I am not a Craigslist master by any means, but after testing a few things out (and failing miserably a couple times), trying to get rid of stuff I no longer wanted, I think I finally figured out some methods of listing that could help those struggling with making heads or tails out of selling on CraigsList. I guess you don’t have to be literally selling products for these techniques to work, you could be offering services or anything else that CraigsList allows. My case study was based on selling a personal product of mine though!
To answer the question that I know you are thinking right now; YES, I really did make $500 bucks this morning on CraigsList in about 10 minutes. I will get into how in just a minute, but I want to give a little more background.
The last two weeks I have been testing and testing on CraigsList, I have been playing around with pricing, images, content – all with the exact same product. I wanted to come up with the best techniques possible to get the most money with the quickest time frame. I can better illustrate some of my findings with screen shots I took of my various listings. There are two that stand out that I think make the point better then anything.
Here is the very first listing that I made:
I made the ad very straight to the point with exact descriptions of what the product was including model numbers and everything. There was no personal touch at all. People are scared enough to buy electronics on places like CraigsList, so this ad might have scared some people off since I got NO emails, or calls for a week with this ad.
The listing that changed it all –
I want to point out the title on this photo compared to the other one. I have done a few things to make it stick out. I only included the things that people are searching for like “60 inch big screen” or “hd tv”. People could care less (from what I found out) about the brand name when doing initial searches. They may ask later on, but the point is to be found so they will ask you questions.
With the second example listing I showed you I got a call in 10 minutes (from time of listing), and it was a guy offering me full price (thus, making $500 bucks in 10 minutes). I probably got 30 calls before I finally took it off (I just wanted to test it out) and 40 emails all ready to buy the tv from me.
What were the main differences in the ad? First ad was not very personal. It was just giving you the specs of the tv and thats about it. The title was doing the same. There was nothing in the title that made it stand out, or made people want to click. Notice on the second ad how I have used symbols *** and wording like “NEED TO SELL” and only keywords that people are using to search.
When going through all the listings at CraigsList there are so many people have to choose from, you need to make yours stand out.
Look at the screen shot below and you will see what I am talking about.
You will see the arrow pointing to my ad, and you will notice a few others that stand out. Do you see the difference? These are the ads that will be clicked on, and these are the people who will make money quickly selling their items.
All the other ads will be skimmed through and not have as high of a click through rate, even if they have the same exact product at a better price. The point is to get them to click on the listing! People remember things like "Need to sell" so they get the idea they are getting a good deal, because "I need to sell", and that is why they click!
- Use symbols to stand out such as ******* OR @@@@@@@@
- Use ALL CAPS when appropriate.
- Write the ad as if you were talking to a person that could care less about the model number (or brand)
- Use keywords that people would actually use when searching for a big screen tv.
- Use real pictures that you take yourself, and not from the manufacturer.
I had a pretty fun time testing out CraigsList as I have not been a huge user in past, but will be from now on. Just think about this. I probably could have sold the TV for the same price on eBay, but then I would have eBay and paypal fees cutting into my bottom line. I love CraigsList and this post just explained why!