8 Tips to Help You Make the Most Selling Your Junk on Craigslist

Want to do some Spring cleaning?

Most people use this time each year to clean out their closets, have garage sales, and get rid of their junk using craigslist.

We’re in the middle of getting rid of stuff on craigslist that we don’t want to move into our new house next month.

If you’ve never done this, I can tell you this is a great exercise in intentional living and intentional spending because you can make money from selling things you no longer use and use the funds to pay off debt or purchase things you will use.

To sell on craigslist, or to advertise your garage sale there, you will need to create an account, navigate to your city, and create a new posting.

Here are a few tips and trick for how to sell on craigslist that will help you make the most from your efforts:

Do you have plenty of extra stuff around that you would be happy to part with? Try selling it on Craigslist! PT offers pointers to help you get started cleaning out your home and filling up your wallet.

1. Make Your Headline Clear

The vast majority of craigslist users are hunting for something very specific. So the more of these people you can connect with, the more your item will sell for. Make sure you provide a clear, descriptive headline to let searchers know what you’re selling. Also avoid SCREAMING AT YOUR POTENTIAL BUYER and avoid using tacky symbols (%$*$*&^).

2. Try to Balance Clarity with Creativity

The most important thing is to ensure your description is clear and exhaustive. Be sure to include everything there is to know about your item, including dimensions, colors, and condition. Be sure to check manufacturers websites to get more details about your item to include.

3. Make Use of Lists

If you are advertising a garage sale, make sure that your craigslist post includes all of the items you are selling. You never know who will be searching for that one item at the bottom of the bucket. Even if you’re just selling one item, use a list to describe the item in detail.

4. Don’t Forget About Images

Potential buyers definitely prefer to see a clear, well-lit set of pictures of the actual item you are selling. But if you’re in a pinch, use a photo from the manufacturers website.

5. The Price is Right

The first step here is to know what your item is worth. Search similar listings on craigslist or check Ebay.com for completed sale results. Secondly, be aware that craigslist buyers will want to negotiate or even barter. Being open to these things will reduce your profit, but will increase your chances of selling.

6. Meet the Seller Away from Home and With a Friend

Avoid having a potential seller come inside your home or visit you when you are alone. If you’re in a bind and need to sell alone, jump on a phone call with a friend and have them wait and listen while you complete the transaction. If it’s a garage sale you are having, keep your house doors locked.

7. Cash Only

Don’t accept checks. Inspect the money. If you are doing a garage sale, keep the money in your pocket vs in a cash box.

8. It’s Your Community

While you’re taking the appropriate safety measures don’t forget to be friendly and smile. Your local craigslist community is typically going to be the people you are living and working next to. Use the opportunity to make connections and enjoy the interaction. Craigslist reports that many users tell them about friends and even significant others they’ve met while buying and selling on the service.

Thanks to craigslist.org for sourcing these ideas.

Some other considerations I have:

It’s important to know what sells on craigslist. Anything can be sold on craigslist, but it doesn’t mean you should sell it there. Unique, collectors items should be exposed to a broader market using Ebay.com. Anything that is small and easily mailed should also be a candidate for Ebay.com or a larger market of some sort.

I’ve sold a lot of things on craigslist: TVs, computers, tickets, kid’s toys, and even a car. If you’re going to sell a car or any high dollar value item where cash isn’t an option, then consider a payment escrow service to handle the exchange of money between you and the buyer.

Lastly, download their mobile app. It makes picture taking and listing your post a lot faster than on a PC.

What are your tips for selling on craigslist?


  1. I am blown away by how many people don’t post photos of their items in their ads.  I won’t even look at a CL ad if it doesn’t have a decent photo of their item.

  2. deaconhayes says:

    I like to tell people “why” I am selling something. A lot of times that removes fear or doubt when they know that I am selling a product because I bought something else. Not because it is a dud or because it is a bad product.

  3. CollegeBoy says:

    I sold stuff on Craigslist and never had problems. I must admit I was nervous meeting people alone. But I sold things that I would of not been able to sell anywhere else

  4. You can also get rid of a lot of junk by giving it away for free. I’ve given away broken TVs and vacuums (of course, I tell people they are broken and need some work, and they can then either use them or sell them), and even sand from the base of an old pool. You won’t make any money but you’ll get back lots of space, and it feels better than throwing stuff away..

  5. Scott A Miller says:

    I research to see if anyone else is selling what I am, or something similar. I price my item competitively. I word my title short, descriptive and precise. I’m honest about what I’m selling. If it has faults, I write it in.