Moving is no fun, and you never realize how much stuff you have until you try to fit in boxes and trucks. Having relocated many times, I usually find there’s not much I own that is so valuable it can’t be sold and re-bought for a lot less trouble than squeezing it in a moving truck. Instead of packing, why not use these tips to write an awesome Craigslist ad, and travel light?

1. Write a clear, informative title.

If you were browsing around for a couch on Craigslist, which of these two ads would you click on?

  • COUCH!!!!
  • Grey L-Shaped Cloth IKEA Sectional 

People are busy, so make it easy for them to scan the titles and get the info they need. Include the item and the brand, to appear in more searches. ALL CAPS and/or exclamation points (especially multiple!!!) come across as too sales-y.

2. List items individually.

Craigslist lets you link items in individual ads to one another, so I recommend doing this rather than grouping all items together. A title such as Queen-sized Platform Bed Frame will grab the right person’s attention more than the same item featured in an ad titled Moving Sale- Multiple Items.

3. Keep content concise.

Nobody has the patience to read a lot of text these days (you’re skimming this post, aren’t you?) and that’s especially true when they’re checking Craigslist from their iPhone. Make it easy for potential customers to get the highlights about your futon, coffee table or bike for sale, by using bullet points or indents, like this ad:

Vintage 1968 Schwinn Panther Bicycle:

  • Original owner
  • Like-new and ready to ride
  • Body in great shape with functioning horn
  • Front and rear racks with reflectors
  • Hate to sell but moving to Colorado and can’t fit it
  • $600 OBO

4.  Include multiple photos

First of all, you have to have them. Most people filter their search results to only include postings with pics, so make sure your ad doesn’t disappear when they do!

Secondly, take and upload about three clear photos to your furniture, because like online dating—anyone can take one good pic! People want to see the product from all angles so take a few good, clutter-free shots and put the best one first (it will be featured)

Also, using stock photos from the Internet– the are not representative of your particular item, and they cause suspicion.

Finally, if your product has flaws, include pictures of them, or else you and the buyer will both be disappointed when they walk away empty-handed.

5. Choose your contact method. 

How much of a hurry are you in? If you have time before you move, I recommend email as your contact method. Then you can weed through inquiries before choosing the good ones to respond to.

If you’re down to the wire and moving day is near, on the other hand, put your phone number in the ad and reserve a weekend day to have prospective buyers come by and look (it never hurts to have someone with you at the house when you do this).

So if you’re moving, I say don’t pack your stuff– sell the things you can live without by putting a well-written ad on Craigslist. You’ll save yourself some heavy lifting and have cash in-hand to buy a few cool, new things for your next apartment.

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