How To Sell on Craigslist

how to sell on craigslist

Editorial Process:

Our guides and reviews are written by experts who use their real-life experience. You can learn how we write our reviews by checking our editorial process.

Some links in this article are special affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, we might get a small reward at no extra cost to you. We recommend these products because we’ve used them and really like them. This site isn’t intended to give out financial advice. You can see more about our affiliate links in our privacy policy.

Table of Contents

Craigslist is an online marketplace where you can sell anything from furniture to electronics, but it can also be overwhelming and risky without the right approach.

Do you want to earn extra cash by selling on Craigslist but don’t know how?

You’ve come to the right place.

I wrote this guide to teach you how to sell on Craiglist. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to ensure a smooth and successful selling experience on Craigslist, even if you’re selling a car!

Let’s begin.

How Does Craigslist Work?

Craigslist is a popular website for viewing and posting local ads for free. It’s similar to a catalog or newspaper ad, except it’s online.

You can find almost anything on Craigslist, including job postings, apartments, used cars, garage sales, unwanted items, and personal ads.

With its easy-to-use interface and extensive listings, Craigslist has become a go-to destination for anyone looking for goods or services in their local community.

How To Sell on Craigslist Safely

Do you want to know how to sell a car on Craigslist? How about how to sell puppies on Craigslist?

Follow these steps to sell anything on Craigslist.

1. Gather the Products You Want To Sell.

Collect everything you want to sell on Craigslist. Ensure the items are clean and in good condition to make them more appealing to potential buyers.

2. Create a Craigslist Account.

You don’t need an account to post your items, but having one makes it easier to manage all your posts.

Creating a Craigslist account is easy and free. Go to Craigslist and click my account in the top left corner.

how to sell on craigslist

Enter the email address you want to use for your account on the Create an account field under the Log in field.

Create a Craigslist Account

Craigslist will send an account activation link to the email address you provided. Open your email account and click the link to activate your Craigslist account.

3. Write a Detailed Posting Description.

Write a Detailed Posting Description

Provide all the necessary item details to help buyers make informed decisions. Include a clear and concise title with a good description that accurately describes the item.

Add a detailed description of the product’s features, specifications, and condition. Describe any flaws or defects the item may have.

While being detailed is crucial, you must use as few words as possible to describe your product to avoid turning off potential buyers. No one wants to read overly lengthy product descriptions.

4. Post High-quality Pictures.

Post pictures of each item to give potential buyers a concrete idea of what you’re selling.

Use natural light and take clear, well-lit photos of each item you sell on Craigslist. Doing so helps build trust among buyers because they can see the actual item’s condition before making an offer or purchasing it.

Edit images to remove unnecessary elements and highlight the item you’re selling.

5. Set a Fair Price.

Research prices and the current market value of similar items to set competitive prices. You must also consider your item’s features, condition, and value.

6. Promptly Respond to Buyers.

Once your listing is live, you’ll start receiving inquiries and text messages from people.

Quickly respond to queries, be courteous and professional, and provide adequate information.

7. Meet With Buyers in a Safe Location.

When meeting prospective buyers, choose a public location like a coffee shop or grocery store parking lot. Avoid meeting in secluded places or your area of residence, and consider bringing someone with you for additional safety.

8. Accept Secure Payment Options.

It’s best to use cash for payments. If you must accept payment via check, wire transfer, or money order, ensure the funds are clear before giving the item to the buyer.

9. Follow Up With Buyers.

After completing the transaction, follow up with the buyer to determine their satisfaction with the item. Doing so increases your chances of gaining positive reviews and future sales.

How To Sell Something on Craigslist

Wondering how to post on Craigslist for sale? I’ll discuss the process for listing items for sale on Craigslist in this section.

Here’s how to list something on Craigslist.

1. Set Your Location.

How To Sell Something on Craigslist

The first step in the selling process is to set your location.

The right side of the Craigslist page displays a list of major cities nearby.

If you can’t find your city on the list, scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the links to refine your location.

2. Post “For Sale” Ads.

Post "For Sale" Ads.

Click the create a posting button and select the appropriate posting title or category to sell something or advertise a service, then create a post.

Craigslist will redirect you to a page displaying a list of posting types. Select the appropriate one.

You can choose between the for sale by owner and for sale by dealer options.

The for sale by owner option is ideal if you want to successfully sell random used items.

Meanwhile, the for sale by dealer option is suitable if you’re a recurring seller with an inventory.

After choosing your option, it will display another category page with over 100 categories. Choose one that best describes the items you’re selling.

Click on the general for sale option if your products don’t fall under a specific category.

Click on the general for sale option
80c265b3 8b4e 4786 a6b3 9b988ce9789f

Here’s how to advertise on Craigslist locally:

  • Write a compelling headline.

  • Provide clear and detailed information.

  • Set competitive prices.

  • Use relevant keywords.

  • Use high-quality photos.

  • Be responsive.

3. Review and Publish Your Craigslist Post.

Review and Publish Your Craigslist Post.

Review your post and click Publish once you’re happy.

Note: It may take one or two hours before your ad appears on search results. This waiting time is normal, so just be patient.

4. Communicate With Buyers or Sellers.

Interested parties can contact you through Craigslist’s anonymous email system, and you can respond directly from your inbox.

5. Make Arrangements and Complete the Transaction

You can get contact info and meet interested buyers.

How To Sell Safely on Craigslist To Avoid Scammers

Now that you know how to sell things on Craigslist successfully, you can focus on staying safe and avoiding scammers. 

Follow these tips to ensure your safety on Craigslist.

1. Exercise Caution When Communicating With Buyers

Be wary of buyers who ask for personal information like your home address or banking details. Never share sensitive information online or over the phone.

2. Always Meet in a Public Place

Arrange to meet buyers in a well-lit public space to ensure your safety and discourage potential scammers.

Avoid meeting at night and set meetings during the daytime as much as possible.

3. Accept Cash Only.

Avoid accepting checks or wire transfers because scammers can easily forge or cancel these transactions. Accept cash as much as possible and inspect bills for authenticity.

4. Never Ship Items Before Receiving Payment.

Do not ship an item without payment.

5. Beware of Overpayment Scams.

Be wary of buyers offering to pay more than your asking price or sending you a check for more than your advertised amount. These are often common overpayment scams.

6. Trust Your Instincts.

If a potential buyer seems suspicious or makes you uncomfortable, trust your instincts and back out of the transaction.

7. Watch Out for Fake Checks and Money Orders

Fake checks and money orders are common Craigslist scams. Verify the authenticity of the payment before accepting it.

Learning more about money order transactions is best if you aren’t knowledgeable in money orders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Craigslist Take a Percentage of What You Sell?

No. Craigslist will not take a portion of your sales. However, some third-party payment services, like PayPal or Venmo, may charge fees for processing payments.

How Much Does It Cost To Sell on Craigslist?

How much does it cost to post on Craigslist?

There are no Craigslist selling fees. You can sell items on Craigslist for free.

Do I Need an Account To Sell on Craigslist for Free?

No. You don’t need an account to sell on Craigslist, but creating one makes it easier to manage your posts, add images, and communicate with buyers.

When you post an ad without an account, Craigslist will send you an email with a unique link that allows you to edit or delete your post.

An account lets you easily manage your posts, track your activity, and communicate with buyers and sellers.

Facebook Marketplace vs. Craigslist Marketplace: Which Is Better?

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are popular online platforms for buying and selling goods and services. Each platform has its own set of pros and cons.

Here are the critical differences between the two:

Facebook Marketplace has a more extensive user base than Craigslist, with over 2 billion active users worldwide. A more extensive user base means more potential buyers.

Craigslist still has a substantial user base, especially in specific regions and for particular items.

With Facebook Marketplace, you can see the buyer’s public profile and mutual connections because Facebook Marketplace integrates with your Facebook profile. Craigslist is more anonymous.

Craigslist has a broader range of categories than Facebook, making it easier to find specific items. However, Facebook Marketplace has a more streamlined interface some users may find easier to navigate.

What Shouldn’t I Do When Selling on Craigslist?

When selling on Craigslist, there are certain things you shouldn’t do to ensure a safe and successful transaction.

Here are things to avoid when selling on Craigslist.

  • Sharing personal information

  • Agreeing to unusual payment methods

  • Shipping items before receiving payment

  • Meeting in a secluded and unsafe location

Is Craigslist Still Good for Selling?

Yes. Craigslist is an excellent platform for selling items because it has a large user base and is free to use. However, like any online marketplace, you must know the risks.

Always take the necessary precautions to protect yourself when selling something on Craigslist.

How Do You Sell on Craigslist Quickly?

Here’s how to sell on Craigslist fast.

  • Include your phone number and other contact information.

  • Include high-quality photos.

  • Delete and repost your listings after 48 hours.

  • Negotiate with buyers.

The Bottom Line

Selling on Craigslist is an excellent way to earn extra cash, but doing it safely and successfully is essential.

I hope my guide made it easier for you to understand how to sell stuff on Craigslist.

If you want to take selling more seriously, consider marketplaces other than Craigslist. Explore selling on Etsy or eBay and determine which fits your needs and goals.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request a Quote

Do you need help with anything in particular? Fill out this form and we'll get back to you.