November 24, 2014 | Posted in:Uncategorized

Have you ever bought or sold something on Craigslist and things didn’t go quite the way you expected? Having lived in NYC for several years, both Brandy and I have completed dozens if not hundreds of Craigslist transactions. While discussing some of our experiences with a friend, we realized that a handy guide to appropriate CL behavior could be helpful for new users.

So without further ado, we present our:


  1. Don’t bother with a photo
    Your description of “good” should suffice. Anyone who thinks they need to actually see what the item looks like before buying is probably an asshole. Another option is to scan in the grainy Polaroid from when you bought it in 1976.
  2. Repost hourly
    The only way to really capture the market is to fully saturate the board. Nobody reads more than three listing titles, so it’s best if your post appears at least every other ad. It’ll be even better if you can manage several identical posts in a row.
    That way everyone will know that you truly have THE HOTEST DEAL IN EASTERN EAST WILLIAMSBURG!!!!
  4. Request personal delivery
    What else does a soul have to do on a Wednesday evening than to drive out to the suburbs so you can consider buying their car?
  5. Minimize text
    Letters are costly to display in email. Conscientiously save your recipient money by keeping it simple. “Is it still available?” should suffice. If they can’t fill in the rest, they probably won’t be smart enough to find your house when coming to give you a test drive.
  6. Provide a lowball offer
    Nobody expects to get the price they ask on Craigslist so they always jack up their asking price by at least 600%. Earn their respect and save money by offering a ridiculously low price for their sale item. Six dollars for the oak dinette set is about right. The converse is true for responding to wanted ads; $95 is a completely reasonable price to drive someone 40 miles.
  7. Don’t show up
    Everyone knows that meeting times on Craigslist have a four-hour window. If someone has worked a long day, they are probably reluctant to simply run home. After all, nothing wraps up a long day at work as nicely as staying an extra couple hours at the office waiting to sell you a Mountain Jam ticket. You’re providing the additional service of sparing the seller a congested rush hour commute. It’s totally solid if you change the meeting time to the following day, but only if you wait until 9pm to send the text.
  8. Always use the largest bill possible
    Can you really trust someone who doesn’t carry around ninety-seven dollars in change?
  9. If it’s free, you’re in control
    Remember, if you are taking a free item, you’re the one doing the favor. Make sure the ‘seller’ is willing to bend over backwards to meet your needs because there is no way anyone else is interested their shitty free blender. They certainly aren’t giving it away in the spirit of community like your magnanimous offer to take it off their hands. Don’t let them push you around.

With these handy tips you’ll soon become the Best of Craigslist hero everyone aspires to be.

1 Comment

  1. Matt from Bend
    November 24, 2014

    Thanks so much. These are all the things I look for when shopping for an item on CL.