People are always asking me how I make money on Craigslist. The following 5 points are often mixed into my answers to them. These are 5 of the biggest things I’ve learned over these past few years of earning my living on Craigslist alone.
1. Make money by being patient
It’s very simple. Find a good deal on an item, buy it, bring it back to your home and re-post it for a higher price. The more expensive the item was new, the more room there is for profit. The key here is patience. It might take a day, it might take 2 weeks, or 2 months. For example, you can buy air conditioners for almost nothing in the winter, and if you are willing to store them in your garage or shed, triple or quadruple your money during a heat wave in the summer. Supply of air conditioners in the summer is greatly reduced and heat brings greater demand. So those that use foresight and stock up when demand is low, will reap the benefits when demand spikes.
The same goes for other products. A product is worth the price someone is willing to pay for it. If your item won’t sell at a certain price before your patience runs out, lower the price. My general rule is that if something doesn’t sell within the first few weeks, I’m probably pushing the ceiling a little too hard on the price. That’s my rule, but my goal personally is to sell items with 2-3 days. Much depends on the items you are selling, as someone holding out for top dollar on a motor home versus a coffee maker have much different amounts at stake. The balance is yours to wrestle with.
1. Delivery sometimes isn’t a choice for people. Take appliances for example. Many people aren’t strong enough to move an appliance. Others don’t have a truck or trailer to transport the appliance and it would be cheaper to pay someone to deliver it than renting a truck or trailer. The same goes for furniture. It’s not financially wise for someone to own a truck so they can pick up one large item a year with it themselves. Thus you having the means to transport these large and heavy items is a valuable service for which people are willing to pay. Also, many people selling furniture and appliances don’t have a means to deliver, so if you do, you will stand out from the rest and keep yourself busy.
2. Time is very valuable to some people. Having a product delivered for $40 is nothing for the person that earns $150/hour at work. Keep the consumer in mind when you are thinking about what to do. Just because you wouldn’t want to pay a certain price for delivery, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t be willing to. On smaller items, most won’t take you up on it, but there will always be the few that really value their time and will choose to buy from you so they can have the product delivered. Remember, delivery isn’t just a way to make a little extra money, it’s also a way to help sell your item quicker by adding more value than the next person.
3. Make money by restoring items
When you restore an item to working condition, or closer to it’s original condition, you are adding value to the item. The more value you add, the more money you will make. Fix a broken appliance, fix a car, fix a bike, repair broken furniture, restore a computer or fix a television. The possibilities are endless. Take a niche or area that you love, find products that people are throwing away, or selling for very cheap because there is something wrong with them, and fix them. Fixing items can be labor intensive and can take a lot of hard work and time, but like I will explain next, this often times is a very good thing.
4. Make money by looking for thorns.
I’ve heard it said that riches are closely guarded by obstacles, thorns and hard work. Don’t forget that. The more thorns there are around a product or service, the less competition there is going to be, and the easier it will be to make money. For products, find the heaviest, dirtiest products you can find and get to work on them. You can often find items dirt cheap just because they need a deep cleaning. Contract with someone to help you move really heavy items. Invest in a trailer with a ramp, nice hand trucks or a lift gate for a truck.
5. Make money by doing something.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
My friend Chris often refers to “paralysis by analysis”. We tend to over think things and make them too complicated. Just start moving. Children learn to walk by taking little steps, falling down and getting back up again. You only have to take one step at a time, and small steps are ok. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure always precedes successes.
Those were 5 ways to make money on Craigslist, the following post breaks down the 10 Best Things to Buy and Sell on Craigslist.