Reselling stuff to make money isn’t a new concept. For decades, people have placed ads in the newspaper classified section to sell everyday things, like horses, buggies, boats and pianos. Now, you probably don’t have a horse and buggy taking up space in your garage, but you can use websites like Craigslist to sell just about anything else you’ve got lying around (like that tennis racket that gets more action swatting flies on the patio than serving up tennis balls on the court).
If you’re curious about making a little extra money or clearing out space in your house by selling things online, Craigslist is a super simple—and fast—way to make some cash. How’s that for modern technology? Keep reading to learn how to post on Craigslist.
What Is Craigslist?
Glad you asked. Craigslist is a free online forum with sales categories for almost anything you can imagine. Think antiques, appliances, beauty and health, cars and motorcycles, household goods, sports gear and more. Chances are, if you own it, there’s a sales category for it—and someone on the other side of the computer will want to buy it.
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Whatever stuff you’ve got sitting around taking up space, don’t be afraid to start a side hustle and sell it instead of throwing it away or donating it. I’m a big fan of simplifying and decluttering what I own and making money at the same time. And one of the easiest ways to do both is to make a Craigslist post. Okay, George. I know I can sell my vintage sweater vest collection for cash, but how do I post a Craigslist ad?
Make Money With Craigslist in These Top Cities
We’re going to look at how to make a Craigslist ad in just a second, but first let’s check out the top cities using Craigslist. No matter where you live, you can make a listing in a major U.S. city near you. Check out these top cities for Craigslist users:
- Craigslist Austin
- Craigslist Chicago
- Craigslist Denver
- Craigslist Houston
- Craigslist Las Vegas
- Craigslist Milwaukee
- Craigslist Phoenix
- Craigslist Sacramento
- Craigslist San Antonio
- Craigslist San Diego
- Craigslist Seattle
- Craigslist Spokane
Even though Craigslist is most popular in these cities, you can make listings for smaller cities in every state—and even around the world! A quick browse on the Craigslist website will show you everywhere people are posting in the forums.
How to Post on Craigslist
Posting an ad on Craigslist is simple. When you visit the Craigslist homepage, you’ll automatically be directed to the city closest to where you live. Click “create a posting” on the left sidebar, then choose the type of posting you want to make (most likely “for sale by owner”). Next, you’ll pick a category for the item you’re selling—like appliances, baby stuff, books and magazines, jewelry, etc.
Then, you’ll start creating the post. You’ll add photos and enter a title, price, item description and other details, like item size and condition. If you want to make extra money with these ads, this is where the magic happens! I want you to put on your shiniest salesman hat and embrace this opportunity to wow some eager Craigslist shoppers.
You’re not selling any ol’ blender your mother-in-law gave you. You’re offering up a mint condition, modern, deluxe, four-blade kitchen wizard that can whip up soup, smoothies and other culinary dreams with the press of a button. Listing it for $40 on Craigslist is a bargain considering it originally cost $250 and has been sitting in a box in the cupboard since your wedding six years ago! Include your contact info and voilà . . . you’ve just made a Craigslist post. (Be careful what contact info you choose to include. You can use Craigslist’s built-in email privacy tool and even create an alternate Google Voice phone number to use.)
How to Make Your Craigslist Ad Stand Out
Unfortunately, it’s not always enough just to throw a picture and a title up on a Craigslist post and expect people to start bidding on your stuff. You’ve got to put in a little extra effort to make your Craigslist posts stand out. Here are five ways to make your Craigslist post jump off the page and catch a buyer’s attention:
1. Use clear, high-quality pictures.
Staging a bike in a messy garage will distract buyers, so why not flip down that kickstand and take a picture of the bike in the street with Mother Nature’s natural lighting?
2. Use keywords to describe your item.
Be as descriptive as you can without boring the reader. If you can find the item’s description online from the manufacturer, reference that information in your post.
3. Use good formatting.
Buyers will be turned off by misspellings, super long sentences or missing information. Make your post look like an actual human who cares wrote it.
4. Include important information, like brands and dimensions.
It’s the little things that convince a buyer to buy . . . or not. If you’re selling furniture or a TV, add the measurements. This will cut down on the number of questions people ask and help you move that item faster.
5. Include contact info, payment and delivery options.
Want cash for your coffee table? Make sure that’s in your post. Prefer a PayPal payment when you express ship a pair of Jordans across state lines? Add that too.
And don’t forget: Always keep an eye out for fishy activity when you sell things online (and when I say fishy, I don’t mean that serenading Big Mouth Billy Bass you’re selling for a few bucks). Look out for suspicious email responses asking for your banking information or other online scams. I say this from experience. When I was a teenager, I fell for a Craigslist scam while shipping some shoes. The buyer wanted them shipped internationally, and they “paid” me for it. Turns out the payment confirmation from PayPal wasn’t legit (they even spoofed the email sender to be PayPal!). So, be super cautious when it comes to the payment side.
How to Budget Your Craigslist Income
I’m proud of you for posting an ad for that bright green velvet armchair you’ve been using to hold those clothes that aren’t clean but aren’t quite dirty yet. It’s time to sell that thing on Craigslist (the chair, not the dirty clothes) and make it a habit to use the hamper. Mom would be proud. And you’ll be glad to have some extra cash.
And one more thing: When you start making money from your Craigslist sales, don’t forget to include that extra income in your budget. You’ll want to track every dollar that you make and give it a job. Every time I make an online sale, I use the EveryDollar app to track my income and give that money a job to help me reach my money goals. Give it a try today—it’s free!