How to Sell Anything on Craigslist
By Matt Steffen | Daily Marketing Advice
There is no denying that Craigslist is a powerful engine for selling. Whether it's a book, a job, a casual 'hookup' or even a call to volunteer for a politician, Craigslist drives and attracts a large ever-growing community of people looking to acquire what they need, as well as what they want. It's an American bazaar.
However, most people don't know how to properly leverage Craigslist in the interest of selling their products and services. Right now I'm going to show you exactly what to do, and how to do it, to make Craigslist your own personal sales team.
Let Craigslist Protect You
Before you even get started with Craigslist, please read through their terms and conditions. I don't care if you have been using Craigslist for years. There is always some new scheme fraudulent charlatans are concocting aimed at stealing your value and thickening their wallets. Remember that Craigslist is just a website, and people have been robbed, raped, kidnapped and murdered using Craigslist, so buyer and seller beware.
It's All in the Headline
Think of your customer, and their Craigslist experience. They go onto Craigslist to find a drumset that is both great sounding, and affordable. However, they are forced to scroll through hundreds of other drumset headlines before they see yours. So, you must think to yourself, "what will make my product stick out?" Well, follow these tips and you'll have no problem doing that.
Examine your competitors headlines, not to see what they are saying, but what they're NOT saying.
Okay, so what we see are prices, the brand of drumset and in some rare cases, how many drums the set includes. This is all pretty rudimentary. That's a joke for you drummers out there. Anyway, what we''re not seeing is the color of the sets, the type of hardware the set has, how many owners the set has had, what condition the set is in, so on and so forth.
Not only that, but there is no benefit to these listing, no drama, no sex and certainly no foreplay. So, why don't we build out headline like this:
Great sounding! 5-piece silver Ludwig set. MINT COND, must see!
What I did was differentiate it from the other listings; however, this headline would not always necessarily work. For example, if the other listings used this type of language, we'd have to go in another direction, but you get the idea. Always sell the full tummy, not the burger.
Be Picture Perfect
I don't care if you're selling a PlayStation 3 or tickets to a Dolphins game, always post pictures. I'd say most people that filter through listing results on Craigslist click the picture option, and so if you don't have a picture with your listing, they won't even see it.
Body Text Should Sell
While most marketing consists of getting people to pick up the phone so the seller can make a sale, selling on Craigslist is about 99% made on Craigslist. This means that people will make a decision to buy your product or not when they're reading your listing. If there is not enough information (and pictures!), they will not pick up the phone.
I find this is because most people never hesitate calling a reputable business to ask a questions because their front desk people are trained, and it's much less uncomfortable. What people don't want to do is call a complete stranger with no customer experience and ask them questions.
Because of this, you need to answer all of their questions and concerns all while maximizing their trust in you. It would help if you had a link to your Ebay or Social Media page so they can see you're a real person who won't rip them off and has a history of reputable dealings.
Meeting and Selling
The best way to meet up to buy/sell products or services is to do so in a public place, and ensure you have a friend nearby. Again, you will really have no idea who you're meeting, so never have them in your home. Even if you're a realtor, I'd suggest having another party present.
Think I'm paranoid? Read about how a 16 year old girl allegedly killed a 28 year old man for a PlayStation 4 while her baby waited in the car only a few feet away. This transaction was arranged on Craigslist.
Craigslist is an extremely useful ally in selling your products and services. At the very least, give it a try and see what happens. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised. Good luck to you.
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