Bartering on craigslist may seem very simple to you, but I’m hoping that I might have a few pointers here for you that will improve your performance regardless of your experience.
1) Post in the barter section. It may seem counter-intuitive, but as it stands right now, Craigslist has a barter section, but it’s buried inside the “for sale by owner” area of the website.
2) Make it clear if you are buying or selling. The title of your post is the most important part of the post. Make sure you not only state the object/service of interest but also if you are trading for the item or trading it away.
3) Ask about location. It’s a big waste of time to work out a deal with folks that are further away than you are willing to drive. Ask where they are up front in your ad and save yourself some time.
4) Caveat emptor. Use your brains. Follow the same basic safety rules that you would with a cash transaction on Craigslist.
5) Post on Thurs. Craigslist gets to most visitors on Fri/Sat/Sun so posting Thursday night sets you up to have all those folks see your ad. Also, mark your calendar to repost all your unanswered ads every Thursday evening.
6) Be looking for something specific. I saved the best for last. This is really the most important thing I have to pass on to you here. I suggest that you never post something like: “I have a purple people eater. Email me back and let me know what you’ve got.” The problem is that you are inviting the entire world to waste your time offering you a bunch of worthless junk that you have no interest in. The best way to post on Craigslist is to create ads that state exactly what you are looking for . For example: “Wanted: dungeness crab on barter.” I would also suggest that you be vague about what you have to trade. I say something like, “Barter is my hobby and I have thousands of new or used items to trade. Please contact me so we can figure out what you’d like best.” Don’t forget that you have access to everything available in your barter exchange to trade on craigslist. The reason for being vague is that you never know what the person who is reading your ad may want. If you post specifics about what you have to trade, you could just as easily give the reader a reason NOT to contact you as you could give them a reason to call.
Please feel free to post your own craigslist advice in the comment area. Thanks!