Newspaper One, Craigslist Zero

The other day, I wrote about my first impressions as a new craigslist user. While we received a few genuine inquiries, nobody seemed all that serious, and nobody arranged to come see either the couch or the fridge. Thus, we decided to do two things to try and get things moving…

First, we dropped the prices a bit. Second, we decided to place ads in our local paper. So Friday morning we re-listed on craigslist with the reduced prices, and we also set up our ads. Since furniture and appliances are in different categories, we had to pony up for two separate ads, so we ended up dropping about $50 (total) for two 14 day ads.

The newspaper ads started running Saturday morning, so craigslist had a 24 hour head start at the new price, and roughly a one week head start overall. But by the end of the day Saturday, we had received six solid inquiries on our couch, and ended up selling it for our asking price. The guys who bought it paid cash and hauled it away on the spot. (Click through for an amusing anecdote about this.)

Part of the reason that the newspaper worked better might be that we didn’t list our phone number in the craigslist ads (and don’t plan to), but we did include it in our newspaper ads… Thus, potential craigslist customers were forced to e-mail us, whereas newspaper readers could just pick up the phone and call.

Regardless of the cause, it looks like the newspaper is working better for us right now. Still no real interest in the refrigerator, but that’s currently sitting out in the garage, so it’s out of the way, and we’re not in a huge rush to unload it.

8 Responses to “Newspaper One, Craigslist Zero”

  1. Anonymous

    Don’t know if you posted a picture but…

    Posting up a picture of the item on craigslist really helps. People don’t really like emailing you and then setting up a time to meet by email just takes too much time compared to a phone call.

    And then without the picture people have to come to your place and see the item and if they decide they don’t like it then they’ve just wasted their time.

    Also I don’t understand why you didn’t list your number on craigslist but you did on the newspaper.

    One reason the newspaper worked better is probably because you have less competition on the papers.

  2. Anonymous

    I had great luck *giving* a car away on craigslist. Might not seem like such a great financial move at first, but it would have cost too much to repair, and I didn’t lift a finger or spend a cent to have the thing hauled away.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve had a very interesting experience with Craigs List. On the whole it’s been mixed. No inquiries on my car, yet, but I have been receiving inquiries and good deals regarding the purchase of comic books.

    Here are some quick posts describing my craig’s list experience:

    my initial craigs list experiment.
    response to my posts and inquiries.
    most recent craigs list update.

    BTW, it was your experience that helped motivate me to finally check it out.

    Have a wonderful day,
    makingourway

    PS isn’t it amazing how expensive newspaper classifieds are?

  4. Anonymous

    I agree that it does depend on where you live however nothing beats FREE advertisement when you are just trying to unload something. I did find however that because it was FREE advertisement that there are much more “flakes” than serious buyers.

  5. Anonymous

    I’m surprised your CraigsList experience wasn’t very productive. I usually hear about how great it is. I’ve never used it to try and sell something. Great post!

  6. Anonymous

    It really depends on where you live. Here in San Francisco, craigslist is extremely popular and easy to sell and buy many items on. I’ve heard from friends in other markets that it’s not as popular.

  7. Anonymous

    I recently sold our couch through a listing on Craigslist. After being frustrated from dealing with about 4 flakes, the 5th phone call turned into a sale.

    I also listed our car on Craigslist and got no interest whatsoever. I ended up selling that through the Recycler. I did a post on my blog about that one.

    Bottom line for me, Craigslist is okay, frustrating, but okay.

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