Wait! Is Craig’s List a viable organizing tool?
Alright, you’ve made a huge step: you have a huge pile of stuff that you’ve decided you no longer need and you’re going to release it back into the world so that someone else might benefit from it. (Yes, even that rubber chicken you received from the 08′ Secret Santa party can live on!) For most of this stuff, I’m going to encourage you to donate it to a charity the same day you decide to release it. You want to see the clarity this brings to your space and feel progress in your decluttering process. And hey, if we’re working together in LA, I’ll personally drive it to Goodwill for you as part of my organizing packages.
But…occasionally there might be an item that you know you don’t want, but still has some market moxie. It’s gotta to be something that will sell for at least $50 and up. Otherwise, you’re trading time for an uneven amount of money, which is also why I’m not a big fan of garage sales as an organizing tool. It can be too much time and effort for small results and in the end you’re creating a mountainous speed bump for your decluttering process.
But to prepare you for when you find that thing that’s going to make at least $50 or more, let’s walk through that process and I’ll present The Ultimate Bos Organization Craig’s List Template that you can copy into your listing for 50% more awesome and safe CL sales.
Create a Craig’s List Account
Craig’s List has always prided itself in its oh so 1996 design, but they have made a lot of small and subtle advances that have made the user experience much improved. Not least of these features is offering a free account that lets you easily manage and edit your listings in a central place and connect items together if you’re selling more than one thing at a time. The best feature: you can renew a item after it’s been posted for 48 hours. This allows you to easily put it up at the top of the sales again without redrafting the whole ad. Nice!
Do a little research for your item’s category
There’s many categories on CL and sometimes it can be obvious where your item will go, but a lot of times it’s worth doing a quick search. My boys just recently moved from a Wii to the Xbox 360 so we’re selling their Wii Skylanders. Search “skylanders wii” and it turns up that there’s a catergory “video gaming – by owner.” Who knew? My Gen X mind would have dumped it straight into toys. Research — we love ya!
Write a specific posting title with a fair price and include photo(s)
Here and (some other points in my template) I like to follow the clear example of my fellow organizer Kristen Ziegler who writes, “In the title, be sure to include a full description of what you are selling and any important keywords. For example, rather than posting “Printer” post “Epson Stylus Photo 1280 Ink Jet Printer” Once in a while it can warrant an adjective in there, like “AWESOME lot” but be consertative about this as it can look spammy and shady quick. My tip: use all caps on just a single word.
For the price, do a little research on CL and Amazon and take off somewhere between 30-50% off the original price keeping in mind the age and condition of the item.
Photos are essential. You usually don’t need more than one and it doesn’t have to be super fancy, but take a few in good lighting so you can pick the best. Photos will often do a lot of the description work for you. I recommend taking your own photos rather than using a stock image, because it sends a clear message that indeed you have this item and this is how it looks currently.
Copy and Paste the Bos Organization Craig’s List Template into your description.
So copy this and where there’s the “xx” add your text:
Hello! I am selling xxname of item (should be the same as in posting title)xx for $xxamountxx.
xxSimple clear descriptionxx
CASH & PICK-UP ONLY. Offers for wiring money or other scammy propositions will be deleted.
If you’re serious leave a contact number due to spam. Also, if you are reading this posting, I still have it so please don’t email to ask if I still have it.
xxYour Name to Remind Them There’s Another Human Being on the Endxx
keywords: xxwords that will help you potential buyer find the item and are not already present elsewhere in the adxx
If you’re using Text Expander then I made a nice little snippet form just for this use, download it here. If you’re not using TE, hold tight, I have a post coming up all about how you should be using it. It’s awesome.
Posting on Craig’s List and soon…out of your space making more room in your life and cash in your pocket!
The dream of Craig’s List is to be a simple and free service for the people, monitored by the people. At its best it does just that and while it’s a decluttering tool that I recommend you use selectively, when you put these strategies to use you have a great chance of making money on those items that have more value to those outside your home. Enjoy and let me know how this template works for you!