Day 45: My Love/Hate Relationship With Craigslist

4,500 things gone, only 5,500 to go

Quality, Useful Items For New Moms $20 (Deep Cove)

1) Skip Hop Change Pad/Diaper Bag (blue, clean with some permanent marks) retail: $30
2) JJ Cole CrossBody sling style Diaper Bag (rose, excellent condition) retail: $24.99
3) The Original Clean Shopper Grocery Cart Cover (denim, excellent condition) retail: $19.84 at WalMart
4) Gymboree Blanket (adorable safari print reversible cream colour, clean with a permanent mark) retail: $21.95
I’m decluttering! See my blog: http://100things100days.com/
No pictures – I’m hopeless at it and I have 2 kids to chase. Priced to sell. Pick-up only.

My goal was to list 10 things on craigslist last night but my four-year old found me at 9pm:

Lie wit me mum?

Nine hours later, here I am. I only managed to list two things last night which brought my total to 92 things for the day.

I listed the four items above this morning.

To be fair, I hate listing things on craigslist, so I jumped at the chance to accidentally fall asleep with the little guy.

I have two problems listing on craigslist.

I never know how to accurately describe my treasures:

new and great condition

(occasionally used for several months)

Good used condition, has lot’s of life left in it!

Like new, well taken care of

very good condition. Used only indoors.

Funny, no one ever sells old, shoddy, heavily used items. Or do they?

Is my good condition your poor condition? Is my barely used your worn out? There’s really no objective standard.

I might be selling the cutest little sooo soft baby blanket (Don’t you just love it? We wrapped our precious newborn in it),but to you it’s just a slightly faded piece of cotton with… is that lions?… on it.

That’s why photos are so important on craigslist. And, that’s my second problem.

Have you ever photographed your stuff? It never looks quite as good as you think it will. In fact, it can look downright old, shoddy and heavily used – on my camera anyway.

To get a good picture you really need a little extra time and a decent camera. Neither of which I have.

So I liberated myself from photos this morning with this line in my ad:

No pictures – I’m hopeless at it and I have 2 kids to chase.

I also priced my items to sell at about 25% of the original cost. I’m hoping that the new Moms looking for this kind of stuff will understand my dilemma.

I wouldn’t do this with more expensive items. It’s usually worth the time to take even a bad photograph and throw in a few adjectives!

And if you find yourself, like me, at a loss for words – I find it helps to check out craigslist ads from our consumer savvy neighbours to the south.

Personally, I’m a fan of the ads on craigslist los angeles:

ITS REALLY FAST IN GREAT SHAPE YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE IT BECAUSE IT AINT SLOW

Steal. Lowest price for a Frog on Craig’s List.

SIZE 4, LIKE NEW, will throw in One Step Ahead swim Diapers

If you have twins like us, and are on a budget, like us, you don’t have time for designer cribs.

It was hardly used. perfect for summer outings to keep the lil one happy and enjoying the day!

this was used for our children who are now 13 and 10 so obviously we still enjoyed it all these years.

If you can pick it up TODAY ASAP (only today) – TAKE IT FOR 80$ !!!

These people got game!  They’re throwing in extras, offering discounts, advising us on budgets, and painting us a picture. Trust me, if there were really a product that could “keep the lil one happy and enjoying the day,” I’d have two of them by now.

So pllease let me know if you have any advice for me for listing on craigslist. With 5,500 things to go, I need all the help I can get.

What I tossed yesterday: 90 matchbox cars (donated), 1 sports bra and 1 prenatal cradle (listed on craigslist).

What I tossed today: 25 things from the medicine cabinet (expired medicine, nail polish, cologne etc.), 75 things from my office (art supplies, dried pens, papers, photographs, birthday cards, more toy bits!)

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9 thoughts on “Day 45: My Love/Hate Relationship With Craigslist

  1. I’m afraid my only advice is to curse loudly at the computer. Last time I tried to list something on Craigslist it said I couldn’t list it until I validated my account… and this could be done either by text message or telephone. Since I don’t text (seriously – I have no clue) my only option was phone… but their phone validation thing wouldn’t work. @#$^&*@!!!!

    I finally gave up and just gave it all away. The trivial amount of money wasn’t worth the hassle.

  2. Wow – 4500 things gone, doesn’t that just feel amazing? After reading your blog, I wish I had kept a tally of things purged just to know it.

    RE: Craigslist…listing isn’t my problem, it’s what comes after. Countless “Is it still available?” e-mails followed by silence. People who don’t show up. People who show up two hours late. Craigslist drives me batty. That being said I’ve had luck selling some surprising things on Craigslist.

    I hate to tell you this but, I tend to pass up ads without pics. If at all possible I’d post a pic, even if you think it’s not the best. Save time by not sweating the descriptions too much. If people are on Craigslist they won’t be expecting perfection! 🙂

    • I don’t miss even one of the 4,500 things. The extra space and time saved looking for things has, as cliche as it sounds, changed my life!
      Thanks for the advice re: craigslist. I’m definitely going to change my approach to focus on the photo rather than the description. When I looked back over the ads, the most persuasive ones had just a photo and a phone number.
      I feel your pain about the aftermath of listing. I once had someone ask me to drive 40 minutes to drop off a $10 skirt! I took all my clothes to the consignment store the next day.

  3. Hey Christine!

    I can’t begin to tell you how many things we’ve bought and sold on craigslist. In our experience, if you price an item low enough or put it on the “free” section, it will go. Someone even took our completely ratty cat-scratched sofas (for free of course) but it saved us a trip to the dump. Photos always help. Maybe shooting in natural light so as to avoid the direct flash will make things look better.

    Cheers,
    Colleen

    • Thanks Colleen. I’ve been taking photos in my office which is one of two rooms in our house that has no windows! Natural light is much better.
      And thanks for the tip about listing free things. I have quite a few things that could go that way. I’m conflicted about leaving things at the curb with a FREE sign. I’ve seen too many things get left in the Vancouver rain for weeks before the city has to haul a water-logged item to the dump. Craigslist is a much better way to go – if they took your couches, there might be hope for my cat scratched ottoman.

  4. I’d have to say I’m in agreement with EcoCatLady and Candi. Unless it’s really too valuable to give away ($200 or higher, IMO), I’d just suck it up and donate. I currently have a few items on craigslist and now I remember why I gave it up so long ago — it’s just too much work, too many questions, too many phone calls and emails… Then the buyers show up with cash, but they’re always a few dollars short (“Oh, I thought it said $25, not $35…”) and then you’re put in the awkward position of insisting they drive away and get the extra $10. Sometimes they just leave and then you’re right back where you started. So, I’m not a fan… But I do have to say I’m massively impressed with your declutter…

    • That’s just poor form for a buyer to arrive a few dollars short. I get my fur up over people who want you to deliver things. I was shocked that I actually have to specify pick-up only. I thought that was obvious.
      You’re absolutely right that you have to put a value on your time and your sanity. Mine is a little lower than yours but I can see it rising rather quickly as I get further along with the project. I’ve already started listing my things for less than half price just to get it over with quickly!

  5. My friend conducted a “study” and figured out that if you put the word “sexy” in your ad, the item will sell quickly and for a good price. I bet he’s right, but I’m always a bit too chicken to do it. “Sexy Skip Hop Change Pad.” I don’t know…

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