How to sell items on the Craigslist website and start making extra cash



a woman sitting at a table using a laptop: The process for listing an item to sell on Craigslist is relatively straightforward. Tisomboon/Getty Images


© Tisomboon/Getty Images
The process for listing an item to sell on Craigslist is relatively straightforward. Tisomboon/Getty Images

  • You can sell items on Craigslist, just like classified ads in newspapers, for free — you don’t even need a Craigslist account. 
  • Make sure the Craigslist website is set to your correct city, then click the link to create a post. 
  • Here’s everything you need to know about listing items for sale on Craigslist.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Craigslist is a modern-day community bulletin board, filled with classified ads where you can buy and sell items for free. That’s in contrast to sites like eBay, where the site generally gets a cut of the sale. 

Posting an item for sale on Craigslist is easy, and you can create an ad in just minutes. You don’t even need to create a Craigslist account to start selling.

How to sell an item on Craigslist

1. Open the Craigslist website in a web browser. It should automatically default to your locale, but if it gets it wrong – or you want to sell something in a different location – use the list of locations on the right side of the page to pick the right city. You can browse by city or state at the bottom of the list. 



graphical user interface, application, table: Select your location if it's not already set to the right city. Dave Johnson/Business Insider


© Dave Johnson/Business Insider
Select your location if it’s not already set to the right city. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

2. On the left side of the page, click “create a posting.”

3. On the next page, you might need to fine-tune your location. If there are sub-boards in your city, click the one that best matches your location.

4. Answer the question “what type of posting is this” by choosing the correct option, which is probably “for sale by owner.”



graphical user interface, text, application: If you're selling a personal item, you probably need to choose "for sale by owner," then click "Continue." Dave Johnson/Business Insider


© Dave Johnson/Business Insider
If you’re selling a personal item, you probably need to choose “for sale by owner,” then click “Continue.” Dave Johnson/Business Insider

5. Choose the category of item you want to sell. If in doubt, click the link to see the list of prohibited items (you can’t sell firearms, alcohol, or tobacco, among other items), but otherwise pick the category that best suits your for-sale item. 

6. On the form page, enter as many details as possible. Give your item a descriptive title, the price you want to sell it for, and a description of the product. In the “contact info” section, enter your email address – this will not be published online, but Craigslist will direct replies to your ad to this email address. For your security and privacy, it’s a good idea to not share your phone number in the phone/text section. 



graphical user interface, text, application, email: Complete the form to indicate what you're selling and include as many details as possible for potential buyers. Dave Johnson/Business Insider


© Dave Johnson/Business Insider
Complete the form to indicate what you’re selling and include as many details as possible for potential buyers. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

7. When the form is completed, click “Continue.”

8. A lot of people may see this ad, so to help them know if you are in their area, fine-tune your location on the map. You can enter a nearby major cross street to help potential buyers. Click “Continue.”

9. It’s easier to sell an item if you have good-quality, current photos. Take some pictures and then add them using the “Add images” button. You can drag images around to change their order. 



graphical user interface, website: Upload and arrange photos of the item you are selling. Dave Johnson/Business Insider


© Dave Johnson/Business Insider
Upload and arrange photos of the item you are selling. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

10. When you’ve uploaded and arranged your photos, click “done with images.”

11. If you’re happy with your ad, click “publish.” 



graphical user interface, website: Click "publish," but you will also need to confirm the sale via email before it appears online. Dave Johnson/Business Insider


© Dave Johnson/Business Insider
Click “publish,” but you will also need to confirm the sale via email before it appears online. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

12. The screen will display a message: “Important – Further action is required to complete your request!” 

13. Within a minute or two, you should get an email from Craigslist asking you to confirm the posting. Click the link in the email to confirm. After that, the ad should appear on Craigslist within about 15 minutes. You should keep this email to easily find the online ad again later to update, refresh, or delete the post. 

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