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Being that Craigslist has somewhat unofficially become the go-to site when it comes to local sales of personal items, many people are at a loss as to why they can’t sell their items in a reasonable amount of time.  Over the last few years of using Craigslist I have discovered a few key elements of an advertisement that have contributed to my successful sales.

1) Provide Adequate Contact Information

It can be very frustrating for people when they are only able to contact you in one way.  To avail this, provide as much contact information as you are comfortable giving out.  I typically always provide my phone number in addition to my Craigslist email.

2) Offer To Deliver

I know this might sound like a hassle, but I have found that offering to deliver the item in your area can be very attractive to people, especially to those who are very busy.  I typically tell people that I will deliver the item if they pay my full asking price for the item.  This usually seals the deal.

3) Be Honest

This one is simple.  People can tell the difference between an ad that is honest versus an ad that sounds like information is being withheld (aka ‘this sounds too good to be true’).  Make sure that you provide as much detail about the item as possible while simultaneously making sure that you aren’t stretching the truth about the condition or credentials.  Stretching the truth can put you in an awkward situation if the person views the item and is disappointed and possibly angry about your misrepresentation.

4) Post HIGH QUALITY photos

By high quality I don’t necessarily mean HD (High Definition) photos.  Although HD photos appear more attractive and are more comprehensive visually, I understand that some individuals don’t have the proper equipment.  If you don’t have access to an HD camera, post photos anyway, however make sure the images are not blurry or heavily pixelated.  Many people will often leave the ad before reading the text if they immediately see poor images. 

5) Accept offers

Tailor your asking price to accommodate an offer someone might present to you.  This does require of a little bit of forethought, but is well worth the extra time.  I typically will increase the price slightly above what I think I can get, that way I don’t end up taking too little.  For example; you post the price of an item at $80 or best offer  but you know realistically someone will only pay around $70.  This allows the buyer to feel better about the purchase which typically translates to a quick sale.

6) Don't forget the basics

Spell check the title and the body of the advertisement.  An ad with blatant and frequent spelling errors can leave a negative impression on the reader and may affect the likelihood of you being contacted.


(one of my actual Craigslist ads minus the actual pictures and contact info)

(Title) Terrarium/Aquarium stand 20 gallon


Place images here


(Description) ‘I have a like new condition wooden stand for a 20 gallon tank. It has 2 cabinet doors in the front with some storage space. The tank in the pictures is not included, but if you want both, I can give you a good package deal. The tank is in used but fully functional condition. 50$ for the stand or best offer. I can deliver if you pay full price. If you have questions you can email or call/text my at ***-****



If you have any questions or would like to add some of your own tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.