When Selling Locally Makes More Sense

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

6 min read

It's not always clear if selling an item locally or nationally makes the most sense. Here we compare Craigslist and eBay to help you decide.

Overhead shot of a neighborhood

Selling online is a fantastic way to get rid of unwanted items and make some extra money. But which platform is the best place to do that?

There are many different online marketplaces to choose from, namely Craigslist and eBay. The main difference between these platforms is that Craiglist is designed for selling your items locally and eBay is designed more for selling nationally. Each platform has its pros and cons.

In this blog post, we will compare the pros and cons of selling items on sites like Craigslist versus selling items nationally using sites like eBay.

Pros of Selling Locally

Millions of people sell items on Craigslist every year, and for good reasons. There are many advantages to selling locally, including it's faster and easier, can save you money,

Pro #1: Sales are Faster

The top advantage of selling items locally on online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is that it's often faster and easier to make a sale. When selling local on Craigslist, you can list your items for sale and start receiving offers almost immediately.

This is because Craigslist is focused on pairing local buyers and sellers who are looking for items in their local market. A potential buyer just uses the Search bar to look for items in their local area, sends an offer, and is ready to meet up in person to pick it up.

In contrast, selling items on eBay can take longer, as the buyers may be located anywhere in the world and will need to have the item shipped to them.

Pro #2: No Shipping Costs

When selling your items locally on Craigslist, you meet up with the interested buyer to complete the sale - not shipping items to their house. The biggest expense you face is some change in gas money.

Without having to ship the item, you never have to worry about any additional shipping costs. This makes your item more appealing to interested buyers because they don't have to pay the shipping costs.

This is especially helpful for large items, such as furniture, trucks and cars, and other items that would extremely expensive to ship. Plus, these types of large items typically cost a lot more so naturally, most buyers want to be able to check them out before spending hundreds to thousands. In order to do this, these buyers will opt to look locally on Craigslist instead of eBay.

We dig more into that next.

Pro #3: Easier to Sell Large Items

As we mentioned above, it's much easier to sell your large items on Craigslist. These items can include furniture, including sofas, beds, and dining room tables, as well as automobiles, boats, machinery, and so on.

For starters, these items are very difficult and expensive to ship. You may even have to find a shipping company to give you a bid on your item to see if shipping is even feasible.

Most large items are expensive and can cost hundreds to thousands. Most potential buyers will want to inspect the item, sit on it, or test drive it, before dropping that kind of cash. By selling locally, you actually gain a competitive advantage because most people only want to buy these items locally and will only search local listings.

In contrast, selling large items on eBay can be challenging and expensive, as you will have to figure out how to safely ship the item to the buyer which can be costly and time-consuming.

By selling large items locally on Craigslist, you can avoid the hassle and expense of shipping, making it a more convenient and cost-effective option.

Pro #4: Saves You Money

Most people sell their items in order to make some extra cash, so it's a major turn-off if you have to pay fees to do that. Platforms like eBay charge fees for posting your ad and selling items. This involves paying a percentage of your earnings to the site.

However, selling items locally on sites like Craigslist is often cheaper. Craigslist does not charge any listing fees or for completing transactions, so you can keep all of the money you make from selling your items.

Cons to Selling Locally

While there are many advantages to selling your items locally on platforms like Craigslists, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

Con #1: Not as Secure

One of the main cons of selling items locally on sites like Craigslist is that it can be less secure. Since you are dealing with local buyers and sellers, you may not have the same level of protection as you would with a larger, more established platform like eBay.

For example, Craigslist does not offer any buyer or seller protection programs, so you will have to rely on your own judgment and common sense to protect yourself and your property.

Alternatively, eBay offers buyer and seller protection programs that can help protect you in case of fraud or other issues.

Con #2: Smaller Audience

Craigslist has one of the largest user bases for online marketplaces. However, because it focuses on local markets, you may have a smaller pool of potential buyers.

This is because Craigslist's focus on local buyers and sellers makes you limited to people only in your area and may have a harder time reaching buyers who are not located near you. This can reduce your chances of getting more views of your listing and selling your item.

In contrast, eBay has a global audience, so you may have more potential buyers and a better chance of selling your items.

Do keep in mind, though, that that also means you have competition from across the world.

Who's the Winner?

Selling your items locally has many advantages but isn't without its drawbacks. The pros and cons of selling items locally on sites like Craigslist versus using a site like eBay will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences.

If you want a faster, cheaper way to sell items, local sales on Craigslist may be the better option. However, if you want more protection and a larger audience, eBay may be the better choice. Overall, we believe there are more advantages to selling locally than globally.

And now with OfferTrackr, selling locally just got a whole lot easier and less annoying. Use OfferTrackr to automatically track the availability of your items, negotiate prices, schedule pickups, and send out reminders. Read about all the benefits in our blog post Using OfferTrackr to Make Selling Items Locally So Much Easier.

Here are key takeaways are below:

Pros of selling locally:

  • Sales are faster
  • No shipping costs
  • Easier to sell large items
  • Saves you money

Cons of selling locally:

  • Less Security
  • Smaller audience

Have you been more successful selling your items locally on Craigslist or globally on eBay? Tell us today!


The easiest way to sell items locally

Use OfferTrackr to automatically track the availability of your items, negotiate prices, schedule pickups, and send out reminders.
Track offers on your first two items for free.