OfferUp vs Craigslist: Which One Is Better for Selling Things?


Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

Is Craiglist still a valid marketplace, or is OfferUp a better option?

Is Craiglist still a valid marketplace, or is OfferUp a better option?

Is OfferUp Better Than Craigslist for Selling Things?

OfferUp is a free smartphone app that allows you to sell things locally from your home, much like Craigslist. The question is whether one is better than the other.

I've used Craigslist for several years, selling refinished furniture and other things from around the house. I've also used OfferUp quite a few times as a seller.

Here are some of the pros and cons of selling things on both platforms:

OfferUp Home Page

OfferUp Home Page

Selling Things On OfferUp Vs Craigslist

The main advantage of using OfferUp as a seller is not having to publicly disclose your name, email, or phone number in your ad. Sales transactions and communication with the buyer is done anonymously, similar to meeting someone on a dating app.

On Craigslist, you can exclude personal information from your ad too, allowing the buyer to simply reply to the ad itself, which is done anonymously via email, but this system is outdated by today's standards, and in my experience, I sell things a lot faster on that site when I provide a phone number in the ad. A serious buyer will almost always call me, at least that's been my experience selling things over the years.

The biggest problem with posting a Craigslist ad with your phone number is bots harvest the number and you end up with telemarketing calls. Never post your actual phone number digits in the ad. The trick is to type words instead of numbers, or a combination of the two.

TruYou Verification

OfferUp verifies a profile through a driver's license and phone number. You can also sign up on the app through Facebook. Verification is usually completed the same day at which time a badge is displayed on your profile showing the account's been verified.

While verification isn't a requirement, it's a great feature because you can choose only to do business only with verified accounts. This makes using the app feel much more secure and trustworthy.

Get Ready for Low Ball Offers

I've sold a lot of stuff on OfferUp, but similar to Craigslist, the app is loaded with people expecting ridiculously low prices, which can be borderline insulting at times. Typically, when you make a counteroffer these people vanish. But there are also a lot of people using the app who are willing to pay a reasonable price for your items. I've sold quite a few things on the app. It is very popular with a large user-base, depending where you live. In a big city, your ad will be seen by a lot of people, similar to Craigslist.

Posting Ads

Creating and posting an ad on the app is fast and usually takes less than two minutes. Simply snap a picture of the items you're selling, upload them to the app, and write a brief description along with your sale price. Posting an ad on Craigslist takes longer. You can also post ads repeatedly without it being flagged or removed.

When someone makes an offer on your items for sale you'll receive an instant notification with a "cha-ching" cash register sound effect, which is quite exciting.

Meeting for the Sale

On both OfferUp and Craigslist, you sell items locally, making arrangements with the buyer on where to meet for the transaction. I highly recommend not having someone come to your home. Meet them during the day in a public place.

The only time I had someone come to my house was when I sold furniture, but the items were taken outside in advance and the transaction was done during the day.

I never had anyone no show me after making arrangements on the app. On Craigslist, that's a different story. I've dealt with many flaky people over the years, some of which never showed up. What I've learned to do is give people a narrow window to arrive for the items instead of an entire day. If they're serious, they'll show up.

Buyer Ratings

The seller can rate the buyer. The rating is then displayed in their profile. The rating comes in handy when deciding whether or not to sell your merchandise to someone. I only accepted offers from people who had a verified profile and a good rating. Craigslist doesn't have any rating system. You never know exactly who you're dealing with.

OfferUp Product Page

OfferUp Product Page

Is Craigslist Worth It Anymore?

Using Craigslist is like stepping into a time machine back to 1998. The site literally looks exactly the same year after year. Although the site is ugly and totally outdated, it's still a good place to sell things locally, especially furniture, but I prefer OfferUp for the speed and ease of posting ads.

I can post an ad in less than one minute. I can also see buyer ratings to help avoid doing business with shady people. I also don't like having to communicate with a buyer through email or have my phone number exposed to the general public.

Even though Craigslist is really old and no longer the only option for selling things, it does still have a massive user-base. When you post an ad on the site it will be seen by a lot of people in a short amount of time. I remember posting ads and getting responses within the hour.

Craigslist has made policy changes for posting ads, but it's still free for an independent seller to post items for sale. They do charge fees if you're a business selling things.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I use my desktop instead of my cell phone for OfferUp and Craigslist?

Answer: Yes, Offer Up has a website too if you don't want to use their app. I've only used the Offer Up app through my phone. For Craigslist, I've always used their website, but there are a few Craigslist apps available.

© 2018 Matt G.

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