If you're old enough to remember the days when newspaper classified ads reigned supreme for getting rid of things you no longer need, you'll find classifieds have been updated for the 21st-century in your local Craigslist community. As of September 2013, they reach around the globe into 70 countries, with more than 100 million ads posted every month. Buyers and sellers converge to do business through Craigslist for just about anything you can imagine. The nature of the service makes some items easier to sell than others.
Tickets to concerts, festivals, sporting events and galas fare well on Craigslist, especially close to the day of the event. Some sellers manage to purchase tickets to a highly popular event inexpensively -- at an advance pre-sale or for less-desirable seats -- and sell them at a profit when the demand rises at the last minute. Because Craigslist operates as a local community resource, you can sell tickets quickly and receive payment immediately without the hassle, cost and lost time involved in shipping.
Other online sales and auction venues can accommodate large, bulky items, such as cars and furniture, but the prospect of shipping and the risk of damage in transit makes a local person-to-person sale a preferable option, particularly for things that won't qualify to mail in a box. These big -- and sometimes big-ticket -- items may not be all that difficult to sell on national auction boards, but they require special transport services or buyers willing to venture cross-country to pick up a purchase. Craigslist also does well with the ultimate tough-to-ship item category: housing for rent, lease or purchase, which requires in-person inspection and doesn't travel, with the rare exception of a house that must be moved.
Buyers may hesitate to purchase electronics and computers on auction boards for fear of encountering an unscrupulous seller who ships them a brick in a box, a counterfeit item or a product that no longer works. On Craigslist, good photographs give buyers a clear preliminary look at the item for sale, and in-person buying offers them an opportunity to boot the computer or test the musical gear before plunking down their hard-earned cash. Televisions and other large, potentially delicate electronics benefit from the local nature of the service, increasing buyers' confidence in their ability to get an item home in one piece.
Parts and Materials
Car and motorcycle parts, construction supplies, office-equipment consumables: these types of items benefit from the local pickup that serves as a hallmark of the Craigslist transaction process. Even smaller parts may weigh in at the heavy, difficult-to-ship end of the scale, and sellers who part out a totaled car or motorcycle can find buyers with matching needs and ready cash. Excess lumber or drywall, a spare sink, a roll of wire or 10 bags of concrete make poor candidates for the must-ship world of the online auction, but a local buyer will pick them up.
- Craigslist: About > Factsheet
- Slideshare: Top 10 Things to Sell on Craigslist
- Wisebread: The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist
- Wisebread: Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items
- MakeUseOf: The 7 Most Popular Items Most Commonly Sold On Craigslist
- ReCraigslist: 10 Best Things to Buy and Sell on Craigslist
- EcommerceBytes: eBay Sellers Buy and Sell on Craigslist
- Fox News Magazine: A Craigslist Pro Shares His Buying and Selling Secrets
- Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images