15 July 2010

10 Steps to Sell Your Furniture FAST on Craigslist

After reviewing the furniture section of the Los Angeles craigslist site for several weeks, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about selling furniture online. Here are 10 things you can do to ensure a quick and easy sale. I’ll use a sofa as an example.

1.       Look at a variety of listings at the same site to get an idea of the price range of comparable items. What you think your grandma’s sofa may be worth and the going rate for comparable items may be vastly different.

2.       Figure out a realistic price. If you want to sell your item in the current environment you need to consider that value does not necessarily equal selling price. Selling price is affected more by the going rate than what the item is worth. An expensive used sofa may not be as interesting to potential buyers as a less expensive new sofa. Keep in mind that in the new economy new sofas and sectionals can be purchased for less than $500.

3.       Get the following basic measurements –  1) length – from the outside of the left arm to the outside of the right arm. 2) depth – from front of seat cushion to back wall of sofa. 3) height – from floor to higest point of sofa back.

4.       Follow up with the following additional measurements1) Seat height – from floor to top of seat cushion, 2) arm width – the width of one arm, 3) seat depth – from front of seat cushion to the back of the cushion itself. This is the amount of space that is available for sitting or lying down.

5.     Get links to online manufacturer information. If you purchased the item from a web site where information is still available go to the site and copy the link so that you can put it in your ad.

6.       Consider cleaning or repairing the sofa if needed. Do a spot check and be sure you are aware of any flaws that might be seen by potential buyers.

7.       Prep for a good photo. It doesn’t take much effort to shake and fluff up the cushions and then straighten them and put them back in place neatly. But it’s amazing how many people don’t make that small effort. A well situated sofa has a look of quality, a sloppy sofa raises concerns that the piece is not clean or is of poor quality.

8.      Take a great photo. Make sure lighting is good. Try to take picture during the day with as much natural light as possible. Take a straight on shot showing the entire length of the sofa and take a photo from the side showing the depth.

9.       Make sure you know the appropriate and most up-to-date terminology for the item you are selling. Know the proper name, is it a couch or loveseat? What is the brand, style and age of the piece? What is the name of the fabric upholstery or construction method? You’ll garner more respect from potential buyers when you speak knowledgeably.

10.    Remember your effort to sell your sofa will improve the price you will be able to get from buyers. The small efforts you put into a quality listing will allow you to sell your furniture faster and at a higher price because buyers will perceive more value.

Now that you have all your information together and you're ready to be an empowered seller, come back tomorrow for 10 tips for writing an eye-grabbing craigslist ad that will sell your furniture quickly with as little time and effort as possible.

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