Maybe I was too harsh in my last post. One man's trash is another man's treasure and all that, but I can only censor myself so much in this mad, mad world. Everyone has limits.
So in the spirit of good will, I'm offering a quick primer on how to write a Craig's List ad. I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything. I'm just saying I've successfully bought and sold a few things on Craig's List, and so my opinion is as good as anyone else's.
First, always include a photo. Always, always. Who the hell wants to drive 40 minutes out of their way to bid on something sight unseen? Only idiots and murderers, that's who. Is that the demographic you want to target? I think we've learned from my last post that you can't trust people's written descriptions. People are too emotional about their stuff. You also need a photo to prove that the thing you're selling actually exists. No photo: don't expect people to come a-knocking. If you don't have a camera, borrow one from a friend. If you don't have any friends, pick up a disposable camera at Walgreen's, for crying out loud. It doesn't have to be a good photo. In most cases, you can barely make out the important details through the poor exposure, or the flash reflected in one of many mirrors makes it look like a supernova just crashed in the person's dining room, as Husband observed in one recent posting. A basic silhouette with a hint of color is often all you'll get, but it's better than nothing.
Oh, and manufacturer photos are bullshit. If someone copies a picture from, say, the Pottery Barn web site, you can be assured that what they're selling not only didn't come from Pottery Barn, but also looks nothing like what's pictured. When you arrive on site, it will in fact appear to have been the stage for somebody's low-budget porn shoot and also the scene of some sort of wildcat attack, hopefully not both at the same time, but if so, it would be well deserved after luring me out to see that piece of crap.
Stick to the facts. The thing you're selling may be beautiful to you, but chances are, it's only beautiful to 1% of the population at large. Your job is not to convince the skeptical 99% of the merits of its beauty, but to get the item you're selling into the hands of that 1%. Lay out the facts in plain view without any distractions. The right buyer won't need convincing. Right now, as we speak, there is somebody out there who is dying, DYING, to own a set of four pink kidney-bean-shaped tables with raised glass tops, and we need to find that person RIGHT AWAY so that the current owner can take down that ad and the nightmare can finally end.
Finally, price it low. Take your lowest price and subtract at least $100. Why? See previous paragraph. Do you want to sell it or not?
Here's an example. If I were to place an ad for my current dining room table, the one we are trying to replace because it's about to collapse, this is what I would write:
Dining Room Table - $1
Dark wood, very lightweight. More than a few scratches, some drops of red paint or possibly blood, and scattered crumbs. Measures 70x36 inches with leaf (58x36 inches without leaf). Might be missing some screws. Sags in the middle. A lot. Put it this way: It might hold up your food. No returns. (Random chair and partially assembled jigsaw puzzle not included.)