How to get the price you want on your Craigslist items

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People are always asking me how I get the price I want on the items I sell.   I used to rarely get my asking price and often times, I would get worked over in price negotiations.  Here are a few things I’ve learned:

1.  Know what your item is worth.  Do some research, look at what others are selling the item for and how many are for sale?  Are there 15 other identical paper shredders that people are trying to sell?  How much can someone buy the item online for?  Once you come up with a price….

2.  Be confident.  Is your nice washing machine worth $100?  Absolutely.  A new one costs $500 and yours works perfect and looks great as well.  If you are confident, people won’t even bother trying to get the price down.  I get haggled with maybe one time out of 20 now!  I used to get haggled every time as I was half desperate to sell the items, and not very confident in my pricing.  I got worked over a lot.  I get my full asking price probably 99% of the time now.

3.  Take pride in your item.  Take good pictures, write a good description, (not hiding significant flaws) and don’t apologize for anything.  You don’t know what people want.  That little dent on the front of your washing machine doesn’t matter to the rancher that’s going to put it in his barn to wash horse blankets with.  The item’s flaws might cause some to shy away, but not everyone.  Stop caring about what everyone might think.  All that matters is that you make one other person happy with your item, the end buyer.

4.  Be reasonable.  Your not going to be able to sell your 32 inch LCD tv for $25o when someone can buy one from online retailers for $185 shipped on sale now. (Dealnews.com)  No one cares how much you paid for it.  Do some research and price your items reasonably.

5.  Be patient.  Craigslist isn’t magic.  Sometimes it takes a day or two to sell an item, especially if it’s at market rate.  If your item sells within a few minutes, you priced it too low and someone like myself snatched it up and will make a good chunk of money reselling it. If you price an item just right it will take anywhere from a half of a day to two days to sell, obviously depending on demand for the said item.

All of the above are important, but confidence is the most important thing.  People, like animals, can sense when you are uncertain about your price.  Uncertainty is a weakness when it comes to negotiations.  A skilled buyer, like a shark, can smell blood (weakness) from miles away.  If you are totally uncertain of what your item is worth, do some more research until you become confident that your price is a good value.  Be confident!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Great info.

    I think the key for me is to have as much inventory as possible, this creates a constant flow of items that are all different and cater to a wide audience.

    Just selling a couple items and nail biting till they sell can often lead to lowering prices are coming down off your price if you know it’s a really good deal, and you’ll get your asking price if you just wait.

    • Your dead on, I’ve found the same thing. Having 6-10 items at a time is what I average and it keeps me busy. If you get too many items they can all get jumbled up in your head, especially if you have different delivery prices etc. Thanks for dropping a line!

    • You need to watch the market, or the prices that people are selling their appliances for. Also you need to know how much the dealers are selling theirs for, both the garage dealer and brick and mortar used appliance place. Knowing which brands are best and most desired is also important. After that, you need to know to to inspect an appliance to know what kind of shape it’s in. You need to be able to tell what is a deal killer (broken seals on a refrigerator, timer going on on a dryer, bearings going out on a washer etc) and what is just a cosmetic defect. How much time is it going to take to clean? Finally, how much could you resell this appliance for and how long is it going to take to get that price.

      Hope this gets you started, let me know if you have any more detailed questions.

  2. Hi Ryan,
    Randomly came across your blog, and I think its pretty cool. I also am a full time “craigslister” and really enjoy it. I mainly deal with electronics like cell phones and tablets. What I usually do to try and find the current value of my items is pull up my Ebay app and do this:

    1. Try to match whatever item they are trying to sell in the sell in the search description and be very descriptive. ie: Iphone 4 16gb factory unlocked black
    2. Then I select the appropriate category, condition, format (i choose buy it now) and select sold items, completed items
    3. Search- the listings should have a pretty good representation of what it is worth and i subtract about 10% off of that price for ebay and paypal fees. Plus i factor in the cost of shipping.

    I found this way really great for determining the value of their product, and haggle accordingly.

    Thanks for the read!
    Dan

    • Hey Dan, I do the same thing for any item that’s small enough to be commonly sold on ebay. It’s a great way to see the market price quickly. Thanks for stopping by!

      -Ryan

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