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Craigslist: What It Is and How To Make a Living?

craigslist, how to make money on craigslist

Craigslist offers an excellent money-making opportunity for people who spend a lot of time online. It requires little effort and is a great avenue for cash regardless of who you are or how much you currently own.

Read through to learn more about Craigslist, whether you want to know more about its beginnings as a company or if you’re looking to it as a means of earning money.

What Is Craigslist?

Early Beginnings

Craigslist was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark, and it provides classified and local adverts on products and services. The site derives its name from its origins as an email distribution list that Newmark gave out to his friends back when he was still new in the San Francisco Bay Area. Newmark’s aim for this list was to create a list of event postings as a means of connecting with other people in social gatherings. This was something Newmark initially created for himself, being a newcomer to San Francisco and all.

Soon, Newmark’s mailing list saw significant growth thanks to word of mouth. Due to such swift development, new categories outside of events were added to Newmark’s list. Eventually, Newmark registered the “” domain and the website went live in 1996.

Craigslist Today

Craigslist enjoys high traffic on the daily. The website reaches up to 10 million people per day across the globe. While it first started off as a small mailing list, Craigslist is now a place where you can find sales messages about cars, home appliances, and even job postings online. It also features forums where members can review different products. The reviews are insightful for hands-on information on whether a product or service is worth its pricing.

As mentioned, the platform is a reference for many job seekers and job providers as well. Businesses can reach a large number of desirable skilled labor on Craigslist as the website is fairly popular amongst job seekers.

How To Sell On Craigslist

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Many business owners enjoy selling on Craigslist because of the ease it provides in reaching unique customers every day. Not only does it require minimal effort to upload product listings on the platform, but you can also sell faster on Craigslist too.

People can earn as much as $900 a month from their sales on Craigslist. But, this depends on what they sell and how much effort they put into it. With the right attitude and information, you can earn the same amount or even more on your sales.

Visit The Craigslist Website

When you visit the website, you will notice that the landing page matches your location at present. This is further indicated by its ads, which show products and services available near you. Additionally, the top right corner of the homepage shows your location as well.

If you notice that the indicated location is incorrect or inaccurate, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate “cl worldwide.” Choose your country, city, and region.

Start Posting

Once you find the page for your location, click on “Create a posting” on the top left part of the page. You will then be redirected to a page that allows you to pick a classification that best applies to your posting. Some of these classifications include “job offered,” “service offered,” and “event/class.”

Choose the classification that suits your type of product or service. While it’s possible to create an anonymous post, you can also set up an account and sign in if this is more convenient for you. To do this, simply go back to the homepage and create an account. Otherwise, click on the post option you find most applicable and click the “Continue” button to move to the next stage.

You will find a new set of categories to better identify what your Craigslist posting falls under. Is it an “antiques – by owner” or an “auto wheels & tires – by owner”? Choose the one that best describes your product.

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Provide Product Details

Give a good description that accurately describes the product or service you are looking to sell. “Posting title,” “description,” and “your email,” which have green outlines, are required information. Meanwhile, “price,” “postcode,” and other fields with black outlines are optional information for your sales item.

We recommend that you provide your location, as this will help you target users/buyers within your area. Users who find products closer to them tend to convert quicker than those who are not within their locality. Once you have put in your location, move onto the next page.

Upload Images

The next page is where you provide appropriate images for your product listing. Take note that any image for upload should be within 600 pixels by 450 pixels.

Since Craigslist allows users to upload 24 images for a post, maximize this limit by choosing the best photos of your product. The best pictures are bright, capture several aspects of a product, and show the correct height of this product. Products with photos that show the essential parts may sell faster than those without such images. Keep things accurate but simple.

Taking The Best Images For Your Product

As you know, pictures can help you drive sales faster. Buyers learn about your product more from the product images. These images also attract users to your product for sales. As such, it’s important for you to be able to photograph your products well.

For starters, your picture must be clear and bright. It’s worth noting that you don’t need the most top-of-the-line camera to take good pictures. Most smartphones today are capable of producing high quality pictures. Thus, if you find yourself in need of a good camera, you need not look any further than your own mobile phone.

Before you take your images, ensure that you have sufficient lighting where you want to shoot the photo. You can achieve better image quality if the product’s photo is taken outdoors. Remember, you need your prospects to see every detail of your product. So, take the time to present your images with adequate lighting.

Another important factor is your image background. If you must take your product’s image indoors, remove any unnecessary items that may distract viewers from the product being advertised. Poorly arranged backgrounds that are cluttered will only produce subpar product images. Be careful of backgrounds that are too flashy as well. You do not want other things distracting potential buyers from the main product that you wish to sell.

While fixing the image background, you may have to use other items for comparison with the primary product that you wish to sell. You could use these to establish the size of your product. For example, placing a Coca-Cola can or a banknote beside the product can help viewers comprehend its size more accurately.

Edit The Post And Publish

The next page is for reviewing your post before putting it on Craigslist. Here, you can edit information about your product. Name, location, and product images can all be edited. Once you are satisfied with the advert that you want to post on Craigslist, click on the “Publish” button.

Confirm Your Email Address

Craigslist will also ask you to confirm your email address. Check your inbox to complete the confirmation process. Additionally, Craigslist will send you links to “publish your ad,” “edit,” “verify your email address,” or “delete your ad.” Simply click on “publish your ad” for final confirmation of your posting. Otherwise, click on any of the other options to make any further adjustments.

Now that you have the details, the images, and the correct location for your product, you can edit it. Craigslist directs you to the page for editing your post before you publish it. Otherwise, you can click on “publish” and receive a confirmation link in your email inbox. Log into your email to confirm and publish your post on Craigslist. With that, you will have just successfully posted on Craigslist.

Staying Safe

The thought of making sales on Craigslist seems alluring, but you need to remain vigilant when it comes to your own security as well. Craigslist understands the need for protecting the seller’s privacy, hence the option of making an anonymous post. As such, be sure not to include personal information on your product details when putting up any new listings.

Also, try to meet prospective buyers at public places. Consider meeting them at your local mall and inform someone close to you of your plans to meet a buyer. You could take a friend or relative along with you when making such a transaction. This helps ensure that you remain safe when meeting customers. After all, as reliable as Craigslist is, transacting with people over the Internet still comes with some potential risks.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

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According to a study by Advanced Interactive Media Group, Craigslist made over $694 million in 2016. The classified ad website is undoubtedly one of the most successful Internet businesses of all time. How, then, does Craigslist make money when so many people use it for free?

Classified Ads Charges

Craigslist generates revenue through some classified ads. Car dealers and landlords list vehicles and apartments for prices between $10 and $70, depending on the location.

Additionally, the site charges for job listings. The classified ads for job openings now contribute a large chunk to the company’s income. This income has risen to over $1.9 million daily from multiple listings by users. Craigslist has gone from making a few hundred thousand dollars a year to nearly $1 billion annually.

Notably, the classified ads that attract charges are small in comparison to various other listings that are free. Through this, Craigslist improves on a user’s browsing experience. This is why the company has reportedly refused to adopt aggressive income-generating strategies, including the use of banner ads.

How To Advertise On Craigslist

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It’s worth noting that you can advertise on Craigslist for free. The only time you have to pay for an ad is when you list job openings, vehicles, or apartments. Other products and services may attract charges as well. But, for listing home appliances, mobile phones, furniture, and other similar products, an advert is free on Craigslist.

You can create an advert within 20 minutes when you visit the Craigslist website. Creating an advert on the platform is similar to make a regular post on it. To begin, select the region that is relevant to the advert. Then, click on the “post” button on the site’s homepage. From there, choose the category that is relevant to your advert. The categories on Craigslist include “job offered,” and “for sale by owner.” You can then choose a subcategory immediately after.

Craft an elegant message for your advert. The message should describe your product or service using less than 70 characters. Include the price of your product or service as well. Then, upload attractive images that present the offer to users. As mentioned, you have the liberty of using up to 24 images for your advert on Craigslist.

Edit your advert to attract the relevant users and click on the “publish” button to continue. Craigslist will send you a confirmation link, which you can find in your email inbox. Click on this link to successfully advertise on Craigslist.

How To reply To Craigslist Emails

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You can reply to Craigslist emails in an instant. Click on a category of interest and find an item that you wish to purchase. This could be a product or service listing on Craigslist. Then, click on the “reply” button on the top left part of the page. The button is slightly above the title of the listing that you are interested in.

Once you click on the “reply” button, you will find a dropdown for different mailing services. You could use Gmail, Yahoo, or any other email option. For this article, let’s consider how to reply using Gmail, as it is arguably the most common mailing platform on the Internet.

The moment you select Gmail, Craigslist will redirect you to a new mail tab to compose an email to the seller on Gmail. You will find the item details as the email subject and a link to the item in the body of the message.

Also, you will find a receiver’s email address in the appropriate field. The email address is not the personal address of the seller, as this is Craigslist’s effort in protecting the seller’s privacy. Though the address might appear odd, rest assured that it is a valid one so long as it has the Craigslist extension. A typical receiver’s email may look like this:

You can simply compose your message and click on the “send” button on Gmail. Through this, you have just created a reply to a Craigslist email.

What Is The Safest Way To Accept Payment On Craigslist?

As with many online platforms, there can be times when scams may be inevitable on Craigslist. So, it’s imperative that you practice caution when accepting payments on the site.

There are only two ways to accept payment for products and services on Craigslist: through check and cash. It should be noted that Craigslist advises users to pay for a product when picking it up or meeting the seller in person.

If you are offering a product for sale, do not tell users that you accept alternative means of payment. Most users will assume that you are dubious if you do so. Keep your account information to yourself as well. For any product you wish to sell on Craigslist, accepting cash is, without a doubt, the safest payment method.


It’s fairly simple to use Craigslist as a means of earning cash. The website supports free adverts as well, so it’s a great platform for connecting with potential clients online.

If you’re looking for a platform to get rid of your old belongings and make some money along the way, then consider using Craigslist. There’s a reason why it continues to be so popular to this day in spite of the many competitors that have surfaced in recent years. Craigslist may not be the only online platform where you can make money, but it’s definitely one of the most popular ones among a sea of other websites on the Internet. Try it out and see for yourself if it’s something that works for you.