If you’ve done any buying or selling online, you might have used (or at least heard of) Craigslist. Craigslist is a website that is like an online classified ad. You list items for sale using a basic description and a few pictures and interested buyers contact you directly to meet and complete the transaction. Your items are listed by category and by region, to separate them from other items. Buyers can browse Craigslist ads by keyword or category to find items posted for sale by others. Craigslist is organized into regional centers so you aren’t browsing items across the entire US but rather in your area first. You do not have to create an account to use Craigslist but it does help with selling so you can edit/delete/repost your listing easily.
There are several other buy/sell websites to choose from but Craigslist stands out for items that can be difficult to ship or for things that the buyer would want to see in person. With Craigslist, the buyer and seller have to meet to exchange goods for money. They’ll have a way to inspect the item(s) personally and take themselves if they choose to buy.
Some good things about Craigslist include:
(1) it is free for buyers and sellers (except selling cars)
(2) you reach people in your area
(3) it is very easy to figure out buying/selling process
(4) Craigslist has a big audience
Some not-so-good things about Craigslist include:
(1) scam calls and emails
(2) continual reposting needed to keep the ad in a prominent location
(3) personal meet with a total stranger required for exchange
(4) few ethics/rules for fairness
Buyers and sellers of large/personal items have a new choice– Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is a section of the popular Facebook social media platform for buying and selling goods. So, while you need to have a Facebook account to use Facebook Marketplace, on the flip-side, everyone with a Facebook account (2+ billion people) has access to Marketplace.
To get started, you just open your Facebook page and click/tap on Marketplace on the left or at the bottom. From there, you will see a collection of listings in different categories along with a few menu items like Buying, Selling, Search, and more. As with the rest of Facebook, the screen and menus will look different across different devices. If you plan to sell something, click/tap Selling or “+ Sell Something” and it will walk you through the process of adding your item(s) for sale. At the end, you can choose to post your item(s) to numerous specific Facebook groups in your area (some require approval). To buy something, simply start scrolling through the items. If you see a category you are interested in, click/tap “See All” to transform the listings to only that category. On the right side of any ad, the seller’s Facebook Account is visible (and clickable) along with details of the item(s), map of seller’s location and more.
Some good things of Facebook Marketplace include:
(1) Large but targeted audience
(2) Less chance for scam calls and emails
(3) Pretty easy to list and browse items
(4) Free to buy and sell
(5) You get to see who the buyer/seller is before meeting
(6) Items can post to numerous “groups” automatically
Some not-so-good things include:
(1) Friends/family see what you are listing (no hiding the fact that you’re selling something they gave you!)
(2) Still have to repost to keep your ad in prominent position
(3) Lots of ads and sponsored content mingled in with real items for sale
(4) No anonymity
(5) Have to join some groups in order to post there