3 Bartering Strategies that Will Speed up your Trade Up

Alright, so you’ve got a starting item and you know how to post in the barter section of Craigslist.  What now? Sure, you can post the item, sit back and wait for the offers to come in.  Or you can take some action and make things happen faster than they would otherwise.  There are a few things you can do to shorten the time in between trades.  Here is my list of 3 strategies I suggest that will speed things up while bartering:

1.  Email others. 

 Don’t hesitate to email other people who have stuff listed in the barter section.  I suggest sticking to people who have items that are valued AT MOST double what you think your item is worth.  It might be a stretch, but it only takes one person to say “yes” and you off to the races.  I’ve found my time between trades to drastically decrease when I am actively email others to see if they are interested in what I have.

2.  Write interesting headlines.

I HATE when people write “I have this to trade….”.  Surprisingly enough I see this or some variation of this quite often.   You’ve seen Craigslist, it’s just a huge list of items.  Yours has to stick out and make people want to click it.  I try to have my headlines make people want to click to see more.  Or I’ll make it vague so people want more information.  For example, I might have a 1995 Honda Fourtrax 250 for trade, but my headline will read, “Honda Four Wheeler for ??”.   That way I’ll get them to click my ad before making a judgment on the four wheeler’s age.  I make my items look as clean as they possibly can so I want someone to see what I have before they decide that don’t want it.  See what I mean?

3.  Ask for something specific.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want directly in the headline.  For example, “Honda Four wheeler for your Snowmobile”.  I’ve used this many times and it’s worked awesome.  One time I was trying to trade a watch.  I had it listed for like 2 or 3 weeks.  I had ONE single offer the entire time.   I also had about 5 other items listed so I just wasn’t showing this one enough attention.  So what did I do? I changed the headline to read “Men’s Watch for Chainsaw”.  Not only did I have 4 offers THAT DAY, I made the trade the next day.  That’s powerful stuff.

Using even one of these 3 strategies might work beautifully for you.  Test them out and see what actually does work best for you.  I can tell you right now though, emailing others to see if they are interested in trading with you will tremendously speed things up.   That’s how I do a lot of my trades.  I don’t have time to sit around and wait for people to email me.   However, by writing a strong headline and/or asking for something specific, you might just get the right person emailing you.

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. zhouyu
    1703 days ago

    Trading in Craigslist is great, as long as you can get it running. This post basically is such a instruction to help the traders. Trade like a professional and trade well. Something better is there are detailed example here in the post so that you cannot really won’t get it. Great post.

  2. Elisabeth
    1701 days ago

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ve always had a hard time with bartering with people on craigslist. I’m going to try using these tips, and hopefully have better luck with my trades.

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"Sean helped me get started and make my first trade. He really went above and beyond to make sure I understood every step of the process. Thanks again, Sean!" -Tyler L Orlando, FL

"I honestly didn't think trading up was possible. Sean said to email him if I had any questions so I figured I might as well. He not only convinced me how possible it is he walked me through step by step until I made my first trade up. I am so happy I found this blog and emailed Sean." -Dave R. Raleigh, NC