Reselling stuff to make money is not a new concept. For decades, people have placed ads in the classifieds section of newspapers selling everyday items, like horses, buggies, boats, and pianos. Now you probably don’t have a horse and buggy taking up space in your garage, but you box use websites like Craigslist to sell just about anything you own (like this tennis racquet that gets more action swatting flies on the patio than serving tennis balls on the court).
If you’re curious about earning a little extra cash or freeing up space in your home by selling stuff online, Craigslist is a super easy and fast way to make some cash. How’s that for modern technology? Keep reading to find out 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 items, sports equipment and more. Chances are, if you own it, there’s a sale category for it and someone on the other side of the computer will want to buy it.
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Whatever items take up space, don’t be afraid to start a side business and sell them instead of throwing them away or giving them away. I’m a big fan of simplifying and decluttering what I own and make money at the same time. And one of the easiest ways to do both is to create an article on Craigslist. Alright, George. I know I can sell my collection of vintage sweater vests for cash, but how do I post a Craigslist ad?
Make Money with Craigslist in These Top Cities
We’ll see how to create a Craigslist ad in a second, but first let’s look at the best cities using Craigslist. No matter where you live, you can advertise in a major US city near you. Check out these top cities for Craigslist users:
Even though Craigslist is most popular in these cities, you can create listings for small towns in every state, and even around the world! A quick browse through the Craigslist website will show you where people are posting in the forums.
How to post on Craigslist
Posting an ad on Craigslist is simple. When you visit Craigslist’s homepage, you’ll automatically be directed to the city closest to you. Click “create ad” in the left sidebar, then choose the type of ad you want to post (probably “for sale by owner”). Next, you’ll choose a category for the item you’re selling, such as appliances, baby items, books and magazines, jewelry, and more.
Then you will 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 earn extra money with these ads, that’s where the magic happens! I want you to put on your shiniest seller hat and use this opportunity to wow some eager Craigslist buyers.
You’re not selling the old blender your mother-in-law gave you. You are gifting a modern, luxury four-blade kitchen assistant in mint condition that can whip up soup, smoothies and other culinary dreams at the push of a button. Listing it for $40 on Craigslist is a steal considering it was originally $250 and has been sitting in a box in the closet since your wedding six years ago! Include your contact details and that’s it. . . you just posted an article on Craigslist. (Be careful what contact information 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 to put a photo and title on a Craigslist post and expect people to start bidding on your stuff. You need 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 grab a buyer’s attention:
1. Use clear, high-quality images.
Staging a bike in a messy garage will distract buyers, so why not lower that kickstand and snap a photo of the bike on the street with the natural lighting of Mother Nature?
2. Use keywords to describe your article.
Be as descriptive as possible without boring the reader. If you can find the item description online from the manufacturer, reference that information in your message.
3. Use good formatting.
Buyers will be discouraged by misspellings, very long sentences or missing information. Make your post sound like a real human who cares for writing 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 reduce the number of questions people ask and help you move that item faster.
5. Include contact information, payment and delivery options.
Want money for your coffee table? Make sure it’s in your message. Prefer PayPal payment when express shipping a pair of Jordans across state lines? Add it too.
And don’t forget: Always keep an eye out for fishy activity when selling stuff online (and when I say fishy, I don’t mean that serenaded Big Mouth Billy Bass you’re selling for a few bucks). Beware of 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 shipping shoes. The buyer wanted them shipped internationally, and they “paid” me for it. Turns out PayPal’s payment confirmation wasn’t legit (they even spoofed the sender of the email to be PayPal!). So be very careful about the payment side.
How to Budget Your Craigslist Income
I’m proud of you for posting an ad for that bright green velvet chair you use to store those not-clean-but-not-quite-soil-yet-clean clothes. Time to sell that thing on Craigslist (the chair, not the dirty clothes) and get into the habit of using the shopping cart. Mom would be proud. And you’ll be happy 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 will want to track every dollar you earn and give it a job. Every time I make a sale online, I use the EveryDollar app to track my earnings and give that money a work to help me achieve my financial goals. Try it today, it’s free!