Writers Write

How to Write a Killer Craigslist Ad

I love throwing stuff away.

My garage is calling me. It’s saying,

Come get these free craigslist chairs you acquired last year and put them out on the curb.

If I obey the call, I can get to the important stuff in there – like my box of sewing supplies, the kid’s off-season clothing, and the contraband supply of Hagan Daaz in my freezer.

That Wonderful Feeling

Anyway, one of the best feelings in the world (okay, yes, that’s an exaggeration. There are probably better feelings: feeding orphans, saving lives, winning the lottery, a really good sneeze, eating secret ice cream, etc) is the feeling I get when I throw things away.

Not only do I love shopping at the Goodwill, but I love having a pile of stuff to give to the Goodwill. This is recycling at its finest.

It works for the little rugrat’s toys, too. Want to buy that ridiculous, overpriced piece of junk, do you? Okay, but you’ll have to give away two ridiculous, overpriced pieces of junk out of your exploding bedroom, kid.

Win, win.

Some Out, Some In

Today, I threw out an empty shampoo bottle and a very nearly empty bottle of conditioner. I probably could have added some water in there, shook it around, and had enough to rinse my curly locks with, but I was feeling giddy with the thrill of throwing things out.

This gave me opportunity – nay, NEED – to replace them with two shiny new bottles.

Which, if you’re a girl, is super exciting. Or maybe I don’t get out much. Don’t rain on my parade. I like products

As much as I like em though, I limit myself.

Once upon a marriage, the Hubs had this in our shower:

  • A bottle of Suave shampoo
  • A dull razor

And I had in the same shower:

  • Apricot scrub
  • Four half empty bottles of shampoo
  • Regular conditioner
  • Deep conditioner
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Conditioner that didn’t work well, but smelled great
  • Conditioner that didn’t smell great, but worked well
  • Two razors (I dunno why, stop interrogating me!)
  • Make up remover
  • Face mask
  • Shave cream
  • Body scrub
  • Soap
  • Homemade oatmeal facial exfoliating scrub
  • Apple cider vinegar for rinsing
  • A book for baths
  • Bubble bath
  • Candles
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothbrush

Anyhoo, a few years later, and I think I’ve gotten better. We can now move a fraction of an inch without causing a domino effect.

Ax Murderers?

Speaking of showers, does anyone else do this:

You’re showering, minding your own business, singing television theme songs from the eighties and nineties, and everything’s fine, all’s good, the kids wander in and out, the dog walks by, yada yada.

Then you go to wash your face and have to close your eyes.

Instant mental imagery of a ax murderer outside the shower curtain.

No? Just me? Never mind. Forget I said anything.

Where to Start Decluttering

Anyways, the point is, throw something away today. You’ll be glad you did.

If you need a place to start, think under the sinks.

Kitchen, bathroom, it doesn’t matter. Odds are there are things under there you DO NOT NEED. No one needs six different kinds of cleaners or seven bottles of body lotion you didn’t like anyway, or three deodorants that didn’t work for you, or candles with the wicks lost inside the wax.

Throw it all out!

Really.

You’re going to feel so much better.

Today, the under the sink cabinets, tomorrow the garage!

Alrighty, now we’re finally at the whole point of this post.

How to Write a Killer Craigslist Ad

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Add photos
  3. Tell a story
  4. Check spelling
  5. Include details

Once you’re onto the Big Things, the Main Event, the Stuff Worth Some Actual Cheddar, you’re going to want to write yourself an awesome Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace ad and sell that crap.

So here’s how you do it…

(Actual examples below, keep reading)

1. Keep It Simple, Sugar

Don’t ramble. Start off with the description, condition, price.

Clear, concise.

Be witty if you want to get attention (especially if you’re selling the same exact item six-squillion others are selling at the moment), but mostly be short and sweet with the description.

2. Add Photos

THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.

Oh sure, it says it’s optional, but if you want to sell it, THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.

3. Tell A Story

Use humor in your description story. Be honest, but make them laugh.

I’ve literally gotten responses from people that read like this,

I am not in the market for a new desk but your delightful ad made me spit my coffee out of my nose. You should write a book.

4. Check your spelling and grammar

Don’t make me wish I’d never known you.

5. Include all details, specs, & measurements

Lastly, put everything the prospective buyer needs to know.

I mean, let’s be frank, they’re still gonna email you with the questions you’ve already answered, but at least you can keep your answer short with a ‘see description.’

Books by Melyssa Williams

Craigslist Ad Examples

Need to see it in action? Here are some killer examples.

Ad Example #1

Here’s an example of a Facebook Marketplace ad I recently placed.

PEAVEY SP-3Ti SOUND REINFORCEMENT SYSTEM SPEAKERS

How to write a killer Craigslist ad for speakers

$100 pair

Perfect for your teenager’s garage band, or for the man in your life going through a midlife crisis who also wants to start a garage band. These are perfectly good speakers which have been used in a church.

That’s right, the Lord is on your side if you buy these speakers. They have been blessed and in turn will bless you, with rockin’ sound and a righteous beat.

Don’t ask us for specs: we are Men of God, not Rock Gods.

Seriously. Don’t make it weird.

We won’t know the answers, so do some research and then come pick them up. You can trust these are in decent shape, and we will help you load them, cuz, Jesus.

$100 pair, plus free prayer over your rock and roll dreams.

They sold fast.

Ad Example #2

Here’s another I wrote for Craigslist:

LARGE MAHOGANY DESK

How to write an amazing craigslist ad
Not the actual desk. I couldn’t find the photo, but it COULD have looked like this.

This desk (measurements were given) is a beaut. It’s sturdy enough to bang your head against when writing The Great American Novel and you have writer’s block.

It looks nice even when your unfolded laundry hangs from its cupboards. It’s so classy looking that if you stub your toe on it in the middle of the night, you’ll apologize to it.

It’s everything you always wanted from a desk, and maybe even from your marriage.

Having been banished to the garage due to lack of space, I need to find its Forever Home. I went in yesterday and some mice were channeling Hemingway and drinking whiskey at it. Will help you load (but will not deliver cuz it ain’t arm day, hon).

$100 OBO.

Ad Example #3

This one went on Facebook Marketplace, which, to be frank, I like a whole lot less than Craigslist, but that could just be me.

DYSON ANIMAL VACUUM

Funny Facebook Marketplace Listings (That Sell!)
I couldn’t find the original photo so you’re stuck with this screenshot. You’re welcome.

Free to good home only. Seriously, I loved this vacuum and I will not let it be re-homed to just any ol’ creepster.

If you can’t promise to sing ballads to it while vacuuming, lovingly wind the cord just so, and treat it like royalty, you are not the person for my vacuum.

The only reason I’m getting rid of it is that it finally quit working after an entire decade of picking up after my family and pets, which let’s face it, any vacuum (or mother) would be tempted to do. After researching, I think it could be fixed, or used for parts.

I am not kidding around when I say I loved this vacuum. If my house were on fire, the one thing I’d go back in for is this vacuum. I mean, the kids too probably, let’s not split hairs. It’s on my front yard. If you’re reading this, it’s still there. Message me for address.

Little aside on this one: I could not even count the number of people who messaged me saying,

Does it work?

How much does it cost?

Why are you getting rid of it?

Is this still available?

I think that’s why I prefer Craigslist. READ THE DESCRIPTION, PEEPS.

Stay Safe & Don’t Take Me Literally

Last of all, stay safe out there. Killer Craigslist ads was just a catchy joke.

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How to Write a Good Craigslist Ad