Want to Sell Something on Craigslist? Make It Look Amazing.

Want to Sell Something on Craigslist? Make It Look Amazing.

As photographers, we all are pretty familiar with the idea that imagery sells product better than any snazzily written paragraph could. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So why is it that most craigslist ads either have no photos, or have really terrible images? I'm the first to admit my photos have minimal effort thrown into them when I make a Craigslist ad, which is probably why I still have my old drum kit. Well this guy knows how to make a great ad, because his 1991 BMW 318is looks freaking amazing.

For a car that is a bit dated (but still loved by many), it's easy to settle for a photo that really doesn't do much for anyone. Sure, it shows the car, but does it sell the car?

Seller Kevin wanted to really knock some socks off and get this car sold. To do that, he took some really fine shots that blow normal Craigslist images out of the water. So kudos Kevin, you went above and beyond. You'll have no trouble getting calls about this sweet ride. I wasn't even in the market, and now I'm kind of interested!



Check out the full ad here, and if it has been taken down because of how quickly it sold, you can read all the car specs and asking price from this screenshot.

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I say this all the time. And I've had great luck selling things on CL due to the fact that I will set up items in my studio to make them look "better". Best thing is looking through the apartment listings and seeing all the horrid photos of heaters, toilets and ugly flooring taken with a phone..

Patrick Hall's picture

The main thing to remember is people buy on emotion more than anything.  I just bought a Taylor guitar on Craigslist and even though I knew I had to play the thing before making a decision, the photo the seller took had me in love from the beginning.  Here is the image I'm referring to: 

Yeah that's gorgeous. Executed perfectly.

I do this too when selling on craigslist.. here's a shot of some oakleys i sold recently .. http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/5844/gascan.jpg

I have had the best of experiences selling things with great images. People love great pictures, and there's not better place to use it that on CL. I've sold everything from a Keurig to my buddies $20,000 truck. Does anybody else think they could make money by taking great images for people to sell things on sites such as Ebay or CL?? Maybe i'm a little crazy...

Nathan Cashion's picture

I did this for a friend selling his Roush Mustang. http://goo.gl/zhZHe
I'm not claiming the images are great (I totally overdid the HDR shot just to mess around), but they're better than the average. Though I don't think he ever managed to let it go.

Yeah totally agree .... I am moving overseas so I set up a website for all my stuff ... I ended up getting a bidding war on my stuff and sold everything within a couple of days ... even my used clothing made thousands of dollars .. which really surprised me. Also had people asking me if I'd like to do work for them. So it generated business as well ...

www.nikitasapt.com was the site

I tried doing more of a product photo for something I was selling once, but then people kept thinking it was just a product photo and not the actual item...ended up having to put a disclaimer.  :o

Not just craigslist. I "inherited" a case of over 100 old smoking pipes years ago. (Renter left it in my grandmother's property.) I did a lot of research before listing them, but mostly I just took the time to do great photos. My listings averaged around 50% more per pipe than other listings for the same make and style, even though mine were seriously used and all but abused. 

Took that lesson to heart and everything I've sold on eBay has done well when I've taken the time to do great photos. (Ratio lighting with rim/kickers, gradient background, etc.) Just a few extra minutes Strobist-style. It works so well it almost feels like stealing, but in fact I'm doing such good, high-resolution, detailed photos that I'm representing my items better than the competition. 

Im selling some old cameras on craigslist too. Gotta make em look pretty. http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/pho/3036200139.html

harry's picture

Funny enough I came across this advert on CL after reading this post.  If I had the cash, this item is well represented via it's photos.  BTW I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS AD.  Just want to share the photos related to the subject of this article above.


Anthony Chopin's picture

It really works! I want to buy that motorcycle!! 

Darwin Young's picture

I personally feel that the cross process look is confusing to ordinary viewers....either CP them all...or NOT...

Anthony Chopin's picture

I have a question though. How do you get large hi res images on CL? Whenever i post high res images they are  automatically compressed down to the standard tiny size that looks like a cell phone picture. Little help? lol

We sold our friends using a video we made. Turned out quite well I think.