same item on eBay. If there are a lot of listings for the same item, then there will be completed listings for it. Check the box on the left side of the eBay screen that says “Completed Listings” and you will be able to scroll through actual sales for the same item. The selling price will appear in green text.
If there are a lot of similar completed prices on eBay, then you should list your item on Craigslist for a similar price. For example, if there are 8 recent completed listings that range from $140 – $160, then you could probably post your item for $165 on Craigslist. That way, you aren’t too overpriced and won’t scare people away from contacting you.
An interested buyer will most likely check eBay for recent sales, too. They will see the same results and might offer you $130 (remember, Craigslist users love a bargain, even if they are only getting it $5 or $10 cheaper than they can on other selling venues). Of course, it would be your choice if you accept their offer, but you could always come back with a counteroffer of $145 to complete the sale.
Completed eBay Listings
If you see a few completed listings on eBay with a wide range of prices for the same item (for example, from $60 – $120), be sure to check the individual auctions for details. A lot of the time when there is a big range of completed sale prices, it is because of the condition of it and/or the accessories included. Obviously, an item in poor condition will sell less than an item in like-new condition.
Also, accessories influence a selling price. People that buy used items like things to be as complete as possible (for example, a digital camera with the original box, USB cord, charger, instructions and software discs is worth more than the camera on its own). Use your own judgement and decide which end of the price range your item fits into and price it accordingly on Craigslist. Be sure to include in the Craigslist description if the item includes accessories. As always, be sure to leave room for negotiation.
Old, Old, Old
You might also have a situation where your item is not listed on eBay or any other websites. In this situation, evaluate the original price you paid and the age of the item. Craigslist buyers will respond if you price something for less than half of the original retail price. If you originally paid $500 for your item 5 years ago, you might want to price it for $225 on Craigslist. You will most likely get some interested buyers and you could probably accept an offer in the $200 range. It seems like you are losing out on $300 if you spent $500, but no one will respond to your ad if you post a $500 item for $400 used.
Of course, the prices I used in this post are only examples. I am just giving you an idea of what to expect from buyers and how to price items to get buyers to respond to your Craigslist ad.
If you price your item on Craigslist a lot higher than your item is actually selling on other venues, then you should expect no contact from potential buyers. If you price your item just a little higher than an actual selling price, then you will get some responses and offers. Always leave some room to negotiate with a buyer. If you price your item too low, then you have nowhere to go. You can’t price it at $40 and then ask $60 when someone contacts you. However, you could price it at $75 and take $60.
I hope these tips help. Contact me if you have any questions.
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