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How To Sell On Craigslist? Guide & Tips

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By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

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In today’s consumerism society, we tend to accumulate lots of possessions year after year. It is only when we move house or decide to clean things up that we realize how much junk we have lying around that we rarely use.

Yeah, well, garbage might be the wrong choice of words. Many of the stuff you’ve got around may still be in good operating order, but you don’t have the time to use it, or you can’t see much use in your life.

We can all relate to it in some form or fashion. You may not have stuff hanging around that you rarely use, but you purchased a new 96-inch UHD LED TV on the weekend, so you don’t have much place to put your old 55-inch one.

What are you going to do with all your discarded possessions? Sure, you may have a yard sale, but who has the time to waste a whole Saturday planning the auction?


You might not have any possessions to sell, but do you think the latest commodity you bought from China last week would be a hot seller in the United States? Selling a product online sounds like a perfect way to make a tidy profit, but how do you start?

Anything you ‘re selling, whether it’s items, things, or garbage that you’ve been sitting around in your home — Craigslist provides a world of opportunities to sell your stuff. We agreed to put together this quick guide on how to sell Craigslist products.

You will find strategies that will help improve the visibility and impact of your advertisement. Follow this step-by-step Craigslist sales guide and make money on this online marketplace.

What Is Craigslist?

Craigslist’s website
Craigslist’s website

Craigslist is one of the most popular online classified websites globally, covering 50 countries and hundreds of small and big cities in the United States, enabling you to post work ads, things you want to sell, and even personal advertisements.

Craigslist ‘s success has rapidly made it a hub for users looking for a bargain on the Internet. Craigslist itself is not illegal, but you must be careful when you use it to purchase goods and services.

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Who should sell on Craigslist?

In fact, Craigslist is such a useful tool for those who are about to move. On the other hand, Craigslist is also used for serious business purposes when some people make efforts to turn Craigslist selling into their main job.

Some have a habit of keeping things for too long with the thinking that they will suddenly need them or have the ability to fix them one day. There must be lots of stuff in your hour or your garage that you haven’t used in years. This platform is perfect for them!

Craigslist is a perfect moving tool
Craigslist is a perfect moving tool

There are two benefits easy to be seen from moving. Firstly, it is a great opportunity allowing people to let go multiple unneeded items they have kept over the years. Secondly, getting rid of these items can be profitable when there is a lot of money to be made and saved on Craigslist.

Should you sell on Craigslist?

Is it a good idea to sell on Craigslist?
Is it a good idea to sell on Craigslist?

Selling on Craigslist can be a great way to make money on the side or enhance your business sales and visibility. There is no guarantee that you will turn a profit, but these key steps may increase your chances of success:

  • Identify and avoid scams. Like a lot of online platforms, Craigslist is a hotbed for scammers. Secure yourself by keeping your confidential details tight. So do not accept cashier cards, approved cards, or money orders from customers.
  • Taking images in good quality. Clear pictures of the brand from all angles legitimize the offer, making you more appealing to prospective customers.
  • Write the stories simply and appealingly. It’s the first thing your buyers will see, and putting your mind on the headline can take a long way.
  • Properly price the products. Do some research to determine the fair price of your items to help you stand out in this competitive marketplace.

How much does it cost selling on Craigslist?

To sell items on Craigslist, you have to upload posts on the website advertising about your stuff first. So do you have to pay for those posts?

In general, all Craigslist postings are free and you don’t have to pay for uploading fee. Nonetheless, there are still exceptional cases when you have to give money. Some occasions will be presented below:

  • Job postings in the US and selected CA areas: $10 to $75 (varies by area)
  • Apartment rentals postings in Boston, Chicago, and NYC areas: $5
  • Commercial real estate postings in the US: $5
  • All for sale by-dealer categories in the US: $3 to $5
  • Cars/trucks by-dealer in the US, Vancouver BC: $5
  • Furniture by-dealer in Vancouver BC: $3
  • Cars/trucks, RVs, and motorcycles by-owner in the US: $5
  • Gigs in the US and selected CA areas: $3 to $10
  • Services in the US and CA: $5

In this platform, many familiar payment systems and debit cards are accepted like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. In some special cases, paid posting accounts provide high-volume posters with additional payment options

If you get any questions in Craigslist postings cost, you can send an email to [email protected] for more information.

How to create Account to sell on Craigslist

Create a seller account on Craigslist
Create a seller account on Craigslist

Okay, so you’re excited to start selling Craigslist, but you’re not sure how to make a Craigslist page. Luckily, this is a super-easy set-up. You will get an account up and running in less than 5 minutes.

Steps to create a Craigslist Account:

  • Step 1: Go to this link and enter your email.
  • Step 2: After you submit your email, Craiglist will email you a confirmation email and a link. Go to your email box and click the link to verify your account.
  • Step 3: After that, you will be asked to create a password and accept their terms and conditions. And done!

After completing these three simple steps, you will be able to post your first item on the Craigslist marketplace. Next up, we’ll show you how to post Craigslist and the most famous products on the website.

How to post products on Craigslist for selling

Products on Craigslist
Products on Craigslist

Our biggest complaint about Craigslist is its sub-par degree of user-friendliness — posting to Craigslist can be a little complicated, so make sure you ‘re paying careful attention to the following steps.

Steps to posting on Craigslist:

  • Step 1: Go to the Craigslist home page and select which city you want to post in (if you sell locally, you should post in your city or a city near you).
  • Step 2: Select “Post to Classifieds” at the top left corner of the page. Then, you will be asked which category you want to upload in – select the appropriate category.
  • Step 3: You need to fill out all the necessary details for your post, including price, description, and the email you want people to reply to. Once you have filled out this information, hit “Continue.”
  • Step 4: Upload photos of your product from your mobile phone or computer, click “Done with images ,” and then “Publish”.
  • Step 5: Craigslist will then send you an email with a confirmation link. Once you confirm your post, you can expect your Craigslist ad to go live in about 15 minutes.

How to find success with selling on Craigslist

Selling on Craigslist
Selling on Craigslist

Do your research and make a plan

Don’t just jump into your Craigslist business without some careful planning and investigation. You will need to do some research to find the best price and write the best description, especially if you don’t know your item’s technical specifications.

For example, while I was unpacking, I realized that I had two digital cameras. I didn’t know a thing about any of them, but they were both phones, so I wanted one of them to be a buck. I studied both cameras on technology forums, pointed out which one I should carry, and posted the other using the reported requirements and pricing as a guideline.

Keep in mind that Craigslist is a very competitive marketplace, and other people are likely to be selling items that are very similar to yours. If you have more details, prospective customers are more likely to find you and more likely to do business with you.

Unless you have an unusual collectible or antique, you can do all your work in three simple steps:

  • Look up your item on famous website reviews or prices. For example, most electronics may be researched on the CNET or the manufacturer’s website. Both sources will provide you with technical specifications and features. You will then use this information to provide prospective customers with the appropriate data.
  • Find the actual price of a new commodity to be sold. Quick Google search should give you a good gage, so you can do some comparison shopping on a few sites that are unique to your kind of item or other large online stores. Of course, you ‘re not going to market a used item for as much money as a new purchase might cost, so this discount will give you a limit to help you work out the selling price.
  • Compare what you have with the other products listed on Craigslist and eBay. Somewhere in the price range of your fellow sellers, you’ll want to charge for the two most popular online markets, or you won’t get many offers.

Take notes. It might sound like simple guidance from your third-grade tutor, but when you’re looking around at stock rates, write down the figures you ‘re seeing, or take electronic notes. When you’re selling a few things, you don’t want to rely on your memory to hold all the price ranges intact. Organized notes can make it much easier to negotiate for the final amount.

Price your product correctly

Pricing may sound like a big-time commitment, but it’s not the tricky part, at least. It’s time to make a price for your item. Ask for so much money, and you’re not going to get a valid response. Place the price too low, and you’re going to leave the money on the table.

Looking at other Craigslist vendors and eBay listings, you have a decent idea of the price range. Now, take a hard look at your item ‘s condition. When it’s missing bits, doesn’t fit properly, or you’ve only seen better days, maybe you should lean on the low side of the scale. On the other hand, whether it’s in perfect shape or like-new, you should go to the top of the list.

Be rational about that. You might think that your item is worth more than it really is to someone else. When you lose control, you ‘re going to end up losing time. Yeah, the DVD player was a high-end machine when you had it as a graduation gift five years ago, but since then you’ve spilled your drink twice, and newer Blu-ray players come out. No one is going to give you $200 for it now.

When it comes to pricing the piece, determine if you want to run the ad at a fixed price or as a “best bid” price. A solid price is going to get you exactly what you want, but you need to draw the right customer. If you run the best offer ad, you might not make as much money as you thought you could, but you’ll get a lot of interest from potential customers.

Take great product photos for selling on Craigslist
Take great product photos for selling on Craigslist

Take good photos of your product

When it comes to shopping online, a good image is the best friend of the seller. In fact, the key to drawing a buyer can be a good picture.

Craigslist lets you post up to four pictures per ad. Although you do not need to use all four of them, you can still upload at least one simple image of the entire thing. Find close-ups on main elements or shots from various angles for the other three positions.

To make the most out of Craigslist’s photo quota, take a few pictures, and post the best four. Staging the images will allow them to become better and more appealing, so it’s easy to do a nice job right at home.

Here are some basic but essential tips for taking photos of your product:

  • Clean the product. For eg, if you’re selling a used bike, give it a good wash to avoid any dirt before you take a video. Include any extras in the picture. Gadgets and other electronics usually come with accessories, software, or manuals. Put anything you’re selling with the item in the picture.
  • Create a compatible background for the product. You can go out and use a white or black sheet as a background for your photo. A strong complementary color can allow the object to stand out. Realistically, I generally only select an area of my house clear of clutter and take a snapshot of it. You need to make it clear what you’re selling; don’t let anything else into the picture.
  • Choose the right lighting. Consider shooting the pictures in natural light. In a dark space, the object does not appear clearly, and artificial light will change the color of the picture.
  • Take several shots from different angles. You should take at least one shot from every angle.

If your product is particularly large or small, take a picture of it next to a universally known object, such as a coin or a baseball, so that potential buyers can feel the scale. Especially for electronics and tech products, where smaller is often better, you ‘re going to want to give your audience a good idea of the size of your item. Think of yourself as an advertiser when you snap photos and tell a charming story with your images.

Write appealing headlines for selling on Craigslist
Write appealing headlines for selling on Craigslist

Write an appealing headline

It doesn’t take a professional copywriter to make an appealing headline. Just remember to devote some time and thoughtfulness when you come up with a headline because the title has two important functions:

  1. It is the next thing that catches your customer’s attention after your photo
  2. It’s how shoppers search for items they want.

The use of good keywords is, therefore, the secret to an effective, searchable headline. Include as many searchable terms as you can, without confusing your title. Do your best to use the name of the item, the brand, and the condition of the item.

For example, if you’re selling an HTC Evo smartphone, your title could be Mint Condition HTC Evo Android Smartphone, Sprint PCS. BEST Deal. If you don’t have the right keywords, users looking for Craigslist products will never get a chance to see your listing.

Also, you don’t need to have the price or your location in the title. There are dedicated sections or these two pieces of information.

Write an informative and honest description

Once you’ve got prospective buyers to see your ad with a catchy headline, it’s time to seal the deal with an effective description. Craigslist offers an open text box so that you can fill in some valuable descriptive information about your product. The description will appear in front of the photos so that you can refer to them or enter them in the description.

Before contacting you, potential customers will read your profile, so write in your bio all of the necessary material that you can think of. This way, you ‘re going to reduce the number of people who call or contact you just to inquire about the piece. You ‘re going to save time and attract more buyers with a clear description.

Include the following detail in the description:

  • What you’re selling here. Start every ad with an explanation of what your item is.
  • Item condition. Briefly explain the condition of the item after the general description of the item. Please note any damages, no matter how small. Honesty is the best policy you have here.
  • Technical specifications. If you are selling any electronic gadget, please include the technical specifications on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Price. Use the description to remind readers of the price. Although Craigslist has a dedicated advertising feature, it’s a smart idea to include it in the ad as well. Make sure to mention that you’re able to make the right bid.
  • Your contact details. Add your preferred contact method to the bottom of your ad. For example, if you prefer to have buyers email you, include a note asking anyone to send an email to the address of the question ad or to make an offer on the item. If you don’t mind making phone calls, including your cell phone or home number as well.

If you don’t want to make your personal email address public, use the anonymous email feature of Craigslist. They will set up a random address that will be sent to your personal email so that you can get emails the way you ‘re used to receiving them, without giving anyone your real address.

On top of that, if you want to accept phone calls but don’t want to share your personal number, set up a Google Voice account for your Craigslist business. Your settings make it easy to block unwanted calls, and you can keep your home or cell phone number private.

Recommendation: 10 Principles to Help you Sell Anything to Anyone

How to sell on Craigslist Safely

How to sell safely on Craigslist
How to sell safely on Craigslist

Generally speaking, Craigslist is a safe site and community, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to be careful. So I just want to give you a few safety tips. Here’s how to sell Craigslist safely:

  • Always meet up in public. Meet at Starbucks, inside Target, or in the public bank’s parking lot. Only make sure you ‘re working in a place where there are a lot of people out there.
  • Don’t show your house. Never, under any circumstances, invite someone to your home or share your address with them.
  • Use your senses. If there’s something about a customer that sounds a little wrong, just stop. There’s no reason to put yourself in an unpleasant situation. It’s just money at the end of the day.
  • Have company. At the very least, you’re expected to carry a cellphone with a decent fee. And if you’ve got a muscular friend to bring him or her, too.
  • Be wary of high-priced products. People are more willing to commit a crime than to say a couple of socks over a $500 iPhone (we don’t know why anyone would buy socks on Craigslist). Anyway, be extra careful when you’re selling high-priced goods.

Further readings

Final Words

Selling on Craigslist is not an easy way to make money, but if you take time and make efforts to learn about selling this marketplace, it can make you a good amount of money as a side hustle. I hope this article has provided you with valuable information and tips about how to sell on Craigslist successfully. Please feel free to leave a comment below for further discussion. Good luck to you!

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Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.

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