5 Ways To Screw Up On CraigsList

Craigslist is a great site. Selling on CraigslistI have bought and sold on it for a good while now, and it has replaced eBay as my daily site to browse for deals. I have sold two cars on CraigsList with an average time of listing to sale of under six hours! So, it amazes me how people can screw it up for themselves. Too many listers think that since the ads are free that they don’t have to put any thought into creating them. Not true.

So, let’s look at the most common ways people screw up their listings on CL so that things don’t sell.

  1. No Picture – This one kills me. Almost every cell phone in the world these days can take a picture. Crappy little digital cameras can be had for under $50. (I didn’t say it had to be a good picture.) So why would you not have a picture of your item? People are simply going to move on to the next car, boat, or computer listed if you can’t show them what you have. And the ads for cameras without pictures? Freakin’ absurd.
  2. No Price – If you want to sell something, you know what you want or will take for it. Come on, give us an idea if you are a reasonable person or one of those people who thinks your crud is gold. Best you can hope for if you don’t list a price? Lowballers or people who have the same thing wanting to know what theirs is worth.
  3. All Caps – Same goes for emails, discussion groups, advertisements, and all other forms of communication. NO ONE WANTS TO BE SHOUTED AT! If an ad is hard to read, people won’t read it. And if they don’t read the ad, you can sell the item. That simple.
  4. Lame Description – You have all seen them. The are the descriptions that have absolutely no info but just say “call”. Sure, right. Better yet, drop dead. Then there are the descriptions, especially common in computers and electronics, that just are a copy and paste job of the manufacturer’s product brochure. And these are often accompanied by a “representative photograph”. Sucks, but at least there is some picture. Come on people, tell me about the item you are selling – give me specifics and experience, not just quoted marketing speak.
  5. Broadcast and/or Non-Location Posting – If I am looking for a car in Charleston, SC, I really don’t care that you have a car lot in Las Vegas, Nevada. And if I am in a big city like New York or LA, I need to know what part of town you are in. Are you a 15 minute drive or a two hour trek. Come on people, the glory of CraigsList is that it is localized. So post local and tell us where the item is. This is guaranteed to get you more qualified shoppers.

Again, CL is a great tool. You can buy and sell all kinds of the stuff you need, or at least want, without a lot of the hassles of eBay or the local newspaper. But you have to use it correctly and not abuse it to make those sales.

While I was writing this I kept thinking of other things in the ads that piss me off, but I don’t want to put them down just yet because maybe I am the only one. I know I am picky, so maybe certain things (like spelling) just tick me off. Let me hear your thoughts on Craigslist. Anything that really gets you going about the posts there? Or maybe even the service in general? Sound off!