MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Selling on Craigslist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We all have things around the house we really don't want or need.

Instead of going through the trouble of a yard sale, sellers are turning to Craigslist.

Jonathan Sharpe has been a carpenter since he was 18.

"Started my own business," said Sharpe. "It was successful. The economy went bad and work ran out."

So he turned to Craigslist to make ends meet.

"Got into the free section. People were giving away great stuff and I'd go pick it up and swap out the stuff in my home for it - upgrade - then I would fix up and sell the rest on Craigslist."

He buys household items at auctions, then fixes them up to flip on Craigslist.

"I got that couch and this love seat for $6 at the auction, I sold the couch for $80. The hardest is part is hauling, strapping and loading."

In only 8 months, he's become one of the hottest sellers.

"The best week would be $1200 a week, the worst would be $700 per week."

To list an item, all you need is an email, hit the word 'post,' then choose a category and write in the specifics.

"I use caps on everything to make my ad bigger."

Peruse similar Craigslist postings to determine the price. Pictures are a must.

"If you are posting a couch, put 'couch', 'loveseat sofa' to optimize the searchability. Posting your phone number - the last four digits. Put this in the search box to see my other good furniture."

He uses a separate phone and email and neutral location for all of his transactions.

"You got cameras there, cameras there. It allows me to be safe."

You have to be willing to negotiate - Jonathan's option for delivery ensures his items sell quickly.

"A lot of people don't have trucks and cars and I'll throw $20 on in a 20 mile radius and drive it straight to their door."

New bedrails run about $130. A family new to town found Jonathan's listing and they got a deal at $35 - Jonathan still makes a profit.

"Posting it, getting the calls, meeting people, that's the fun part."

Most scam attempts can be avoided by dealing locally and meeting people in person. Craigslist warns never to use a wire service to send money to an unknown party.

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