Craigslist is something you would need to have known if you’ve been living under a rock the last 5 years. What you may not know is that Craigslist receives almost as much traffic per month as eBay. And it’s 100% free for online retailers!
This could be the ultimate eBay substitute. Maybe. Let’s learn more.
What is Craigslist?
Craigslist, often described as an online community is a place for people to post classified ads online. Craigslist is a popular site for job seekers and employees, which is how it makes money. But, more importantly, it’s a place where you can reach millions of people, and even sell, buy, sell!
Craigslist offers subdomains to over 450 cities around the globe. However, Craigslist is a strong local focus. It encourages dropshipping sellers and buyers to meet up in person to trade goods for cash. Instead of shipping items and using payment processors like PayPal as we do on eBay.
Craigslist’s income comes solely from job postings and a few adult entertainment listing. This means that you will not have to pay any fees to dropship your items.
Craigslist’s website is simple and straightforward for first-time users. It doesn’t have fancy colors or logos. It almost looks like a 1998 website! Despite the obvious flaws in its design, Craigslist works well and is easy for buyers to navigate.
Hot Tip: Craigslist is less commercially focused and allows sellers to list links from other Craigslist websites. This makes Craigslist a great tool to increase traffic to your ecommerce website.
Craigslist is a great place to sell your items.
It’s also free and you can list and dropship your items. This increases your reach and opens up more sales opportunities. Dropshippers are encouraged to sell on multiple platforms. When members ask how to increase sales, we always suggest this.
While I don’t advocate giving up eBay or any other platform, it is true that many experienced dropshippers find selling on multiple platforms to be hugely beneficial.
Craigslist, unlike eBay, does not allow payment via credit cards or other payment providers like PayPal. Craigslist dropshippers and buyers will exchange cash for an item when it is listed on the site. Craigslist also has a site for different American cities and states.
Craigslist prohibits shipping transactions. Long-term users have told me that Craigslist might flag any posting that includes shipping.
You can include details about where and when you will meet the buyer in your posting description. However, it is more common to discuss this in post-sale email between you and them.
Craigslist doesn’t have a membership system like other platforms. You only need an email address to start dropshipping . You don’t need to enter any address or phone number. Simply create an email address and verify it. Next, you can set up an abstract user name or preload money into your account.
Click the My Account button, then click the link to’sign up’. You can then choose a password, accept the terms and use and then you are ready for selling!
It is easy to post items. Click the post to classifieds button at the top of the page. Next, select your country, state or city. Next, choose the type of post that you need (for sale), and then select a category. The category structure might be simpler than eBay’s. You won’t be asked to select Clothing and Accessories if you’re dropshipping men’s, ladies’, or children’s clothes. Nor will you need to indicate if it’s a clothing item or accessory like shoes, or a handbag.
Next, you need to create a title for your posting. You don’t have to write a generic title such as “laptop for purchase”; you should include more details. Craigslist’s wide categories mean that buyers will spend more time browsing than on eBay. Therefore, make sure to include as much detail in your title.
Next, set the price and whereabouts of your item. Craigslist only uses fixed prices. There are no auction-style listings. Craigslist buyers are accustomed to bargaining so it is a good idea to list the price slightly higher than you think.
Once you have negotiated a deal (this will happen via email, Craigslist does not offer a question and answer system, nor is iOffer a negotiating tool), you will set up a rendezvous point for you and your buyer to exchange the item at the agreed-upon price.
It might seem like more work to meet a buyer in person than simply shipping the item to them. You can be smart and arrange for your buyers to meet at the same location so you don’t have multiple trips.
You should always make sure you meet in public, safe places.
Craigslist is full of scammers. It is important to be aware of the warning signs and trust your gut instincts. According to Craigslist, buyers and sellers can eliminate 99 percent of scams when they meet in person to buy or sell. Scams that target dropshippers are usually only possible if you don’t meet with the buyer in person.
Craigslist claims that most scams that arise from Craigslist transactions involve at least one of these:
- A buyer from overseas or far away may inquire about the product.
- Incapacity or blatant refusal of to meet up to complete transaction
- You may be asked to pay by Western Union, Money Gram, or another wire service, check, or with a ‘Craigslist Guarantee’
This is a typical scam:
The buyer contacts the dropshipper enthusiastically and confirms their desire to buy the item. The seller informs you that they can’t meet you in person due to time constraints or because they live in another country.
They offer to pay you by bank check. You receive it before you ship the item to the buyer.
Your bank informs you 3 days after depositing the check that the check is a fake. You are now without the item you have sold. The bank has also informed you that the check was fake. The bank could even prosecute you for trying to bank a fake check.
There are many types of this scam. You can find other warning signs on Craigslist’s About Scams.
You can also learn more about common scams by reading this article. These conditions can be included in your listing.
Two cents from me…
Craigslist is a favorite of mine. They seem to be rebelling against all that Amazon and eBay do regarding buyer protection, membership accounts, and policing listings. Craigslist is an anarchic marketplace that lets people buy and sell both products and services.
Craigslist is a unique platform that acts as an intermediary between sellers and advertisers. It has over 7 million users per week and is managed by just 25 employees. It does not offer buyer protection, certify sellers, or handle payments.
Craigslist, on the other hand, takes care of everything and lets dropshippers and buyers do what they want.