Selling Used Stuff on Craigslist


Craigslist is by far the largest online classified ads website in the United States. If you have something you want to sell in your neighbourhood, Craigslist is one of the best ways to do it.

Perhaps the best thing about Craigslist is that everything is sold face to face. Unlike other online sites, where you have to ship things and risk working with unscrupulous buyers, on Craigslist this risk is much lower. You’re dealing face to face with a real person. You hand them the goods, they hand you the money.

What Can You Sell on Craigslist?

You can sell just about anything on Craigslist. You can sell used cars, you can sell furniture. You can sell power tools and you can sell video games. You can sell your used microwave and you can sell your jewellery.

As a rule of thumb, if an item has value, you can probably sell it on Craigslist. Even if your item has no value, you can use Craigslist to give it away for free.

Feedback & Accountability

It’s important to keep in mind that Craigslist does not have a built in feedback and accountability system.

Unlike eBay, reputable sellers don’t get a “reputation” rating. If someone has perpetrated a scam in the past, there’s no way for you to tell.

Your best protection on Craigslist is to only deal with people face to face. Never accept a check on Craigslist and never accept or give a money transfer.

Deal in cash only. This will protect you from 99% of the scams out there.

So how do you use Craigslist to sell the extra items you have lying around the house?

Step 1: Choose a Category

Select what category you want to place your listing in. Browse the category to see what kind of prices other people are selling their goods for. Take a look at their descriptions and see what kind of techniques people are using to draw attention to their listings.


Step 2: Click “Post”

Go to the upper right corner and click “Post.”


Step 3: Log In

Log in to your Craigslist account. Registration is necessary for spam prevention purposes.


If you don’t have an account already, just click “Register” and create a new one.


Step 4: Select Your Category

Select your category again. You’ll have to specify whether you’re an “owner” or a “dealer.” If you’re just selling extra stuff you have around the house, you’d fall under the “owner” category.


Step 5: Select Location

Choose where you want your item to be listed.


Once you’ve selected your area, you’ll then be asked which area of town you live in. This helps give people who’re looking to deal locally more information. You can skip this step, but it’s usually a good idea to fill it out.


Step 6: Title

Craft a title that accurately describes what you’re selling. Remember that your title is your “headline.” It’s what gets people to click on your listing. Spend a little bit of time on it to try and make it as captivating as possible.


Step 7: Price

How much do you want to sell your item for? Browse the listings to get a sense for where the market is at for your item. Then price your item accordingly.

Avoid the temptation to create “make me an offer” listings. If you don’t put a price, you’re going to turn off the majority of buyers.


Step 8: Write Your Description

Describe your item in detail. Let the buyer know of any flaws in your item, else you’ll just waste your time showing your item to people who won’t buy. That said, make sure you focus on what makes your item great rather than what makes your item flawed.

Generally, you don’t need to do a lot of selling on Craigslist. The market is a commodity market, rather than a value-proposition market. Describe the item you’re selling in as much detail as possible and people who’re already looking to buy what you have will contact you.


Step 9: Add Images

Adding images is crucial. People want to know what they’re getting for their money. Try to upload images of what you’re selling from different angles.

To add images, click the “Add / Edit Images” button on the bottom.


This will cause the image boxes to pop up. Click “Choose file” under any of the image slots to select what image goes there.

Once an image has been selected for a slot, the “X” will turn into an “O.” You can upload up to four images.


Once you’re done, click “Continue.” This will take you to the preview page. If you like what you see, click “Continue” to post your listing.

Step 10: Post Your Ad

Posting on Craigslist requires one last step. You need to go into your email and click on the link that Craigslist sends you.

In addition to being a confirmation link, this is also the link you use to edit your listing at a later time. If you want to take it down after the item has been sold for example, just click this same link again.


Tips for Success on Craigslist

  1. Sometimes your items won’t sell. Don’t stress about it. Instead, repost your item every couple weeks or so until you find a buyer.
  2. Sell according to where the market’s pricing is, not according to what you want to charge or what you paid for the item. For example, the market for used microwaves is somewhere between $20 and $50. Even if you paid $400 for the microwave, it’s unreasonable to try and sell it for $200 on Craigslist. Always price according to the market, not according to what you want to sell for.
  3. Try to post your listing at times of days when people are online. That means weekends, early in the day or after work.

That’s how to use Craigslist to sell your old items! Craigslist allows you to sell your stuff to people in person, in face to face transactions. This is both more secure and easier than online transactions. What’s more, it’s fun! You get to meet a new person.