Craigslist vs. eBay: Where Should You Sell Your Stuff?

There’s no way around it – you need extra cash. While selling blood plasma may have crossed your mind, there are easier ways to pad your bank account. Have you thought about selling stuff that you no longer want or need online?

ebay vs. craigslist

From furniture to textbooks and even the most random knick knacks, you’d be surprised what people are willing to pay for the stuff you’ve long neglected. The hard part may be determining the best vehicle for getting your stuff into a buyer’s hands. Craigslist and eBay are two notoriously popular options, but which one is right for you? Apartment Guide explains the good and the bad of each.

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Craigslist – “Pros”ebay vs. craigslist

  • It’s free.
  • Ideal for selling locally.
  • You can list just about anything for sale.
  • No shipping hassles.
  • Easy to sell large items.

Craigslist – “Cons”

  • Your ad can be flagged or removed at any time.
  • You may have to continue re-listing your item since ads are pushed further down the page as new ones are posted.
  • Possible influx of email spam.
  • Last minute negotiations.
  • Low-ball offers.
  • Buyers that don’t show up.

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Craigslist Tips

  • Know which items sell well on the site. Furniture and technology are popular on Craigslist. Smaller items like clothes, shoes and books are not.
  • Avoid posting your phone number, address or photos of yourself.
  • Use the auto-generated email address provided by Craigslist instead of your personal email.
  • Meet with buyers during the day in a public, well-lit area.
  • Bring someone with you.
  • Accept cash only.
  • Do some research on how to spot counterfeit money.

 eBay – “Pros”ebay vs. craigslist

  • Ideal for items that you can’t or won’t sell locally, like clothes, shoes and books.
  • Seller protection is available for most items.
  • Bidding makes the price of your item increase, maybe more than expected.
  • You can sell nationwide or even worldwide.

eBay – “Cons”

  • Listing fees do apply.
  • It’s difficult to estimate what shipping will cost, and you’ll be responsible if the package weighs more than expected.
  • There’s a time limit.
  • Possibility of negative feedback left on your seller profile page.
  • Hard to sell large items.

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eBay Tips

  • List items on days when people are most likely to be looking. Most people get paid on Fridays or days like the 1st, 15th or last day of the month. Also think about if the item you’re selling is seasonal. For example, it would make sense to post textbooks for sale at the beginning of the semester.
  • Make sure your item descriptions are completely accurate and as detailed as possible. Think in terms of what words buyers might type into eBay’s search bar.
  • Check similar items sold on the site to see how much the bid started at, how much it sold for, and how much shipping was. This will give you a general idea of how your item might perform.

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Do you have any experience selling stuff on Craigslist or eBay? Tell us about it on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Life Super Charger

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