The Craigslist Secrets That The Pros Use
Selling or trading things through sites like Craigslist or Kijiji is a great way to earn some extra cash or turn something that you don't need/use into something that you will. You can sell nearly anything on these sites. It really is amazing how one man's trash truly is another's treasure. I find stuff all of the time that I just plain don't need, want or even know I had and am able to sell it for some extra cash. The key to my success was learning how to write effective Craigslist ads.
These sites are frequented by thousands of buyers in most major cities and most of them have tens of thousands of ads up. It is important that you learn how to make your ad stand out. Think about what you do when you're on such a site. You scroll and scroll and scroll and every ad gets only a fraction of a second of your time. You need to learn how to write effective Craigslist and Kijiji ads if you want to be able to capture some of that potential traffic and get them to view your ad. Below are some simple tips for writing Craigslist and Kijiji ads that will help you sell your stuff more quickly.
How to write effective Craigslist ads
1. Your title should be clear, and stand out from the rest.
Your title should say what the item is, and if there is room, a short descriptive note about the item. For example if you're selling a car, a good title would look like this:
*1997 Volkswagen Golf Diesel In Excellent Condition*
It's your job to make them click. If you tell your reader that it's a Volkswagen Golf, but don't list the year or anything else noteworthy about the car, they are going to be less interested in learning more. This ad will catch attention and be pulling in people who are already well-targeted for your item. You don't need tons of traffic to your ad as much as you need targeted traffic. The best way to achieve this is to make your title as clear as possible.
If the particular car you're selling has a known defect, and you have repaired it, it's good to put that in the title as well. I am using cars as an example here but these tips apply to all different types of ads.
If the site you're using allows you to bold or underline your title text, do both. It will do lots to help grab the readers eye. I don't particularly like using asterisks before and after my title (as above), but it works. Make a judgement call on that one. One last thing about titles. Don't use ALL CAPS to write your title. It makes the reader feel like you're yelling at them and many people find it irritating to read text like that.
2. Add lots of pictures!
Different sites allow different numbers of photos. Craigslist I believe is 8. Use them all. If it's a small item, take 8 photos of it from different angles. Time saving is the name of the game here. You want the buyer to be able to inspect the item online so you're not getting a bunch of folks coming to your house that are "just looking". You want him prepared to make an offer as soon as he shows up.
Make sure your photos are decent quality or at least clear. A good cell phone camera works just fine for this. Of course the more stuff you sell like this the better you'll get at taking high quality photos that attract traffic to your ads.
3. Add video
Anybody with the technological know-how to operate a cell phone can take a simple video. If it's an item that performs a function, video it doing so. If it's a car, do a quick video walk-around of the car with a start-up at the end. This is super simple and very quick to do for most people. If you're selling something for more than $100, I would take the time to do this. Why? Because most people don't, and your ad will stand out. in addition to that it helps pre-qualify your buyer.
4. Brief, clear description using proper grammar and spelling
I don't know about you, but I don't want to read about a television's entire history. I want to know it's age, color, condition and price. I want to know that it works and I want to know that it's not stolen. Nothing more. If you can show me those things in your ad I'm already interested. How do you know it's not stolen? Simple: thieves don't get receipts. I write no more than 2 paragraphs as a description for an item.
Use proper English here. No serious buyer on Craigslist is impressed by you using silly words like "lol" or "omg". Also remember that spelling is important. If you state that your car has "rimz", I'm gone. "Rimz" aren't a real thing. I'm just going to choose to believe that you take care of your car as well as you care for your vocabulary and not even bother.
5. Contact information
When making a Craigslist ad, this one is the toughest thing for some people. Although CL cloaks your email address so it's not visible the potential buyer, many people prefer to contact others by phone and won't respond to ads that don't have a phone number. I put my number in all of my ads in addition to the email button so the buyer has two different ways to contact me. This is personal choice, the key is to make sure that whatever information you do include is accurate and easy to find.
Learning how to write effective Craigslist ads will mean the difference between you running a profitable little side business selling items, or never getting an email. It's not hard to stand out. Take an extra 5 minutes when you're writing your ad to make sure it stands out from the rest in your category and you'll do great.