1. Don’t stand your seller up | If you can no longer make it or change your mind for whatever reason, let your seller know at least a couple of hours beforehand. Don’t leave them waiting around like Meg Ryan à la You’ve Got Mail.
2. Negotiate but don’t low ball | We all like to save money but you don’t want to offend. I’d say don’t go lower than 80% of the asking price.
3. Negotiate before you pickup | Confirm on a price before you meet. The seller decided to meet up with you on the agreement that you would be paying a certain price. Don’t start haggling once you’re face to face with them unless the item is not as described.
4. You’re not guaranteed the item until it’s physically in your hands | One common seller tactic is to arrange multiple pickup times with potential buyers and sell on a “first come, first served” basis. I don’t personally endorse this but it happens. That’s why having a pickup time is not a guaranteed sale. Don’t bet on the item until you physically have it in your hands.
5. Stop asking if the item is available | Most ads are taken off once the item has been sold so asking if the item is available can be redundant. Your initial email should initiate action. Say something like: “Hi there, I’m interested in your floor lamp. I’m available Wednesday evening or all day Thursday for pickup. Please call me at 555-5555”.
6. Email the seller only if you’re serious on purchasing | If you’re undecided about an item, put it on your watchlist and simmer on it a bit before reaching out.
7. Bring exact change | Go to the bank beforehand or buy something at the cornerstore so you don’t rely on your seller breaking a $20 for you.
8. Respect meetup locations | If a seller specifies where they are available to meet, don’t ask them to meet in a different neighbourhood on the other side of town.
9. Test the item first | Make sure the shoes fit or that the weed whacker works before you hand over the cash. You don’t want to buy something you have no use for or doesn’t work altogether.
10. It’s okay to decline | Just like your online dating experience, something that looks nice online doesn’t always look nice in-person. If you’re not feeling an item when you see it, it’s totally fine to walk away from the sale.
1. Don’t stand your buyer up | Sellers can be no shows too. If the item has already been sold or you need to cancel the meet up, please let your buyer know.
2. Be realistic about your pricing | You can’t expect to make back 100% of what you paid for 5 years ago. Do some research beforehand and see what similar items are going for.
3. Details, details, details | Give as much information as possible. Specify quantity, condition, tears, stains, defects, original manufacturer, any applicable warranties left on it, material, etc. Always give measurements for furniture.
4. Meet at a public location whenever possible | There are some whackos out there. Protect yourself and the buyer by meeting in a public location. If that’s not possible (meet you at Starbucks with my loveseat?), move the item to your garage or have a friend there with you.
5. Use clear photos | A good photo can be the turning point of a sale. If the photo is too dark or blurry, a potential buyer may move on. Also, multiple photos from different angles are awesome.
6. Once you arrange a meetup time, don’t sell it to someone else | If I called a store to hold an item for me but find out they sold it before I could get there, my P.O. factor would be way high. If you arrange a time to meet a buyer, you’re essentially holding an item for them so hold on to it!
7. Make it presentable | Don’t post a picture of your dresser with old socks hanging out of it. Tidy up the area, wipe down the item and move your cat out of the photo.
8. Take down the ad once the item is sold | It’ll save you from many “Sorry, sold!” emails down the road.
9. Respond to all inquiries | People took the time to email you so the least you can do is write them back. If you have a pickup date scheduled, tell other buyers you’ll let them know if it falls through.
10. Don’t be shy to count the money | Whether intentional or not, you always want to make sure you’re not getting less than the agreed amount. It sucks to realize you’re $20 short when your buyer is long gone so count the money before you part ways. You’re not being suspicious, you’re cautious!
What other advice do you have for sellers and/or buyers on Craigslist?