Ebay or CraigsList?

I have been posting things for sale on Ebay for a while, with mixed success.  I can’t complain, Ebay has been “generous” in special opportunities to list items for free with no item limit (though I still have a monthly $ limit that I can list – so far this hasn’t been a problem at all).

I also have a Craigslist account.  I had listed a set of candles on it a LONG LONG time ago, and never did anything else on there.

Craigslist is free, unless you are selling services, or listing a job posting.  Ebay has a fee to list (though if you list as auction style you get up to 50 free a month), if the item sells, they take a fee off the top.  You also have to set up a paypal account to receive payment, and of course, paypal hits you for another fee.  In total you end up paying about 5% to Ebay/Paypal (paypal is owned by Ebay).  Paypal also takes a fee on the shipping cost you charge, Ebay does not.

Pros and Cons?

Ebay audience is huge. Craigslist is local only (but then Houston is 4 million+ population)

Ebay charges fees, craigslist does not

Ebay/Paypal ensures payment received before you have to ship the item sold. Craigslist has no payment option, but I would insist on payment in CASH only, no checks, no credit cards, etc.  I suppose you could use your paypal account to accept someone’s payment for an item on craigslist – if I recall correctly, you can get one of those smartphone attachments as a credit card machine, but there you are again, paying paypal, when getting cash is just easier.

Ebay has an integrated email system.  Craigslist uses a forwarding email address to you and people have to email you. You also need to check your spam in case an email from a craigslist buyer shows up there.

People can buy your item right on ebay. Craigslist requires them to email you and you need to finalize the transaction on your own (not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to have the time to do so).

I also have a number of items that are heavy or rather large, so shipping costs would be too much (who is going to pay $5 for something and $25 in shipping costs?) from my perspective to post those items for sale on Ebay, they will go on CraigsList.

So, I have decided to use both – Ebay for smaller not very heavy items that are probably of more interest to a unique audience that I am more likely to find on Ebay.  Craigslist will be used for larger items that I feel shipping is just too expensive and the item is more widely available anywhere (such as flower vases).

Do you use either of these?  Which do you prefer?  Is there another “sale site” out there that anyone uses?  (Etsy?  – well that seems to be for people who make things to sell, not for selling used items you don’t want/use anymore).


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