7 Tips for Writing a Craigslist Ad That Sells

by Brittney Walker
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Looking to make some extra cash from all that extra stuff you own? Use these ad-popping tips to write craigslist ads that are sure to attract buyers.

Craigslist is an easy and cheap way to sell all that junk cluttering your house. It’s as simple as posting a free listing for the item(s) you are trying to sell, and then waiting for the responses to come flooding in.

The hardest part for new users is figuring out how to write the post.

Most people don’t realize that to get the most out of your ad, you must think like a buyer when you write your ad. If you were looking to buy this item, what would you want to know about it before taking the time to email the owner? If you were a buyer, would you even take the time to reply to an ad that didn’t tell you anything about the item?

It’s very important to include at minimum, the following in your ad:

1. Price

Buyers want to know how much you are asking for your item before they take the time to email you, or even open your ad, because if you’re asking too much, they don’t want to waste their time with you.

Make sure that you have the price clearly listed in the ad as well as on the space near the top, where you are allowed to share your price next to your listing title.

2. Condition

Your potential customers want to make sure that they are getting what they want and need.

If you have a pretty beat up iPhone, describe its condition as well as possible. For electronics, make sure that you note any problems it may have.

By doing this, you’ll find the right buyer that will not want to return the item after purchase.

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3. Model # (If Applicable)

Having a model number in your listing is super important if your item has one. Some people may be searching for that exact model to replace or repair their own. Maybe they want it to add to a collection.

There are also re-sellers on craigslist. They want to know the item model number so that they can check it out online to see if they can make a profit off it.

4. Brand

Whether you’re selling clothes, phones, shoes or furniture, brand is always important to have in your listing. Brand-picky people will pay extra for items if they are a name brand, even if there’s another item just like it for less.

If you have a nice brand name item, tell the brand name in the title as well as the listing.

5. Location

Craigslist gives you a textbox to write your location, so use it. Say your city, not the region. People want to make sure that you’re not too far away before they contact you about something.

In your ad, try to be descriptive with your location without giving away your address. Maybe give a zip code or a local landmark.

6. Description

This one is especially important.

Buyers want to know what they are buying before they buy it. Tell as much as you can about the item, including color, style, etc.

7. Pictures

If you’re listing DVDs or something like that, you don’t usually need pictures. For most everything else, pictures are a necessity. It can show buyers more about your item than words can.

Some people only search listings with pictures, so having a picture increases your chances of being seen.

Reviewed May 2023

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