You have passed the first gauntlet of selling your cast-offs by answering questions in my previous article. Congratulations! Now, on to the second one: deciding where to post items for maximum effectiveness and minimum effort. It is ultimately a personal decision based on various factors, but below are some of my go-to’s, along with those I tend to avoid. (I receive no benefit from any of these recommendations.)
The Platforms I Use Most Frequently
Yes, this website still exists! I love its simplicity and clarity. It just works. Plus, the owners have avoided the ever-present “upgrades” that many companies roll out ad nauseam. At one point, it had such a loyal following that it became the subject of a documentary about its users and their experiences. There are other prominent players in this space now, but I return to Craigslist because of its ease of use and popularity.
Sign-up is a breeze. With an email and password, you can immediately start your first post. The “Post” button guides you through the seamless process, advancing you from one part of the post to the next until you have completed your ad. CL will then email you a confirmation link to click. Once you have done that, the ad goes live. CL will then send a second email containing the web address for the public post and your personal link to edit or delete the posting.
It will automatically delete the ad after a specified period. Timing varies depending on the city in which you live. You can quickly repost the advertisement after it expires by logging back into your account. Most categories of ads are free. Some classes necessitate fees, such as Jobs and Cars.
I have had a great time over the years, meeting individuals and connecting over the items I sell. This includes my latest sale of a camp set up for a memorable camping trip. The buyer found my pack list and gear invaluable, and I made a tidy sum in the process. Plus, I had the pleasure of knowing someone was making great use of the gear and the pack list that resulted from years of research and experience. It was a win-win, thanks to the site.
CL now also has an app. Since I prefer to post on a larger screen, I cannot speak to its ease of use, but you might give it a go. (Note that the link above takes you directly to the San Francisco Bay Area site. On the right side of the page, you can use the “US Cities” list to find the one closest to you.)
This one is relatively easy to use if you already have a Facebook account. The interface makes it simple, with all the components on the left side of the page. You also benefit from showing your ad to the built-in Facebook audience. You can also opt to hide the ad from your Facebook friends if that is preferred. Marketplace is typically my backup to an initial craigslist ad. I have found that the “flake factor” is higher here than on CL, although that factor has exponentially increased across all platforms in recent years.
This company is a few decades newer than craigslist and Facebook. The process is clunkier and slower than craigslist, but that could be because I have thus far refused to download their app onto my phone. (The website states that load time is faster in the app.) It would be on par with Marketplace if load times were faster.
I choose my platform based on which demographic will most likely purchase my item. Sometimes Nextdoor wins.
I have used this website a few times. I sold a few items on the site, but only using the local option. I want to avoid the added complexity of determining shipping and going to a post office or UPS. There is an option to sell locally, but I found other platforms much easier for local sales.
Posting to Multiple Sites
I typically post on two platforms. Since I already spent time creating a description and taking photos, I might as well spend a few more minutes posting on other platforms. I am quite comfortable with the involved technology, so posting is fast. This is not the case for many others who become quickly overwhelmed while creating and managing multiple posts.
There are a plethora of phone-based apps that have cropped up over the years, such as OfferUp. I have tried a few but found the process more time-consuming due to the small screen real estate of the cell phone. Additionally, I did not get good returns on my time, but I know others who have successfully used these apps.
Some clients have enjoyed using consignment sites such as ThredUp for clothing and websites such as Poshmark and TheRealReal for upscale items. They do most of the leg work, and you reward their efforts by splitting your profits.
Start with whichever sounds most convenient. If you are already on Facebook, you can give Marketplace a go. If you prefer cell phones over laptops, try a phone-based app. If you are unsure, go with craigslist.
Next up, learn what it takes to post to most platforms. You will be on your way to pocketing some cash and meeting neighbors while you are at it.
Author: Judith Dold
Musings from yours truly about all things organizing.