My latest house project involves selling a sofa on craigslist. I have to admit that I have become a bit of an expert at selling furniture on craigslist, specifically sofas. Or as my husband said “I’ve sold more sofas than most Nebraska Furniture Mart employees!” Craigslist can easily become the best friend of a designer like me, constantly changing my mind and switching things up in my house. I’ve successfully sold enough pieces on Craigslist that I have some good tips of the trade that I wanted to share with you.
1. Include as much information as possible and be honest
Provide potential buyers with as much information as possible upfront. This will help bring in serious buyers and avoid lengthly email chains. Always include dimensions, details about color and fabric, where the piece was originally purchased, how old the piece is and if there is any damage. Additional information buyers want to know is if its coming from a pet-free, smoke-free and/or child-free home. Here are the details from my latest listing.
2. Fill your post with good keywords
Try to include as many searchable words as possible in your post. For example, people often search for things that are “modern” “midcentury” “vintage” or from a specific store, “crate and barrel.” Be sure to include relevant keywords such as these so your post easily shows up in a keyword search.
Limit your use of generic terms like “gorgeous sofa” “amazing dresser” “unbelievable deal!” etc. Let the furniture speak for itself and let the buyer decide if they think it’s amazing. When I searched “beautiful sofa” this weekend it brought up this bad boy!
3. Do your research and price appropriately
Take some time to make sure your item is priced appropriately. If you don’t know where to start, try searching for similar items on Craigslist. Take into account what you originally paid for the piece, the condition and if it is in sync with current trends. People always want to negotiate so pad your price a little. If I want to get $300 for a piece I will usually list it around $375 or $400 so there is room to go down.
4. Provide great pictures
Always provide a great picture. A quick photo from your iPhone that is shadowy or blurry doesn’t show the best features of your piece won’t make it look it’s best. This gives buyers more leverage to talk you down in price before they even see it in person. Here is the picture I used to list my sofa.
5. Be Safe
If possible, try to meet buyers in a public place to make the sale. If the piece is too large to leave home, make sure you have someone else home and try to set up the meeting during daytime hours. Never make a deal with someone who offers to mail you a check or offers you more than the list price. There are many scams where the check will clear the bank before they are able to identify it is fraudulent.
6. Keep a clean home
If potential buyers do come to your home to look at the piece make sure your home is tidy. The last place a person wants to buy a furniture piece from is a home that looks messy and unkept.
And have fun! I love selling pieces on craigslist, I always meet interesting people and have even had some repeat customers. I sold the sofa in just a couple days for $500 which means I’m on to the next project!