3 Secrets to Selling on Craigslist Fast (at a Higher Price)

Updated on May 13, 2020
Bryce Vernon profile image

As an online seller, I have learned a few tricks along the way.

The Secret to Selling Online Is to Stand Out

I just found 937 couches listed on Craigslist. So if you're selling a couch (or any other item), how will your post stand out?

In order to maximize the amount of people who click on your post, you need to give potential buyers more value. You don't have to be a professional copywriter to come up with a post title that will sell your couch fast. You do not even need to have that great of a couch. I found that there are just a few simple techniques you can use to get more traction and ultimately sell your items faster and at a higher price on places like Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace.

1. Know the Value of the Add-on Surprise

We have all been there before. You are trying to declutter and so you put up items for sale on Craigslist. You are not sure how to price your items or whether or not you will get any traction on your posts. You take a few photos, write a quick description, post it online, and see what happens. You may get crickets or you may get the occasional "Is this still available?" email.

After going through this process many times myself, I found that a simple trick helps your listing get more traction and more potential buyers, which ultimately results in a faster sale at a higher price.

The trick is to include an add-on.

It is one thing to buy a love seat. It is another thing to buy a love seat that comes with a "free" unique item. With the love seat I recently sold on the Facebook Marketplace, I included a bar shaped like a small globe that opens to reveal a hidden barrel and small glasses for a spirit of your choosing. I received triple the amount of responses on this listing as compared to other posts where I did not include an additional add-on item.

You may not have a unique globe like the one I had, but you most likely have something lying around that is unique and adds a bit of character to your post. Maybe it was something you picked up at a garage sale one day. The point is to differentiate your post by including another small item to complement the one you are trying to sell. In the eyes of the buyer, your item will have a greater perceived value and perhaps even a story. Which leads me to my second tip...

Selling Couch on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
Selling Couch on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
Sell on Craigslist with something unique
Sell on Craigslist with something unique

2. Tell a Story

It is more and more important to involve potential buyers in the story of the item you are trying to sell (or the add-on item you are including). You might think that someone will buy a couch because they need a place to sit. But that is only the external problem a couch is solving. There is a deeper problem that a couch has the potential of solving. There is a need for significance and approval from others that influences buyers. By including a backstory in your post, you give potential buyers even more value when they decide to purchase your item and you meet their deeper needs. The person who bought my love-seat now has a story about they also got this amazing globe with it. The experience of buying the love-seat was fun and memorable and add to its significance.

The backstory could be as simple as talking about where the item came from or how it was used. While it is important to include a detailed and informative description, the backstory is where you can get creative and attract more buyers.

For an example, here is the title and post to the love-seat I sold:

"Retro Love-Seat w/pull-out bed from wealthy grandmother"

It's true. This was a hand-me-down from my uncle's mother who lives in California and is a multi-millionaire. I think that makes it my grandmother once removed or something. Either way, this love seat is fantastic. You can snuggle up and watch a movie with your lover and then pull-out the bed to let your poor friend who lives with you sleep on it while you retire to your room. I just got married and am cleaning house of all my stuff. This thing is super cool and I know you'll love it. SPOILER ALERT! I will also include the super secret globe that contains a little goblet for a fine spirit and four small glasses. Your guests will be surprised and delighted by this little treat and addition to your home.

As you can see, I include story elements in the title as well as the description. A story involves the reader and gives them motivation to take further action.

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.

— Robert McKee
An Add-On with a Story
An Add-On with a Story

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Auto dealerships are the champions of creating a sense of urgency. They have sale events that only last a month or two. They play on a proven tactic that gets people to buy quickly. Potential buyers feel that if they do not make a purchase quickly, they will lose out on the sale opportunity.

Auto dealerships create a sense of urgency, and so can you. All you need to do is simply state in your title that your item must sell by a certain date. Typically, the date needs to be a week or less in order to create urgency. The key is to be honest with yourself and price the item accordingly. If you overprice your item, you cannot expect a sense of urgency to magically make the sale for you. But, if you price the item correctly and include the two tips mentioned above (include an add-on item and tell a story), a sense of urgency will be effective.

Create a Sense of Urgency When Selling
Create a Sense of Urgency When Selling

In Conclusion

There are many other ways to improve your results when selling on Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace including taking excellent photos from different angles in good lighting and ensuring you have the correct price. However, if you seem to be doing all the basic things right but want to sell items faster (and at a better price), you will find that including an add-on, incorporating a story, and creating a sense of urgency will help tremendously.

Leave a comment with any other tips or tricks you have found that have helped you sell on Craigslist!

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.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • cleoaddams profile image

      Cleo Addams 

      21 months ago from USA

      These are great tips. I will definitely try them sometime. I especially like the globe with the glasses - too cool!

    • Bryce Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      Bryce Vernon 

      22 months ago from Nashville

      I think telling the story is the most fun part! Thanks for the comment - I appreciate the feedback.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      Christopher Wanamaker 

      22 months ago from Arizona

      Great tips. I especially like the one about telling a story. I've noticed that this same approach helps to improve sales on eBay as well. Your example story was great because it made me visualize myself sitting on the couch and popping in a movie to watch. I imagine it did the same thing for others as well.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)