Craigslist Philadelphia - Selling Tips


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Complete first half of Steve Cherubino's Ultimate Guide to Buying & Selling on Craigslist

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Craigslist Philadelphia - Selling Tips

  1. 1. Copyright Page Copyright © 2007 Stephen Cherubino Published by Stephen Cherubino All rights reserved. All content contained within quot; e Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling on Craigslistquot; is copyright © 2007 Stephen Cherubino All literary work contained within the quot;The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling on Craigslistquot; belongs to and is the sole property of its respective authors and is reprinted with permission. Reproduction, copying, or any other form of use of the pieces contained within the e-book is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN without express permission from the author him or herself. If perjury is discovered the offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Note: e owner of this e-book is permitted to print ONE copy for his or her own use. ese rules have been established to protect the rights and ownership of the authors and to ensure that their work is upheld as their own. You are reading the first half of e Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling on Craigslist. e book in it's entirety is available at:
  2. 2. Table of Contents Chapter 1 – Introduction .............................................. 4 Chapter 2 – Selling ...................................................... 8 Chapter 3 – Buying ..................................................... 40 Chapter 4 – Scams ..................................................... 53 Chapter 5 - Craigslist vs. Ebay ..................................... 59 Chapter 6 -Expanding Your Horizons ..................... 64 Chapter 7 -Conclusion ............................................. 71
  3. 3. Chapter 1 – Introduction Hello and thank you for purchasing this book. I guarantee you will get every penny's worth and more with the information you are about to read. You did the right thing by understanding the potential to make money with Craigslist. I'm here to help you unleash that potential and if you read and absorb everything I'm about to tell you, you will do just that! Enjoy, and the best of luck to you! Craigslist? What exactly is Craigslist? Wikipedia defines it as: quot;a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.quot; is, I feel is a pretty accurate description. Craigslist is essentially a giant classifieds section. It is unique in that it is broken up into cities and that you cannot view more than one city at a time. is can be good and bad for buyers and sellers. I go over more on that later. (I'll also go over some tools that will allow you to view multiple cities on one screen.) What we are going to focus on mainly in this book however is the quot;for salequot; section of Craigslist. is is essentially a giant online marketplace where you can make some big money if you know what you are doing. A Little Craigslist History Craigslist is a truly amazing thing. Started in 1995 by Craig Newmark in the San Fransisco Bay area, Craigslist is growing at an explosive rate, getting over 5 billion page views a month, at the time of this writing. Referencing Wikipedia, Craig had originally started this list feeling isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco. Having observed people helping one another in a friendly, social and trusting community way on the Net, and in groups and forums that Craig was a part of, he decided to create something similar for local events.
  4. 4. e early Craigslist postings were notices of social events of interest to software and internet developers living and working in San Francisco. But word of mouth spread and the list became more and more used, even for purposes and subjects other than what Craig had originally intended. Because of it's ease of use, free nature, and good community, users from all quarters started posting on the list, and it exploded into what Craigslist is today. Posting a Craigslist “for sale” ad is completely free. I believe this is one of the main factors which has caused the list such rapid expansion. Craigslist is now worldwide and as long as they stick to their guns and keep Craigslist a mostly free, community based website, I believe it will continue to grow and be around for quite a while. Because Craigslist is mainly free (only job postings cost money), it also opens the door for massive intrusion of scammers, spammers, and criminals. It is mainly up to the Craigslist community to alert the moderators to such things and get them taken care of and removed. I'll teach you how to find these scams before they actually waste your time, or even worse take money from you. Overall, the goal here is pretty simple: use Craigslist to make more money. And if you apply what you learn in this book, you will do that. We are alsonot going to break any Craigslist rules here. Everything discussed here is legit and good business. I have no intention of finding loopholes in the posting rules of Craigslist and exploiting them. I want Craigslist to stay around for a while. In fact I hope this book helps expand the Craigslist community and strengthen it. e book is broken up into chapters, all of roughly equal importance for what we are trying to achieve. Each chapter will give you info, techniques and tips to increase your profits. As you read through, you will see that implementing the information in each chapter will increase your profits in it's own right. erefore, if you absorb all the information in the entire book and put it into action, you can expect to see some pretty huge increases in your sales and profit margins. As with all my books, I like to give it to you straight. I'll also try to keep it interesting for you and back up what I'm saying with hard facts. Short Blurb About Me I'm Steve Cherubino from Drexel Hill, PA. (right outside of Philly) I love the Internet and the potential it holds to make money. It is such an amazing tool for business, and if you learn to use it right, you can be made wealthy from it.
  5. 5. I've written 2 other Ebooks about Internet business: How To Make $400/day Or More Designing Logos Online, and How I Made $16,452.47 In One Month With e XBOX 360. In both of these books I reveal how I used the Internet to make some pretty large profits and instruct the reader on how to do the same. Both of these ebooks are in included with the purchase of this ebook. And you can access them at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx(must buy book to get download link). I love to share my discoveries with others after I have done something myself and can see that it makes money. I feel everyone who is willing to learn and reaching should get a piece of the pie. I've been buying and selling heavily on Craigslist for about 2 years now, being an avid Ebay buyer and seller for 5 years before that. I've made a lot of money doing this and learned a lot of tricks and tips. I've had a lot of time to test my techniques, keeping what works and throwing out what doesn't. And now it's time to share the winning techniques with you. anks again for buying this book. And good luck! Oh, one last thing... Important special note: e following final note is a very important fact that you should know in studying this book and for studying anything for that matter: In reading this book (or any book or material), be very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand. It has been proven that the only reason a person gives up study or becomes confused or unable to learn is because he or she has gone past a word that was not understood in what he was reading. Reading past a misunderstood word produces many physical manifestations. Did you ever feel like you started doping off after reading something? Or feel dull or wooden while trying to study? Going past a word you didn’t fully understand is the reason. If the material in this book becomes confusing or you can’t seem to grasp it, or you go blank while reading a page, STOP READING RIGHT THERE! ere will be a word just earlier that you have not understood. Instead of going any further in the book, go back to before you got into trouble, fi nd the misunderstood word and get it defined using a good dictionary. If you don’t have a dictionary, get one. It may seem like a pain to have to do this, but trust me it is worth it! Trust me. Youwill learn so
  6. 6. much faster if you do this. I’ll try to provide definitions as we go along, but it is crucial to have a dictionary handy in case something comes up. I want you to get your money's worth out of this book and you will as long as you clear up your misunderstood words as you encounter them. And you will be amazed how much more you will absorb and how much faster you will absorb it. Ok. Enough formalities and lecturing. Are you ready to start? Good! Let’s get down to business!
  7. 7. Chapter 2 - Selling is book is about buying and selling on Craigslist. ough Craigslist has many sections, such as jobs, gigs, personals, etc.. there is only one section that we will be concentrating on in this book, and that is the “for sale” section. ere very well could be a way to make money with the other sections, but I however have vast experience with the “for sale” section, so that is what we'll be covering. is chapter in particular is about selling. It will cover every last piece of information I have gathered on the art of selling on Craigslist. I say “art” because there really are ways to make your selling more profitable, and if you master them, you'll be an “artist” of selling on Craigslist. Hopefully by using this data you can build some capital and be prepared to then do some buying, which is another art in itself. Buying will be covered fully in the next chapter. is is the Craigslist “For Sale” section, shown below. is is where we will be living. Craiglist has a very, very plain layout in regards to sales ads. You cannot change the font , background, etc... without using a web editor or knowing HTML code, so this kind of levels the playing field and makes the seller have to really rely on the content of his ad to make the sale. With no flash, all you have left is the text. So we're going to cover how to best utilize what Craigslist gives you to use for your
  8. 8. postings. I'm also going to assume you have sold something on Craigslist before and know how to post items for sale. If you do need help, Craigslist provides a helpful tutorial page you can access here: Now that you know how to post an item, we'll go over the most profitable ways to do it. Selling on Craigslist can be done in a rather poor way and you can still make some money, or can be done with skill, using working techniques, and you will make great deal more than you have ever expected. I'll show you how. What Do You Sell? is is completely up to you, but I'd start with anything you own of value that you simply don't want anymore. Notice I say “of value”. It takes some work to put up a posting on Craigslist or Ebay, and I don't like to waste my time posting small worthless items I'm only going to make a buck or two on. It could add up to quite a bit in the end, but it is too much work. I want the big profits (for the least amount of work), so I only put up items of value, that I know will be worth my time. If you want to sell things just for a hobby, then knock yourself out, sell Christmas decorations for a buck apiece, or some other dollar store venture. If you already have an inventory of items you are trying to sell for a profit, that's great. Use these to get started. e thing I personally like to do is buy things on Craigslist that I will sell on Craigslist later for a profit. I'm going to use the next chapter “Buying” to discuss the buying end of that. is chapter is going to assume you already have something to sell. When selling on Craigslist I break the process down into these steps: 1. Choose the correct category 2. Write a killer, attention grabbing title 3. Price the item correctly 4. Write an enticing description 5. Attach ample photos 6. Post at the correct time of day
  9. 9. Each of these steps if done correctly can help boost your sales in their own right. I'll go over each one and tell you what I do for each. Let's start with no. 1. 1. Choose the Correct Category is is a short section because it is quite simple. One of the keys to getting more money for your items is to increase your visibility. You do this by getting more visitors clicking on your post. So when posting an item for sale: choose the correct category! is is obvious, but crucial. You are cutting out most of your market if you post your item in the wrong category. Make sure to choose the proper category or your item will never be found. If you don't know what category to post in, choose whatever you think would be closest. Ex: If you are selling: golf clubs ---------> sporting earrings -----------> jewelry laptop computer --> computer screwdriver set ----> tools I know, it is obvious, but I would be in neglect if I didn't include this in the chapter because I guarantee some people are screwing this up. Now, If you think think your item fits into two categories, go ahead and post in in both, but you'll need to change the wording in the post because Craigslist is able to recognize a duplicate listing and will not allow it. Also, don't abuse this rule by posting an unrelated item in all the categories. What makes Craigslist good is that it is not too overrun with spam, so do your part to keep it that way.
  10. 10. 2. Write a Killer, Attention Grabbing Title A title can make or break you on Craigslist. So how do you write a killer, attention grabbing title? You're about to find out how. It is of utmost importance to have excellent titles on all your Craigslist postings. Realize that your title has a very important objective, and that is: To get people to click on your posting and read your description! Your title won't be doing the selling. at is what your description is for. You are actuallyusing the title to create interest and using the description to sell the item. It's important to understand this. You simply need to grab attention and create interest so they click on your post and read your description. It is in your description where you can really sell them on the item. Try to think like this: When you are walking down an aisle of a store, what jumps out at you? Most of the time a sign that says “Sale”, or “Clearance”, etc... You can use thesame psychology in your titles. e title is what Craigslist browsers will see as they are looking down the list of items for sale. ey are ordered in chronological order, with the most recent posting being first. You want to get noticed on that list so that customers will click on your title and read your description and hopefully buy your item. Now, how exactly do you write a killer title? Here's the key elements: Your title needs to include: 1) some phrase (or phrases) to catch the viewers attention; 2) the item, the manufacturer, and model number of the item you are selling; and 3) only the good specs/features of the item. Let's go further into the reasoning for this. Craigslist's search engine works in following way: by default, if you do a search for something on Craigslist, the search engine will search both the title and the description of all the postings for the words you typed in the search bar. On Ebay and other similar sites, only the title is searched. Craigslist is different in this respect in that it searches the description as well. You can still search descriptions on Ebay, and you can even set Craigslist to search only titles, but what I'm talking about are thedefault
  11. 11. settings of the search engine. And most normal users will use the default settings. My guess as to why Craigslist works this way is because the database of listings is only a few months worth of data and because it is broken down by city there are much fewer listings than all the cities put together. erefore Craigslist can still return relevant results quickly by searching both the title and description of all the postings for a given city. Whatever the reason, we will base our selling strategy on the way the default settings are on Craigslist search. If you don't use Craigslist search and simply pick a category, you get the chronological list of all the items for sale. Now that you understand how Craigslist search works, let's get back to writing a good title. Hint - Use all the characters available to you in the title. You have exactly 70 characters to work with in your title. Try to use them all! e space alloted to you in the title is prime real estate so make use of it. If you do, you will stand out above the others. is is one of the most underused things on Craigslist – the use of all the characters available in the title. If you take a look at Craigslist, you'll see, almost no one uses all 70 characters in their titles, but the ones that do really stand out!
  12. 12. 1) Get the viewers attention! Start your title off with something to get the viewers attention: like “Check it out!” , “Incredible Deal!”, “Unbelievable!”, or even “Clearance!” or “Sale!” if it fi the item. something to catch their interest and ts get them to want to read further. You can even say “Click on is!”, or some other phrase to stir the viewer into action. e use of verbs in advertising is always good because you want the viewer to take action and click on your posting. See these examples: Clearance Sale! MacBook 1.83Ghz 2GB RAM, 80GB HD - $1150 Click Here! HP Pavilion Tablet PC with AMD 1.9ghz, 1gb RAM, - $950 Another effective way to grab attention is to use punctuation , like asterisks or exclamation marks. See the below example: **Wiley X PT-1 Smoke Lens Brand New Sunglasses w/ case** e two asterisks at the beginning and end help the listing stand out among the others but do not look tacky. DO NOT OVERUSE PUNCTUATION MARKS! ey can make your title looks ridiculous, unprofessional, and annoying. Another way to catch attention is with the use of uppercase lettering in the title. But again DON'T OVERDO IT! Here's an example of a good use of uppercase letters in the title: ARNOLD PALMER Autographed Artwork 34quot;x42quot; 13th Green at Augusta See how this catches your attention but again, does not look tacky?
  13. 13. 2) List the Item, Manufacturer, and Model Number In Your Title Many browsers of Craigslist are looking for something particular and don't want to have their time wasted clicking on vague postings only to never find what they are looking for. I feel it is doing them a service, and is also professional (and profitable), to display in your title the item, manufacturer, and model number. is gives the viewer a very good idea of what you are pitching. Here's an example.: I have a Dell laptop. e model is an Inspiron 600m. In my title I would include: “Dell Inspiron 600m Laptop Computer” , not just “Dell Laptop”. e first and probably best reason to do this is that you will come up in more targeted search results. If someone is searching on Craigslist and types in the search bar “Dell Inspiron”, your listing will appear. Even if someone types “Dell Laptop”, your listing will appear. But, if all you put in your title was “Dell Laptop”, Your listing will NOT appear if someone is looking for an “Inspiron” model by typing in the search bar “Dell Inspiron” And as we talked about earlier, though the default setting of Craigslist search is to search the title and description of each posting, some people turn this off so that Craigslist only searches the titles – not the descriptions. If the Craigslist user has his search settings this way, you'll want to make sure that your title is filled with keywords that will make you appear in more search results. at is why it is good to have the manufacture, model number, and item described in your title. e second reason is also that it makes your listing look more professional, and will increase your credibility as a seller. I mean which of the below titles would you click on? 2005 Cadillac STS, Bose Audio & Navigation, Low Miles, Check it out! or Caddy from mid 2000's
  14. 14. 3) List the Good Specs/Features of the Item Again, you want to grab the viewers attention, so take what remaining characters you have left in the title after doing the first two steps and put the best specs/features of the unit. You want people to be interested, so list the good points. For example if you are selling the same Dell Inspiron laptop as in the above example, put “1GB RAM”, or “120GB hard drive” in the title if those are the best specs of the unit. If you are selling a used car list the good specs like: 2005 Cadillac STS, Bose Audio & Navigation, Low Miles, Check it out! instead of 2005 Cadillac STS, some dents in right front fender, back tire flt. a Only put the good specs because you can always list the complete specs in the description. And remember, you want people to click on your title and read your description. You may be able to sell them on something they didn't really want, if your description is good. at's why you don't want to list any mediocre specs or flaws in the title. e visitor may skip over your post if they don't like what's in the title Another element you can put in the title is the condition of the item if it is very good to perfect. “Mint Condition”, “Perfect Condition”, “Brand New”, “Never Used”, “Excellent Cond.”, etc... All of these are good and should be included in the title if they apply. Here's an example: Brand New!! Acer 3690 Laptop Computer 1.6GHz/512M/Wireless or Perfect Ludwig Classic Birch Drum Set-Blue Oyster Pearl-Only one Made Also notice the use of all the characters available in the title.
  15. 15. What not to do In writing your title, try to avoid the following things: Using all capital letters - ough it may catch your attention, it is hard to read and is sometime pretty annoying. also remember that as far as Internet and email etiquette goes, CAPITAL LETTERS = yelling! Ex: 2000 PONTIAC GRAND AM GTquot;BEAUTIFUL PA CARquot;LOW MILES Excessive punctuation – is just looks stupid and is wasting valuable real estate in your title. An asterisk or two used to grab attention is fine, but excessive use is just a waste. It is unprofessional and annoying. Take a look at the example below and tell me if you would buy off this guy. Ex: ***********1988 trans-am****************** Spell words wrong – Having bad spelling will reduce trust that you are a legit buyer. As you will find out in a later chapter, bad spelling and grammar are the first giveaways to a scammer. So do what you can to make your spelling correct. Ex: 1998 Pontiack Grand Pree – Low Mile's – Great condishion Use Bad Grammar – Bad grammar is just as bad as bad spelling. Not only does it make your posting hard to understand and makes your reader not associate with you, it is also a sign of a scammer in this day and age. Use bad grammar and you are dooming yourself to little or no sales. Ex: Apple Laptop – Software it has loaded with – Fun many games!!! Putting it all together Now that I went over the main points about making a great title for your postings, let put it all together and go over some examples of good titles. Let's first continue with the example of the Dell Inspiron Laptop. An example of a title I would use is:
  16. 16. New Low Price! Dell Inspiron 600m Laptop Computer 120GB HD/1Gig RAM or Clearance! Dell Inspiron 600m Laptop 120GB HD/1Gig RAM/Centrino Say you are selling a Plasma TV: Must Sell! Panasonic TX-42PX Plasma HDTV 42” 720P Dual HDMI Inputs Here's a title I found for sunglasses in the “sporting” section on Craigslist that I like. Notice the use of the asterisks to get attention. If you put this title up against others on Craigslist, it really stands out. **Wiley X PT-1 Smoke Lens Brand New Sunglasses w/ case** I also like the way he used “Brand New”. Stating the condition can sometimes help your title, especially if it is a brand new item. e only thing I didn't like about this title is he had about 15 characters left that he didn't use and could of. ink of your title as valuable real estate and use every last character you can. Here's a few others I found on Craigslist that I like: ARNOLD PALMER Autographed Artwork 34quot;x42quot; 13th Green at Augusta (the use of capital letters is the attention getter in this one – but don't overdo it) BowFlex XTreme II and Elliptical - GREAT PRICE! Must see!! Vintage 1977 RARE WEDGWOOD 9 Piece Peter Rabbit Dish Set ROBIN ROBERTS 1957 Topps Baseball Card #15 - VG-EX Condition Roland TD8 Drums WITH Peavy KB/A100 AMP THIS WEEKEND (this one is nice because it forces the buyer into action by giving a deadline)
  17. 17. Alternative Method - Creating A Mystery A person can rarely be given a mystery without craving that it be resolved. at's why those “Law and Order” type shows do so well on TV. e viewer just “has to see” how it ends. You can use this technique to increase your sales as well on Craigslist. By creating a mystery in your title you may get more people clicking on it wanting to resolve the mystery. Following the philosophy of how the Craigslist search engine works, you could technically NOT have any words in your title that tell what item you are selling and still come up in the search results for a certain item. Take a title like this for example: You will never find an item like this in your life!!! is could be a posting for anything! But remember, Craigslist searches the description too. So lets say you're posting this item and it is for a Panasonic plasma TV. If somewhere in your description you included “Panasonic plasma TV” , someone doing a search for “Panasonic TV” would see the above title in their results. e problem with making a title this vague is that it may not get the interest of someone actually looking for a TV. ey may think it is spam or unrelated. So maybe a better title would be: You will never find a TV deal like this in your life!!! or You will never find a Plasma TV deal like this in your life!!! Now the reader at least knows you are pitching a TV and may be more inclined to click. It creates a mystery. e mystery being “How good of a deal is it?” is method will ONLY work if the accompanying description contains all the keywords that describe the actual item. is is the only way Craigslist search will actually include your posting in the results for someone looking for a TV. So, though your title is vague, the description needs to be detailed. You could say this method is extreme and the earlier way I told you to create the title is more conservative. And both methods have their place. See which method works best for you.
  18. 18. Here's some other suggestions for “Extreme” style title writing: Panasonic Plasma TV!! – You'd be crazy not to click on this!! Brand New Dell Laptop – is is the deal of the Century!!! You will NEVER fi a computer for a cheaper price than this! nd 3. Price the Item Correctly is is crucial! I always recommend putting a price in the postings. I often skim through Craigslist and when I am looking for something in particular, I often base my decision to click on a post on the price. How should you price your item? Should you put a high price or low price? I say: Price your item low! Why? Because people are looking for deals. And most people don't really want to haggle to get a price down. And remember, you want people to click on your posting! So be reasonable when you price your item. I see so many instances of overpriced items that it makes me sick. I feel sick because so many viewers are skipping over their postings because anyone asking so much for some thing that is not worth it is clearly crazy. You may be thinking, “Why not list a high price, and then you have some room to negotiate when the buyer counters your offer?” e reason I don't like to do this is because the price you choose is displayed right alongside your title, so if it is too high a person may skip over your post. And remember the objective of your title is: To get people to click on your posting and read your description! I like to price my items low. Very low. Obviously not lower than the price I paid, but low enough to catch someone's interest and still make a good profit on the sale. I often will do this and then include in my description, towards the end, that the price is non-negotiable. In doing this, the person: 1. reads my title and clicks on my post, 2. reads my description and gets enlightened on the item I was selling, and finally 3. is told the price and that it is non-negotiable, but at this point already wants the
  19. 19. item so will be willing to pay the requested price. Using this technique with my postings. I often get people emailing me and telling me they are interested and will buy the item that day, at the price I post. is being said, I ALWAYS get the people emailing me trying to get the price down. No matter what price you put, someone will always email you and try to get a lower price. You can put an item for one cent and someone will try to get you to sell it for half a penny. But in setting a low price I often get enough people who read the description and know the price is firm, and are STILL interested. Don't get greedy Don't be greedy or you won't sell anything. People want things at a discount, so give it to them. You will sell more, and make more money in quantity. Also, people sense greed, and it is a turnoff ink . about a time you went to a car dealership and ended up trying to negotiate with a greedy salesman. Not fun right? 4. Write an Enticing Description Like we mentioned earlier, your description will sell your item. You'll probably read about a hundred different ways the “experts” tell you to write your description, and they may be successful as well, but I'm going to tell you what works for me. Because of the simple nature of posting on Craigslist, e only thing we have going for us on Craigslist is what we tell people. So I like to keep my descriptions real. I want the reader to almost feel like they know me by the time they are done reading the post. I've personally bought many things off of people who make me feel a connection between them while reading their description. I'll show you how to achieve this. I also like to describe the item exactly. I try to tell the reader everything I can think of about the item's condition. By being truthful and even listing flaws, it builds your credibility and lets readers know you probably won't rip them off. If you are an advanced user and know web design or HTML code, you can jazz up your listings with HTML tags and formatting to make your posts more professional looking. But for the most part, using the default Craigslist settings for a post will do fine. It is what you say that is more important than how it looks. And if you look too professional, a person may think a high price tag goes along with it. Kind of like walking into a high-end shop and being afraid to touch anything.
  20. 20. Lets go over some steps to use in writing your descriptions so that you can follow, understand, and use them in your own postings: 1. Say what you are selling: I like to start off my posting with saying what I am selling. Something like “I am selling this ______________” 2. Say why you are selling it: Say why you are selling the item; tell a story. is gives the buyer some comfort that the item is not stolen or that there is nothing wrong with it. Such as: “I'm selling this item because my brother gave this to me for my birthday, but I already had one”, or “My landlord is on my case so I need to sell some things fast to cover my rent!”. If you have a short story about why you are selling the item, or some history about it, by all means say it. If there is sentimental value attached to it, relay that as well. Be truthful and remember you are telling the buyer this because it humanizes you and makes them feel like they know you a bit better, so they will trust you more. 3. Talk about the condition of the item: Describe what the condition of the item truly is. Describe the good points AND the bad points. You may be thinking, “Why should I talk about the scratches?”, or ”Should I really mention that dent?”. e answer is yes. ink about it, when you sell something on Craigslist, most of the time the transaction is done in person so if you falsely describe the item and then go to make the transaction, the person will be upset when he sees the defects for himself. You want your customers to be HAPPY, so treat them as you would want to be treated and level with them. Also, when someone has clicked on your title and is reading your description they will be impressed with your honesty if you tell the true condition of the item and be more likely to buy from you. because you'll come off as an honest person. You need to look at how Craigslist is set up and how people have no real way of knowing if a seller is truthful or not. ere is no feedback rating, or seller history. at is why I like to make my descriptions to have a little personality. Here's an example of how I would describe the condition of an item: “ is computer is in excellent condition. e only flaw is a small scratch on the front of the case near
  21. 21. the logo. e rest of the computer looks great.” or “ is laptop is in very good condition. e case is spotless and shows minimal use. e computer works flawlessly. e only noticeable blemish is a dark spot on the bottom left hand corner of the screen and a scratch on the bottom case next to the battery.” (notice how I put the bad points at the end of the post rather than starting off the description with all the flaws) 4. List the main specs of the unit: One thing that really annoys me is when someone posts an item and just does a cut and paste of a mile long list of specs as their entire description. ere is no human element to the description and it always leaves me a bit suspect of the true condition of the item. So my advice is, list the specs of the unit, but not every single spec down to the last millimeter. List the main specs, the ones that the customer is actually interested in. And the ones that accurately describe the item. Here's an example of a post I found on Craigslist that illustrates what NOT to do in your description in regard to specs: Dell XPS-410 Desktop Computer w/20quot; LCD Monitor - $1000 Reply to: Date: 2007-10-19, 12:15PM EDT Brand: Dell Memory (RAM): 2,046 MB Family: XPS Hard Drive Capacity: 222 GB Processor Type: Intel Core Duo Operating System: Vista Ultimate Processor Model: -- Primary Drive: CD-RW/DVD Combo Processor Speed: 6,300 MHz Condition: Slightly Used Bundled Items: Keyboard, Modem, Monitor, Mouse, Network Card, Speakers
  22. 22. Dell XPS 410 Specifications Case: Dell custom BTX case with 375W PSU Motherboard: Dell P965 BTX motherboard Processor: Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.40 GHz 4MB shared L2 cache) Heatsink/Cooling: Custom BTX CPU HSF with 120mm fan 80mm bottom fan near HDDs RAM: 2x1024MB Nanya PC-5300 5-5-5-15 4x1GB Max supported RAM Note: A 32-bit OS will only show 3GB; a 64-bit OS is required to properly address the full 4GB. Graphics: Dell GeForce 7900 GTX (extra long PCB) Hard Drives: 2x320GB Western Digital 16MB 7200 RPM Optical Drives: Toshiba TS-H553 16X DVD+RW SATA Philips 16X DVD-ROM SATA Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe X16 1 x PCIe X4 1 x PCIe X1 3 x PCI Expansion Bays: 2 x 3.5quot; internal bays 2 x 3.5quot; external 2 x 5.25quot; external Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic TV Tuner: Lumanate Angel II MPEG Dual-TV Tuner Power Suply: Dell 375W 1 x 24-pin ATX; 1 x ATX12V 1 x 4-pin mini Molex 6 x SATA Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate Home Edition Front Ports: 2 X USB2.0 2 X 3.5mm Audio (Headphone and Microphone) 1 x 6-pin Firewire (optional - requires expansion card) Rear Ports: 1 x Audio I/O Panel (six jacks) 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out Port 1 x RJ45 GbE 6 x USB2.0 2 x 6-pin Firewire (via optional expansion card)
  23. 23. Monitor: Dell 20quot; 2407WFP Widescreen LCD Monitor It's just a list of specs! I don't even know what a “RJ45 GbE” is! ere is no human element to this posting and it shows little care went into posting it. To me it is a turn-off and I may look for another seller. Any clown can do a cut and paste off of Dell's website. Now for an example of a good use of specs in a posting: Dell Dimension 3000 P4 2.8 Ghz 2 GB RAM Desktop Tower - $250 Reply to: Date: 2007-10-19, 6:38PM EDT is is a sound computer that I have basically maxed out. I bought especially for playing World of Warcraft, my favorite game. It has been an amazing computer for me and still is. I just have to have the newest and greatest and am building a brand new computer and need the money. is would be great as a second computer or for someone looking for something pretty powerful on a budget. Here it is - Processor is a P4 2.8 Ghz, It has 2 GB DDR2 533Mhz Ram (most supported for this motherboard), GeForce FX5500 258 Mb Graphics Card, 80 GB Hard drive, CD RW drive and I can throw in a brand new DVD-R with Lightscribe for $50 more. Programs - comes with fresh XP install, Photoshop Cs2, Microsoft Office 2007. is sale is for the tower only. In the above posting, the seller describes the main specs, but does not overkill the reader with a oversized list of useless specs.
  24. 24. If you want, you can tell the reader “for full detailed specs click this link” and send him to the manufacturer web site, or “for full list of specs see the end of this post” and then add the list of specs to the very end of the post. See the pic below. 5. End off the post by making it VERY easy for the reader to contact you: After listing the main specs, I like to tell the reader how to contact me and make it VERY easy for him to do so. Fortunately, Craigslist provides an email with each post that the reader can use to contact you without having your real email address. See the pic below: I like to tell viewers to email me if interested and then I put a copy of the email address Craigslist provides at the end of my listing as well. is makes it easy and clear for them to contact me. Making it easy for people to contact you is a huge element in getting more sales. I've seen posting after posting with no indication of how or when the reader should contact the buyer. Yes, it can be understood to use the Craigslist email provided as the top of the posting. But everyone does not know this. 6. Don't include your personal email address or phone number - When writing a description I always use the email address Craigslist assigned to the post. I NEVER use my main email address, and I NEVER list my phone number in the description. Why? e reason is because this is how you get on SPAM lists. Spammers are constantly sending spiders(programs that comb the net for information) around the Internet trying to scrape up any phone number or email address it can find. If your email address or phone number is on a page that can be accessed by the spiders and you could be put onto a spam list or your phone number can be put onto a call list. Spiders cannot access secure pages, so don't be wary about giving Craigslist your personal info, just be wary about putting the information yourself
  25. 25. onto public pages, that can be accessed by all. Use Hypnotic Language! One of the keys to selling is to realize that the majority of the worlds population are in a somewhat hypnotic state. By hypnotic, I don't mean like a zombie. I mean slightly unaware and susceptible to receiving suggestions. is may not be real to you but is certainly true. And many , many advertising companies base their wording of advertisements on this. A fully aware person cannot be hypnotized but how many people do you know who are fully aware at all times. We're you ever driving down the street behind a fairly bad driver and honk your horn at them? Well, they certainly wake up a bit and drive better! You raised his awareness and he is now functioning more in the present instead of somewhere in the back of his mind. Most people are mildly unaware at all times and are therefore receptive to hypnotic commands. Advertising companies have this down to a science and use such techniques to get the public to do what they want. An example is “CALL NOW!” Avery unaware person may actually reach for the phone immediately upon hearing this command without even knowing why. While a more aware person may have an urge to pick up the phone but may not give in to the urge. A fully aware person may be rational about the command and only pick up the phone if he is actually interested in the product. You can use hypnotic commands in your title and description to get a person to click on your posting or even to contact you. By using hypnotic commands, I'm not saying to do things like “take off your coat” or “touch your tie”. I mean give commands to the public like “Read this ad!”, or “Check this out!”. Put these in your post , in the title, and you will certainly get more viewers. What commands are hypnotic? We'll I'm not a master of this field, but for starters, any word that suggests an action will work. Like “Act Now!” or “Email me fast!”, or “Don't Wait!”. To get more advanced into this subject, and it is a huge encompassing subject, I suggest some texts that may help you from the master, Joe Vitale: e Hypnotic Writing Wizard: Joe Vitale's Hypnotic Writing collection:
  26. 26. You should definitely consider hypnotic language when writing descriptions and titles. I learned these tools while writing sales letters for my web sites and just transferred the knowledge nicely into my Craigslist sales. You can do the same. Advanced Description Writing Like I mentioned earlier, Craigslist is very limited in the tools provided to write a description for your postings. For example, you cannot change the font, font size, colors, etc.... But because the posting follows the rules of HTML you can use HTML tags in your postings to jazz it up a bit. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the language used to make web pages. I'm not going to get into how to program in HTML, but if you have knowledge in this area you can use your expertise to write your postings using HTML and make your descriptions more presentable and have more flexibility in using photos. Don't know HTML? at's OK, even a beginner can use some simple web design software to create pages, then the software converts it to HTML, and you can simply paste it into your posting. One such program for doing this is Nvu. It is free web design software that can be downloaded at Use Nvu to create a presentable description page and then paste it into your posting on craigslist Let's look at an example of how a posting written with HTML can compare to the same posting not using HTML. e next page shows a Craigslist posting, using HTML formatting in the description. Notice how fonts, and picture placement can be manipulated to create a presentable description. With some basic HTML and web design skills, you can use our web editor to create descriptions like this:
  27. 27. Compare the above posting to a similar posting for a Jeep Pretty bland compared to the HTML one right? Using HTML is an advanced technique and just something to think about when you feel like bumping up your professionalism in your descriptions. But don't feel like you absolutely have to. You can still make perfectly effective descriptions and have great sales while using the Craigslist default settings. In fact, the Craigslist default settings are still what I use in my own descriptions. ough fancy graphics and picture placement may seem like they would increase sales, I find the real selling point is what you say in your text. 4. Attach Ample Photos You want take every opportunity in your postings to create credibility. Pictures are an ideal way to do this. at's why I use ALL FOUR pics available whenever I can in my posts. Pictures can make an item very real to a customer and give him some peace of mind that what he sees is what he will be getting. When I personally search for items to buy on Craigslist, whether or not I see the (pic) tag is a HUGE factor in whether I click on the posting or not. I want to see the item. So do your customers, and they will be more likely to buy if they have a good idea of what they are getting. When I say use photos, I mean take pictures of your item. DO NOT use a picture of something that IS NOT your actual item. Example: You are selling a Compaq computer. Do not take a picture from
  28. 28. of that same Compaq computer and put it in your post. Use your computer in the pic. It really hints of a scam when I see otherwise. I don't know about you, but I get suspicious when someone does not show me the actual item. Are they afraid to show me what it really looks like? Is there something wrong with it? Broken or dented? Is it a different model than what is described? Show the flaws - Not only take a picture of the item, but take pictures of it's flaws! If a key is missing off the keyboard, show it, or if there is a noticeable scratch or dent, show it! e reason for this is that it shows you are honest. And people will see and respond to it. It will get you repeat business as well. If you are honest with a customer, they will remember it and want to do business with you again. Take another look at the Craigslist description for the Jeep. e photos are taken at a suspiciously far distance from the car. Compare that to the photos in this next posting:
  29. 29. Which of the above would YOU consider buying? Include yourself in the photos – Wherever possible, include yourself in the photos. is will go a long way in showing: 1. You are not afraid to show your identity, and therefore you have nothing to hide and 2. A more human element ro your posting. With all the scams out there, people more than ever want to feel safe and comfortable when purchasing something online or making deals online. Don't take a pic of just yourself, but try to have yourself in the pictures of your items somewhere. And example of what I am talking about is the pic of me with my Mac laptop on the web site where you bought this book. Include a signature or logo - If you do not have enough views of the item that would warrant using four pictures, include as one of your pictures something that would serve as a logo or signature of you. And as many times as you can, use it in your postings. In doing this, people will start to learn who you are, and if you are trustworthy, you can expect to get return customers when they see your sig/logo. Here's an example of what I mean by adding a signature or logo:
  30. 30. 5. Post Your Listing at the Correct Time is may take some work on your part. ere is a correct time to post items on Craigslist, but unfortunately, it is different for the varying categories of items. Posting at the right time in important because of how Craigslist works. It is quite simple: e most recent posts appear at the top of the list. So if 20 people post immediately behind you, the viewer will have to scroll down to see your posting. so you need to make sure you post at a time when your target audience will be online. You want them to see your posting without having to scroll down, or at the very least without having to go to the next page. Find your target audience – A very smart thing to do is find out when the people most likely to be interested in your item will be looking on Craigslist. And post your item at that time. How do your find your target audience. You can just use good judgement for one. An elderly person for example will most likely be in bed before 10:00p and be awake and alert early in the morning so you'd post your item in the morning. A college student might be surfing the net into the wee hours of the morning, so you can throw up a post late at night if college students are your target audience.
  31. 31. A housewife may be most available in the late morning or early afternoon, while her kids are at school. ese kinds of judgments will allow you to increase your sales by having your targeted audience view your ad, and therefore increase your chances of being seen and them actually buying your item. Do a Google search for “Internet Demographics” or “Internet Usage”. You'll fi resources to help you nd there. See if you can pinpoint the highest point in the day or week that your target audience will be inclined to be on the Internet and buy off of you. What NOT to do in the Description Don't make a one line posting: Really want to decrease your sales. Write a dinky one line description like this: It is just not good salesmanship. You want to use your description to enlighten the buyer. is description gives NO details about the condition, model, etc... of the items. ere is no human element. It is also sloppy and gives me the impression that the item will be sloppy too. Don't follow this example.
  32. 32. Don't be tacky: is seller decided to use HTML to jazz up his description, but his choice of fonts, size, and color were so tacky that it certainly detracts from the appeal of the item he is selling. It is hard to read, distracting, and just generally bad. Check it out: And if you scroll down from there, it gets worse: It's just like I talked about earlier about listing a long and annoying list of specs. ere is no story, no feeling, no human element, and therefore no credibility. I hope you can see from this example what NOT to do.
  33. 33. Don't give your phone number or personal email address in the description: You want the readers of your post to be able to contact you easily, but putting your phone number and personal email directly in your description is risky. By doing this, your phone number/email is stored on a page on the servers at Craigslist. is page is public and able to be accessed by Internet surfers and the general public. Spammers/scammers often have programs called “spiders” scrub the Internet for phone numbers and email address to add to their lists. If these pages are freely available, you don't want your phone number/email posted because you run a chance of being found by the spiders and added to a spam list. Instead use the email that Craigslist provides you in your posting which we talked about earlier. It all ends up in the same Inbox anyway and is perfectly sufficient for our purposes. -------------------------------------- e above should cover just about every aspect about writing a good description. Now onto what you should do after you write and submit your posting. After You've Been Contacted OK, let's say you've written a perfect title and description. You added the photos and posted your item at the correct time. Now it's time to site back and wait for the responses. If you followed all the tips above, you WILL get responses. To be fair, I like to contact the people in order of who contacted me fi rst. e only qualifier is that I rank those responses that include a phone number as higher priority than those without. Just go down the list of responses and call them, starting with the first one received. is is because phone communication is faster than email communication, and I like to sell my items as fast as possible and get onto to the next batch. Oh, also, the other qualifier is to first contact those willing to pay the price you posted. You will have many offers for a lower price than you are asking. But, if you followed my advice and listed a low price to begin with in your posting, you will also get responses of those willing to pay the full price you are asking. Make the latter the priority and contact them first. Let's go over how to respond to any email/inquiries/responses you receive from a posting.
  34. 34. e guidelines I use in responding are: 1. Respond as fast as you can. 2. Make it VERY easy for the customer to reach you and finish the deal. Respond as fast as you can: As soon as you get a response answer it. e time a customer has to wait before getting service is a KILLER in the retail industry, and the same rule applies here. If you cannot provide fast service to them, they will find someone else. ere is plenty of competition on Craigslist so don't think they will wait for you. Respond accordingly! Make it VERY easy for the customer to reach you and finish the deal: NOW is the time to give your phone number. I know what I said before, but now you are having a private correspondence with the prospective buyer and your phone number is safe (as long as he is not a scammer). e goal is to get him to contact you as easily and quickly as possible and the phone is the best way to do that at this point. You want him to call you. Also the phone is the most optimal way of communicating at this point because you have more control than in an email. On the phone you can set up a time and place to do the transaction and work out all the details. It can be done quickly and efficiently, without having to have any further communication. If you communicate back and forth with email, more time goes by, and remember, time is a killer. And it may take a few emails back and forth before any agreement is made about the transaction. What To Say In Your Response If the prospective buyer includes his phone number in his response, call him immediately. If no answer: If you get no answer or an answering machine, leave a message and then immediately send him an email. Let him know in your voice message first who you are and that you are contacting him about the Craigslist item. Tell him you would like to talk to him and for him to please call you back. en leave your number. Also tell him that you are sending him an email as well. In your email, let him know you tried calling him and that you will try again later. en put your phone number in the email and tell him to call you, and give him the best time to call. (anytime would be best) en wait for him to contact you either through phone or with another email. If he calls you back go to the next section and read how to handle the transaction.
  35. 35. If he/she answers: First and foremost, be courteous and friendly. Tell him you are calling him about the item on Craigslist. en tell him he can pick it up, and give him the times when you will be available. Try to be as available as possible. Again, we are following the theme that we want to make it as easy as possible for the buyer to buy from you. If you don't mind them coming to your house to get the item, tell them where you live. If you do mind, set-up an intermediate location to meet. If you really want to accommodate him, you can meet him at his house or at a location near him. But as far as I'm concerned, it is proper etiquette for the buyer to travel to pick up the item from the seller, so don't worry too much about the inconvenience of having him pick it up from you. Your time is precious too, and it is time consuming to drive all over creation delivering items to customers. On the phone, he also may try to negotiate the price. If you can't budge, tell him you can't and you have other buyers interested that are willing to pay full price, but you are contacting him because he contacted you first. If that is true, tell him you will get back to him if your other deals fall through. If you have no other prospective buyers, need to sell your item right now, and can aff to slide a little on ord the price, counter his offer with another price and see if you and him can make a deal. When you make a deal, be sure to honor the conditions of the arrangement and deliver the item to him appropriately and collect the money. DO NOT accept personal checks. It is too risky. I don't even like to accept money orders, they are too easy to counterfeit or scam. If you have a Paypal account and can accept credit cards, you can do that too. (see section later in this chapter to learn how to set this up) But the easiest and best method for you is cash. Try and accept cash as much as possible. Accept the money, and be sure to thank the person after the sale. And if you have a business card give it to him, or simply ask him if he wants you to contact him if you have similar deals. Another great thing to do is ask the person what he is interested in in case you come across that item in the future. A person is MUCH MORE likely to buy off someone they have already dealt with in the past successfully. So by having a smooth, fair, courteous transaction with a customer, you are securing future prospects for future sales. I've had tons of customers who tell me to let them know if I get any more of the item I'm selling them or similar items. Get enough of these contacts and customers and life becomes easy. You won't even have to post items anymore, just call these customers for the sale.
  36. 36. How To Accept Credit Cards Being able to accept credit cards can open up a much broader income field for you. ere are less and less people using cash these days. Most like the convenience of a credit or debit card. ere are two common ways for people like you and me to accept credit/debit cards and one is MUCH easier than the other. e first way is to open a merchant account: A merchant account allows you to act as a merchant and accept credit cards. You can do this with services such as You sign up with them, and in about 1-2 weeks you are contacted and either approved or disapproved. If you are approved you will be given either a portal to take credit card information online, or options to get a credit card machine for accepting credit cards offline. You are charged monthly for this service, and also every time you make a transaction. Establishments and companies, such as restaurants, department stores, etc... have merchant accounts for accepting credit cards. ey are probably eligible for much lower rates because of the amount of transactions they do but you can still be a one-man-show and have a merchant account of your own. Unfortunately, you may have to start off paying higher rates than most. In my experience using merchant accounts, you have to sign up separately if you want to accept Discover, and American Express cards, which is kind of a pain. e process of opening a merchant account I think is unwieldy, and actually screwed up my information the during sign-up which delayed my approval and being sent the materials. I was generally unimpressed with the whole thing. at's why I feel this method is not ideal for buying and selling on Craigslist and I don't recommend this way unless you absolutely have to. e second way is to use Paypal: You can accept credit cards using Paypal. And it is much more ideal for Craigslist buyers and sellers than opening a merchant account because it is easier and cheaper. Many people these days have a Paypal account. And most people don't know this but they can accept credit cards thru Paypal if they sign up for a Paypal Premier or Business account. Signing up for these accounts are FREE and easy. ere are no monthly charges and you don't need to fill out anything separate to accept Discover or Am Ex cards. Paypal takes about 3.00% of each sale on credit card, which seems to be the going rate even for merchant accounts. Paypal makes it so that ordinary people like you or me can accept credit cards easily. And it is by far the most recommended way to go about this.
  37. 37. By being able to accept credit cards, you open up a lot of income opportunities. And you'll be surprised how many people will be willing to give you their credit cards to pay for their items. If you come across as reputable and professional they will feel safe to give the information. And with Paypal, they can enter the information themselves without you even ever seeing their credit cards or their numbers if they use the Paypal “Buy Now” buttons. Click here to go to Paypal. Sign up for a Premier account if you haven't already. ey will have to verify you which may take a few days. When you are approved you will able to accept credit cards! Conclusion at about wraps up everything you need to know to post your items successfully on Cragislist. Read over the chapter again if you have to because this chapter is probably the most important in really boosting your profits. I hope you use what you learned in this chapter and make a fortune! Now onto buying techniques!
  38. 38. Obtain the second half of this book, plus an additional FOUR bonus books at:
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