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How to Sell on Craigslist: 11 Posting Tips to Sell Your Items Quickly

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Whether you’re looking to clear out your garage or want to launch an e-commerce venture, Craigslist is definitely a platform to consider.

If this idea has crossed your mind, you’re not alone. Millions of others are also wondering how to sell on Craigslist.

We’re here to help you get on track!

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find tips and guidelines that’ll come in handy when you start selling on Craigslist.

Why You Should Consider Selling on Craigslist

There are several reasons why you should consider selling on platforms such as Craigslist.

You should also check out OfferUp and Letgo as alternatives that can give you the same benefits.

It’s Completely Free (Most of the Time)

The first, and most obvious reason why you should consider selling on Craigslist is that it almost always comes at no cost.

This lack of listing fees is a major advantage that Craigslist has over other online selling platforms, such as eBay and Amazon.

That being said, you may need to pay a small fee for listings when selling certain product categories.

It Gives You Wider Reach

As with all e-commerce platforms, a key advantage of using Craigslist to do business is the higher level of exposure you can get for your product listings.

Despite being a local platform that only shows your listings to potential buyers in your area, Craigslist still allows you to reach a larger audience than if you were operating out of a physical store.

It’s Easy to Use

Another perk of using Craigslist is that the platform is super simple and easy to use. You won’t have to spend time learning how to deal with the website.

You’ll be able to post products for sale in a matter of minutes with no issues. This lack of a learning curve allows you to focus all your time and energy on raking in the cash from sales.

It Allows You to Track Exposure

What good is having appealing products listed for sale if you don’t know if anyone is seeing these listings?

When you post a listing, Craigslist automatically assigns it a unique posting ID. This ID allows you to track the number of views your listing has gotten. If the listing’s viewership is below average, this is your cue to switch things up and make your listing more attractive.

Problems With Selling On Craigslist

Selling on Craigslist may be easy and convenient, but it isn’t without its downsides.

Here are the main issues you’re likely to face when using this platform to sell your products:

Your Listings Can Get Lost in the Shuffle

When you post a listing on Craigslist, it automatically stays active for 30 days. But, there are thousands of others in your area using the platform.

In turn, your listing can get buried below newer ones quite quickly if you don’t repost it consistently.

This means additional effort that has to be exerted on your part.

You Have to Meet Buyers in Person

Another issue with Craigslist is that you’ll typically have to meet buyers in person to complete the transaction. This exposes you to the risk of scammers and people yanking your chain.

It Can Be Difficult to Find Serious Buyers

Building on the previous point, you’re likely to receive a handful of fake offers from buyers before you find someone who’s serious about making a purchase.

We recommend having someone help you vet incoming offers to filter out prospective customers that aren’t worth your time.

What You’ll Need to Sell on Craigslist

Before you start your journey of making money on Craigslist, you’ll need to get a few aspects in order.

Here are the main requirements to keep in mind when you’re starting a Craigslist storefront.

Choose a Product to Sell

Your first task will be to decide on the type of product you want to sell on the platform. If you plan on clearing your garage of unwanted items through Craigslist, then the decision is already made for you.

On the other hand, those looking to run a profitable business through Craigslist should conduct thorough research and find products with high profit margins. Selling such products will maximize their earning potential.

High-Quality Product Photos

Another measure you’ll need to take is acquiring high-quality pictures of the products you’re selling.

When buyers search for products on Craigslist, they usually skim through pictures and only click on a listing with an image that piques their interest.

Detailed Product Descriptions

Once you’ve drawn a potential buyer to your listing through appealing product photos, you should tell them exactly what the item will offer them.

This is where the product description comes in.

Your product description should include vital product information, such as its features, specifications, as well as the product’s current condition.

What to Sell on Craigslist

Here are some of the most popular product categories on Craigslist that you should strongly consider selling:


Used cars are among the best performing product categories on Craigslist.

To boost your chances of success when selling used cars on Craigslist, make sure to provide clear, high-quality photos of them. You should also aim to include the car’s full history in the description and sell at a price that’s consistent with the Blue Book value of the vehicle.

Why This Product Sells Well

In the current economic climate, many people don’t have the luxury of buying new cars.

As for used cars, they’re often overpriced at dealerships. This is why selling them on Craigslist is a great option to consider.

Power Tools

Power tools are another excellent choice of products to sell on Craigslist. When deciding on the price you’ll sell at, thoroughly research the product’s price at stores such as Home Depot and Walmart to make sure your offerings are at a competitive price level.

Why This Product Sells Well

People often buy power tools and only use them one time. In turn, they want to minimize the price they pay for them. As a result, you’ll find many people willing to buy the used power tools you’re selling at a discounted price on Craigslist.

Maternity Clothing

Like power tools, maternity clothing is often bought and used for a set period. After that, it’s likely to be relegated to storage. If it’s in good condition, your maternity clothing can make a decent chunk of cash on Craigslist.

Why This Product Sells Well

Brand-new maternity clothing doesn’t come cheap. That, combined with the fact that it’s a necessity for pregnant ladies, makes this product a great one to sell at low prices on Craigslist.

How to Sell on Craigslist: Step-By-Step Instructions

Other than the fact that it’s free, one of the main perks of Craigslist is that it’s super simple to use.

Craigslist makes it incredibly convenient for anyone to set up a post and sell items on one of its classified boards. You don’t even need to have a Craigslist account in order to create your post.

Here are the steps you’ll need to go through to get your Craigslist sales revenue flowing:  

vector graphic showing an illustration of hands being shaken after learning how to sell on craiglist

1. Decide on a Product Category to Sell

The first measure you should take is determining the type of product you’re going to sell on Craigslist.

This step is only necessary if you’re trying to build a business on the platform. If you’re simply trying to get rid of the clutter in your basement and make some money in the process, you can skip this step.

To determine whether a product will be a good money-maker, you should look at its profit margin.

Product categories with high profit margins are the way to go. The product categories outlined in the previous section, among others, are great options to consider.

2. Setup Your Craigslist Account

Although Craigslist doesn’t require sellers to have an account, you should create one anyway if you plan on running a Craigslist business.

Having a Craigslist account offers several perks. They include discounted fees on listings and the ability to manage all your listings in one place.

You can do so by:

Next, head to Craigslist.org.

  • Visiting the Craigslist website
  • Clicking on My Account
  • Clicking on Sign Up
  • Entering your email address
  • Creating your Craigslist password
how to sell on craigslist - homepage

If it doesn’t automatically recognize your region or city, you can go to the right side of the page and choose your city, state, and country.

Click on “Create a posting” in the top left corner.

Choose the county and region you’d like to sell in.

3. Post Your Listings

Now that all is in order, it’s time to start posting your product listings.

These listings’ success in drawing in potential buyers will primarily depend on the price and the quality of product photos you post.

Once your post goes live, only users who are on these regional sites will be able to see your post.

how to sell on craigslist - location

Select “for sale by owner.”

Choose which category your item falls in.

If you’re unsure if you’re allowed to sell a certain item, you can see prohibited items here.

how to sell on craigslist - item category

Create a headline and post describing your item in detail.

You also need to set your asking price and provide the city and zip code your item is located in.

how to sell on craigslist - setting price and details

Fill out the remaining post details.

The example we used below is for a bicycle, therefore, there are specifications that pertain to bikes, like frame size, wheel size, and bike type.

This will be different for every product you sell.

Describe the condition of your item. If your item isn’t brand new, be honest.

Set the terms of your sale.

You can choose to accept cryptocurrency, offer delivery, choose buyer pick-up, and opt to link to ads of other products you’re selling.

Provide your contact information.

This includes your phone number and email.

If you prefer, you can use a Craigslist anonymous email.

You also don’t have to provide your phone number. If you don’t want any calls, you can set your preferences to accept texts only.

how to sell on craigslist - call and text preferences

If you’d like, you can provide your address. This is completely up to you. If you’re not comfortable leaving your address, you don’t need to.

how to sell on craigslist - ITEM

Tap continue.

Confirm the location on the map where your item is located.

how to sell on craigslist - meeting location and map

Add images to your post.

Tap edit images and add as many helpful photos as possible. These pictures should be clear and relatively high-quality.

how to sell on craigslist - adding images to a listing

Preview your posting before publishing it on Craigslist. Make sure there aren’t any typos or misspellings. If you catch a mistake later, you can always go back and edit your post.

how to sell on craigslist - final listing preview

If everything looks good to go, tap the “publish” button in the bottom right corner.

Your post will typically go live within 15 minutes. It can also take up to an hour or two.

Now that you know the steps to create a post, it’s time to show you a few tips that will help you sell your items quickly.

You’d be surprised how many little nuances there are to creating a successful post that pushes product out your door and cash into your bank account.

4. Repost Your Listings

Due to the sheer volume of Craigslist users, your listings can easily get lost in the shuffle.

This is why it’s essential that you repost your listings every few days to bring them back up to the top of buyers’ search results.

Things to Consider When Selling on Craigslist

When selling on Craigslist, there are certain factors to keep in mind. These factors are related to your safety when using the platform.

Here are some measures to take when using Craigslist that’ll help you stay safe:

1. Using a Proxy Email Address

When you create an account on Craigslist, the platform assigns you a proxy email address. We recommend using this email to keep your personal email free from spam when you’re initially vetting buyers.

Once you’ve deemed a certain buyer to be serious and trustworthy, you can provide them with your actual email address, or even your phone number for quicker communication.

2. Meeting Buyers in a Safe Location

As previously mentioned, one of the main downsides of Craigslist is that you’re forced to meet buyers in person to complete a sale.

Here’s what to do to keep yourself safe in such situations:

If you’re selling a small product, it’s best to meet the buyer in a public place. We recommend places such as malls or coffee shops. Additionally, you shouldn’t go alone. Take a friend with you if possible.

In cases where you’re selling products like used furniture or large appliances, you may need to invite the buyer to your home.

To reduce the chances of things going awry, make sure to have the buyer’s full name, address, and phone number. Having this information will allow you to get a hold of them if something goes wrong.

3. Vetting Buyers Carefully

When using Craigslist, you’ll inevitably run into scammers and fake buyers with malicious intents.

To keep yourself distanced from such individuals, conduct a thorough vetting of buyers before engaging with them.

Some red flags to look out for include:

  • Emails that are full of spelling and grammatical errors
  • The buyer refuses to meet in person
  • The buyer insists on paying with a cashier’s check

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequent questions those considering selling on Craigslist usually have:

Does Craigslist Take a Percentage of What You Sell?

Unlike Amazon and eBay, Craigslist doesn’t charge any fees or commissions for selling most product categories.

That being said, you may need to pay a small fee on listings for categories such as cars and apartment rentals.

Do I Need an Account to Sell on Craigslist?

When you look at Facebook Marketplace vs Craigslist, one of the main differences is that the latter doesn’t require you to have an account to sell on it.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create a Craigslist account. Having one offers several benefits, such as lower listing fees and easier listing management.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

  • How to Sell on Amazon: Find a high profit margin product to sell, set up your Amazon account, and you’re good to go!
  • How to Sell on eBay: Whether you’re looking to get rid of clutter or trying to start a fully-fledged e-commerce business, eBay is a great way to go!
  • How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace: Take advantage of the astronomical viewership on the world’s leading social media platform to line your pockets with cash!

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for ways to earn some extra bucks, selling products on Craigslist is a great way to do so.

Following the guidelines and tips we’ve outlined will significantly raise the probability of your Craigslist venture being a fruitful one.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments below. In addition, don’t forget to share this guide with your family and friends if you found the information in it useful.

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