5 tips for better craigslist response

My dad passed away about a year ago and he was a collector.  You’ve seem the show “Pickers”?  How about “Hoarders”?  We’re somewhere in between – unfortunately, closer to the latter.  Though this process I’ve started to become really familiar with craigslist and seen things I’ve done work and not work and thought I would share those.

Here are 5 tips I have found work very well:

  1. Medium length description
    I didn’t know what to call this – but it’s kind of saying “just say enough”.  Sometimes you see descriptions which are too short, too long – but we want just enough.  Remember to include manufacture, model and other pertinent info – especially things which cannot be captured with the picture and take the time to research the item you are selling – try to use proper terminology when describing it.

    Also – don’t forget some people will be viewing this via a mobile device – so use white space as your friend – a couple of extra break tags makes the text more readable.

  2. Category Research
    This is something I’ve done as a mistake and had to correct the problem.  We have 2 ways to help with this problem.

    #1 – search for similar items and see where they are categorized.  This is a great way to find the right spot.
    #2 – try, try try again.  Yea – put the ad in the best spot you can, then if it doesn’t work – move it.  One of the cool things about craigslist is it allows you to change categories after you submit – so if you need to, move it.

  3. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
    Hopefully this goes without saying…but please, nothing should get posted without a picture.  Take some for different angles and if the item has a badge/serial number plate – take a non blurry photo of it.

    If you are having issues getting a clear picture of the serial number – then try shining a flashlight on the area you are taking the picture of – it just may be too dark.  The other issue is usually cameras don’t take close pictures well…see if your camera has a “macro” mode – which is made for very close pictures.  The icon for macro ususally looks like the tiny flower.

  4. Price
    Unless you are really not interested in selling – put a fair price on the item.  Let’s face it – unless the item is NIB (new in box) it is not new…so don’t ask 95% of new price.  If you’re not sure – do some research and price it similarly.

    I personally don’t call on itmes which are not priced unless I REALLY want it.  It just seems like the person wants to squeeze me for whatever price I’m willing to pay.

  5. Cell, email whatever way they want to go…
    I sometimes forget this one because I love using txt and email – but put many different methods of contact down.  You want people to be able to get a hold of you no matter what.  hey – if they have money burning a hole in their pocket for your item – lets let them use it.

I know some of these seem like a no-brainer, but I have violated almost everyone in my history with craigslist.  Good luck in your sales – I hope these tips help.

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Classified by any other name

Along with keeping the day-to-day rolling in webdev this week, my task is to test out a couple of web classified apps.  We’re looking to test drive two methods – one called geodesic and then drop a couple of WordPress themes too.

The hard part will be figuring out how much is “enough” to get us to the next step in the game.  We get a lot of heat in WebDev for not building out entire sites as requested.  The hard part is trying to convince our internal clients they don’t need the Cadillac quite yet and we have a nice Honda ready and waiting.

So this will be a good test for both WebDev and our internal clients to see if we can meet in the middle.


  • Getting a “good enough” solution together.
  • Make-up lost ground to sites like eBay and Craigslist locally.
  • Allow customers to place ads and get more “instant” satisfaction and results.


  • Love to hear them…please give them now!

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Redesigning Craigslist With Focus On Usability | How-To | Smashing Magazine

Redesigning Craigslist With Focus On Usability | How-To | Smashing Magazine.

This is a great example of how to do a UI review.   The author (Steven Snell) offers up the good, the bad and the ugly.

Also – this proves that popularty is not ALWAYS pretty.

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