How to Sell on Craigslist and Make Money Online in 2020

What is Craigslist?

What is Craigslist

It is an online marketplace that connects both buyers and dealers. It is a simple-to-use online medium that helps turn clutter into cash. People sell on Craigslist as a side hustle or because they need to get rid of items for money. Since 1995, the company has dominated trading on the internet. 

It is also an online community for circulating advertisements and announcements about exchanging goods and services such as gigs, jobs, housing, and other commodities. The site has discussion forums and a special area for the publishing of resumes. 

Not only are traders in the art of selling on Craigslist. Employers and job hunters also utilize it to find prospective employers/employees. 

How Does Craigslist Make Money?  

How Does Craigslist Make Money

For most of its services, except for a few exceptions, it is free. So, how does craigslist make money? How does such a free service generate so much revenue?

Although it is possible to sell on Craigslist without any fees charged, a handful of ad types cost a fee. This is the simple and surest way it makes money, from the fees paid on certain types of commercials. 

For a free service that charges only a few types of posts, it generates a lot of profit. In 2019, it made a revenue of $760 million. In the previous year, it reached $1 billion. 

Craigslist Fees 

Selling on Craigslist is not free for the following services:

  • Some job commercials.
  • Vehicle sales by U.S and Vancouver dealers.
  • Furniture sales by U.S and Vancouver dealers.
  • Apartment Rentals in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.
  • Gigs for the U.S market and some parts of Canada 
  • U.S and Canada based services 

How to Post on Craigslist?

How to Post on Craigslist

Figuring out how to post on craigslist is without much difficulty. By looking at and replicating what successful merchants are publicizing, selling on Craigslist will be a massive success. Here are some sure steps to publish goods and services on the e-marketplace:


This is the first step to take to place any items or services on the website. It is an essential part of learning how to sell on Craigslist. Don’t do this, and there is no result. 

Select the State You Reside In

After navigating to, the next step is to pick a state, preferably the state of residence. By default, the site utilizes the user’s location to local classified. However, it may not be accurate.

On the right side of the page, select one of the major cities from the list there close to the location. If none of the options there is helpful, scroll to the bottom of the list. There, links are available to help find a home location.

For U.S residents, click on the link “US States.”

Another way is to input the state name, then full stop before For example,

Navigate to the Post to Classifieds

The clickable ‘post to classifieds’ is on the left side of the page. It is under the ‘Craigslist’ name. Once clicked, the next page allows for the selection of publishing types.

Navigate to the “for Sales” Button

After clicking the “for sales” button, it will automatically load another page. This category page has a massive list of over 100 categories. Narrow down the choice available to just one by clicking on the most appropriate option. Ensure it is a match for the goods or services for sale.

If none of the categories matches, pick the general for sale category. After selecting the appropriate category, the next step is to enter the posting information.

Input Posting Information

The posting information is what potential consumers will search for on the website. It contains the following data: the title, copy, and price. This is where to input the following data.

Posting Title 

This is the heading of the item for sale. It is what shoppers will see in the search results when looking for a particular commodity to buy.


The price column is where to fill in the cost of the item(s). Purchasers will also see this when they search for a particular item.

Specific Location

In this column, fill in the country of residence, city, part of town, or any other relevant details. It is not a place to put in personal address details!

Reply To

This is the box to put a contact email address. Two options are available: either create a contact email address or employ an anonymous one for this ad. The anonymous option is the best match for the “for sale by owners” option. It helps avoid spam.

For dealers, put personal business contact instead in the ad. Adding a phone number is another option. Also, it is possible to include accepting text messages.

Posting Description

This is the field to make the sales pitch. It is what the buyer reads that can convince or chase them away. Want to sell? Try making it as catchy and interesting as possible. Without any knowledge of how to write sales copy, getting copies of newspapers just to look at the ad sections is helpful. Don’t oversell or stand the risk of repealing instead of attracting customers.


Another tip is to avoid overhyping the product, stick with the fact. If there is any damage, state it here.

Check the form from the title to the description, ensure all the fields are green, and there is no error.

Include Images

This simple act is a no-brainer. It is how to sell on Craigslist successfully. A product without pictures will not do well. Purchasers want to have a fill of what they are buying, so include pictures. Even if the copy is not appealing, pictures can save the day. 

Adding images is optional. Except sales is not the aim, always include as many high-resolution pictures as possible. The maximum number of pictures allowed is 24. Include real pictures of the product for sale instead of using internet images.

Once all the images finish loading, hit the Done with the images button.

Go Over Your Listing

After submitting, go over it again, gently looking for errors. If there are errors that need changing, click on the Edit buttons: Edit Text or Edit Images, to make any correction.

Hit the Continue Button

After going through the listing and perfected the ad, click the continue button to proceed further. Scroll down to the end of the page to find the button. Once hit, the ad will be available in about 15 minutes or less. This function will only work with an account. 



Congratulations, it is all done; the ad is now live! Vending is a smooth ride with these steps. It may take up to two hours before the commercials published appear in the search results. Be patient!

7 Tips for Selling on Craigslist

Tips for Selling on Craigslist

It is an excellent marketplace for exchanging goods and services. Unfortunately, many vendors don’t know how to sell on Craigslist. They publish their ads and wonder why people are not buying. The following tips for selling on craigslist will solve this problem.

Adequate Research and Planning

Before circulating ads, do some research and create a plan. Find out the best price range, how to write the best description that converts, and where to get quality pictures. 

Without conducting adequate research, bad results set it. The first thing to note is that it is a competitive marketplace. Many people are vending the same products. To stand out from the crowd, adequate research and planning are essential.

Pick the Appropriate Category and Region

This is part of the research work. By choosing the right category and region, there is access to a more interesting pool of searches. Selecting the right category can be the difference between trading an item or not.

Also, narrow down the search to more precise locations. From the drop-down menu, pick the state of residence and city. There is also the option of picking smaller ranges, such as neighborhoods. 


Write Clear Descriptions

After reading the ad headline, the interested buyer’s next point of attraction is the product description. Ensure that the description is simple to read and understand. It should be readable by a 6th grader. 

The Hemingway App (it is not an app but a website) is a great resource to utilize to check the readability of written descriptions. Input the words on the website, and it will calculate the grade level that can read it. Also, it highlights complex words, passive voices, and words that have similar alternatives. 

Include all details in the product description, such as the object’s condition, price, technical specs, and contact details.

Use Quality Images

Shoppers love to have a feel of what they are purchasing. Since they can’t see the goods in person, the product images are the best they can use to feel it. Always put high-resolution images that are clear and attractive. 

Before taking a photo of products to upload, give it a professional background. Ensure the lighting is right, and the background is good.

Set the Right Price

Pricing products is tricky. If done right, it attracts purchasers; but if done wrongly, it repeals shoppers. A helpful tip is to check the prices of other dealers on the platform and other marketplaces like eBay. This will help to set up a good price range.

Batch Related Products

When vending products that are alike, instead of placing ads for each one of them, batch them as one ad. It can help the seller stand out from competitors and trade more efficiently. If the bulk price is set right, purchasers may feel the urgency to buy. 


Create a Sense of Urgency 

By setting a deadline for sales of commodities, shoppers feel added pressure (a sense of urgency) to buy. Instead of making ads last for a month, set it for a couple of days. Purchasers will feel that the offer is running away, and they need to act now before they lose it. 

How to Sell on Craigslist Safely in 2020

How to Sell on Craigslist Safely

It allows people to buy goods and services. However, not everyone online wants to trade. Some have sinister motives. Here is how to sell on craigslist safely in 2020 and not fall victim to internet fraudsters.

Choose a Public Location for Meeting

A public location is the safest place to meet a stranger. Take a friend along to the public place as an extra hand. Some good public spaces to use include malls, parks, and coffee shops. Keep mobile phones active during the meeting. 

Take Safety Precautions When Meeting Point Is Home

Some commodities are not possible to take to public places to trade; an example is a piece of furniture. The buyer has to visit the dealer’s home. 

It is the responsibility of the dealer to take all necessary safety precautions. Some safety tips include having a friend or family member at home and meeting in the day time.

Ensure the Transaction Is Worth It

The whole process takes time. It involves answering messages, meeting the potential buyer, and reaching a final agreement. If the article for sale is inexpensive, it may not be worth the time. However, it is an expensive article. The time spent is worth it. 

Use a Proxy Email Address Instead of a Real One

Take advantage of the proxy email addresses issued by Craiglist. Using these proxy addresses prevents spammers from flooding the inbox with unsolicited emails. Once an interested buyer comes in, switch the conversation to a cell phone for faster communication. 

Establish Everything in Advance Before Meeting

To prevent meetings with potential shoppers from going sour, plan for all details ahead. Establish the price, the meeting venue and time, payment option, and other unique scenarios via email, text, or calls. After all, these are in place, the meeting can now happen.

Cash Over Other Payment Options

As a safety precaution, insist on cash for payment from purchasers. There are lots of scammers online that can fake alerts and checks. By collecting cash, the only problem is to check the authenticity of the notes.  

Be Cautious With Expensive Commodities

Expensive commodities are the targets of scammers. When trading expensive products, be very cautious and take all the security precautions listed above.  

Listen to Your Instincts 

Intuition is the best asset for detecting scammers or risky situations. It helps vet purchasers listen to it. Listen to that inner voice or uneasy feeling more. Feel free to cancel transactions at will.

How to Avoid Scams on Craigslist When Trading

There are several pitfalls to avoid when vending on the platform. In addition to learning how to sell on Craigslist, it is equally important to know how to avoid scams. Here are some tips to watch out for when vending to prevent scams.

  • Deal Face-to-Face With Interested Parties: This simple act alone can prevent 99% of scam attempts. For local buyers, it is best to deal with them face-to-face. 
  • Wire Transfer Is a Red Flag: Anyone buyer or dealer that asks for a wire transfer is a scammer. Better to deal with local buyers that are up for physical meetings.
  • Read the Terms and Conditions: By reading the T&C carefully, it is easy to identify the best practices to avoid scams online.
  • Meet at a Public Place: The best place to meet a potential buyer or dealer is in a public place. Set the timing of the meeting for day time. 
  • Shipping: It does not provide much support for product shipping. The website is best for local transactions.

FAQ section

  • How Safe Is Craigslist for Selling?

    It is safe if the transaction is face-to-face between locals. However, where the buyer refuses to meet in person, or the person lives in another area, it is unsafe to conduct all transactions online.
    By following the best practices for trading on the platform, such as using the provided proxy address and meeting face-to-face with buyers, it is a safe place for trading.

  • Should I Put My Phone Number on Craigslist?

    Sharing phone numbers on the platform, just like other personal information, is not the safest of practices. Some scammers frequent the platform to look for phone numbers to target.

  • Is It Better to Sell on eBay or Craigslist?

    Both are great marketplaces for trading used products. There is no straight pick between the two. The product for sale determines which platform for trading that article – eBay or Craigslist.
    Craigslist is awesome for furniture sales, while eBay is a better fit for collectibles. It is worth noting that Craigslist is a free service for the most part, while eBay charges a service fee.

  • Is It Easy to Sell on Craigslist?

    Vending items are easy on the platform. Visit to publish ads for unwanted products. It is easy to find buyers online compared to hosting a garage sale. It is possible to offer for sale a single piece to prospective buyers. Just publish ads for the item on the website to attract buyers.

  • Does Craigslist Take a Percentage of What You Sell?

    It does not take a percentage of sales; it is, for the most part, a free service that offers free job ads. However, in some cases, fees apply. Job ads in some areas of Canada and America attract fees ranging from $10-$75. Other ads such as rentals in some US cities, services in Canada, and the US, and others attract a fee.

  • Can You Ship Things on Craigslist?

    Yes, it is possible to do so. However, it does not offer shipping services; it connects buyers and dealers. The responsibility of shipping lies on the dealer. When shipping items to buyers, ensure to take the necessary precautions to avoid falling into the traps of scammers.

How to Sell On Craigslist: Earn More

It is generally a safe platform for trading if users follow its precautions. With the platform, it is possible to earn thousands of dollars monthly from trading unwanted things.
Apart from vending items, merchants also buy items to repair and refurbish and put up for sale at a profit. The merchants who earn big bulks target a particular niche. A pro tip to writing good ads is to create a checklist.
Anyone can sell on the platform, but only a few know how to attract customers and sell for a profit. What other pro tips are useful for selling safely and profitably on the e-commerce website? Comment below.