A How To: Making Money with Craigslist

Convert "Trash" to "Treasure" on Craigslist

OK, maybe that's a little too extreme - perhaps you don't really consider that 2 sizes too small wool sweater that grandma gave you last Christmas really "trash". Maybe a better word is "un-needed". However or whatever you call it - let's just say that a lot of us have a lot of "good stuff"... that is well..... just sitting around.... in our basements, closets, backyards, storage facilities, cars.. and so on...and so on....

Americans for some reason have been able to become quite the pack-rats. We engage in all kinds of ways to store our stuff - into every nook and cranny we can find. We even pay storage facilities hard earned money to keep an eye on our stuff- for stuff that we may not even want or even remember we have.

Being an artist has been particularly hard on my pack rat-save it all-mentality. I have managed to collect so many things that when my parents died and left me all of their great stuff I found that I was literally getting buried under all "this good stuff". I now had 3's of everything, duplicates of just about everything you need to conduct life with, on top of my already spilling out of the closets art supplies, chairs, jackets and other things that I had managed to horde over the years.

All that changed one day when I happened to have a conversation with my next door neighbor. She mentioned to me that her husband liked to use a site on the Internet called Craigslist to sell unwanted items, and that he had also bought some great treasures there too.

I shelved a mental note into the back of my brain that I seriously needed to check this site out soon (the sooner the better!)

A few months went by and I decided to give Craigslist a crack. There could be no harm checking it out and it might be wise before I could no longer navigate through my house.

I found the site very user friendly, with many categories to choose from to sell my "treasures". The camera on my cell phone came in handy when it came to posting pics with the items I listed for sale (visuals are always best to display with your items), and I found that the more measurements and information I gave about the item the more likely it would sell. And best of all, unbelievably, it's absolutely free to use Craigslist to sell your items (no kidding)

Sell it on Craigslist!

Maybe you should sell it on Craigslist!
Maybe you should sell it on Craigslist! | Source

More Craigslist resources

A clean house....maybe?

I've been Craigslisting now for about 3 years - I've sold furniture, plants, cars, business items that our business no longer needed, phones, and even antiques. What you can sell and what you can find on Craigslist is pretty much endless ( just don't try selling yourself - that's been tried by others and the feds will be down your throat in a hot minute !)

The only downside is sometimes people flake on me and don't show up for their purchase, so now I really try to make it as convenient for myself to make a time for them to pick up their item.

Another possible downside I've heard is recent Craigslist robberies where people actually have gotten robbed by someone (for that I say: "Caution! Do not go meet somebody somewhere odd to deliver an item and try to not let people in your house. Bring the item out to them if necessary, and have someone else there with you at your home - just use common sense)

I have listed over 300 items with Craigslist and never had any problems with people. In fact, I've met some really nice people and even given away some free things on Craigslist to people that needed it.

I would suggest that if you want to try Craigslist set up an account with them (it's free) and try one item and see what you think. If you have a lot of stuff to sell you'd be surprised at how much money you can make on things that you no longer need or use. You may even become addicted and actually wind up with a very simple, basic, easy-to-clean house as a bonus!

I'm still striving towards that, if I could only get through the pathway to the yard to the shop to find that other stuff...

-Dorsi Diaz

More by this Author


Comments 60 comments

dafla 8 years ago

I'll be utilizing Craigslist very soon. I've decided to clear it all out and start over. Well, not all, but you know what I mean. I hope to only be left with a bed and about 10 pieces of furniture.


sunstreeks profile image

sunstreeks 8 years ago from Western Washington

Great Hub. I had luck selling my daughters stroller as well as some childrens clothing. The amount of traffic means you can get excatly the price you want and you don't have to lower down just to get a sale in most cases. My dad uses it to get all of his fish aquarium stuff.

I love the ad site. I also found my last boyfriend and my last job on CL. Both are gone now but were fun while they lasted ;)


psp-downloads profile image

psp-downloads 8 years ago

Thanks for all of the great tips on Craigslist. How have you found it to compare to eBay?


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

PSP- I've found for me that Craigslist is working best for me for what I am trying to do right now. Since I had a lot of bigger items to downsize it was easier to deal with local people and local pick-up. When I get down to items that I can mail more easily- like smaller antiques, things that are more valuable and probably need that bigger E-Bay market, then I'll switch over to E Bay for those items. The only thing about E Bay though is it costs to list whether you sell your item or not, and you have to wait to sell it till the auction ends. I've bought more things than sold on E bay but I think E Bay has huge potential for income, if you have the right products, and conduct your business well. (keep your ratings high, customer satisfaction, communication- just like any business)


Lori Osterberg profile image

Lori Osterberg 8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Also keep in mind Craigslist isn't just for your "stuff" - I've had great luck selling my services there as well. I love it because its a great way of connecting up with people, and sharing what you have. You don't just have to think local - there's dozens of countries out there as well. The "hardest" part is posting regularly and to keep your ads updated and at the top of the list.


Solorya profile image

Solorya 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Nice hub! Craigslist definitely is great--its how I furnished our house, basically! One thing though we found out is when selling or giving away heavy items--like a couch (from a second floor apartment), even though you warn people to bring a truck and enough people to lift it, you usually end up helping yourself. But I guess we can't complain, we have been helped too, so as long as you don't mind being friendly its great!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Lori, this is true. Craigslist has many other things to offer besides just selling your "stuff". I decided to only concentrate on selling un-needed items in this article. I am going to do another article about other things that you can do on Craigslist. Our church has used Craigslist for many things too, and I've used it for a lot of other things also. Good points you brought up. Thanks for your input.


sdorrian profile image

sdorrian 8 years ago from Chicago

Great Hub! I have to admit that I did develop a bit of a craigslist addiction. I'd just go surfing through to see what was there and end up buying something that I hadn't planned to buy (and possibly didn't really need.) The good news is that I've replaced my craigslist addiction with a Hubpages addiction. (LOL)

I do still buy and sell on craigslist occasionally. You really can find some great bargains there.


BarbaraMay profile image

BarbaraMay 8 years ago from Canada

Craigslist has long been one of my favourites. Before we closed up our house and travelled abroad a few years ago, I made thousands of dollars selling off odds and ends. When we came back, I lucked into someone giving away (!) several almost-new sofas and bedroom furniture.


flread45 profile image

flread45 8 years ago from Montana

I shall try Craig's list and see how it works..


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Great hub.

You put a new light on "one man's trash is another man's treasure".  "Un-needed" is a great way to not be insulting!

I wonder if you can give some advice.  As more of a seller than a buyer, I've been wondering about the mechanics of closing a sale on Craigslist. I don't like the idea of anyone I don't know coming to my home, and if I met a buyer elsewhere, I'd make sure it's a public place.  But to tell you the truth, I'd rather conduct the transaction via mail, as I do on eBay.  Have you had experience closing a Craigslist sale through the mail, where the buyer pays you with a check or money order, for example, and then you ship the item to the buyer?


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Sally, in response to your question- I've only done one transaction by mail- for some antique gas station lights. And the funny thing was it was a man replying to an ad in "Newark". Turns out he thought I was in located in Newark back east (I'm in the SF Bay Area) He turned out to be a really nice man and he really wanted the lights for his puppet show productions, so he paid me by PayPal and I sent the lights. Very smooth transaction.

Other than that I make arrangements for people to come pick up the item or on occasion we've even delivered- I would say use caution and do the transaction in a safe place (in front of your house for example- in public- or make sure you have someone with you) I have'nt had any problems with people coming to my house- I just use caution. It's pretty much like having a yard sale and people coming over-


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Love the story about the lights and the puppet shows. What an interesting transaction!

Thanks for your response, Dorsi.


virtuallymaggie profile image

virtuallymaggie 8 years ago

Another downside of Craigslist are all the people who try to "bargain" when they show up to buy the item! This may not be a problem for some people, but I hate "haggling" over the price. Great hub!


gbgbusiness profile image

gbgbusiness 8 years ago from Franklin, IN

Great hub....I sell on craigslist all the time....good place to go to find people looking for what you have!


kiwi91 profile image

kiwi91 8 years ago from USA

Excellent hub. I use Craiglist to get rid of free stuff that would otherwise cost money to dispose of. I have to admit, I've never used it for buying though...I've also read it's an excellent place to advertise if you have a certain type of business (usually service related).


Techie  8 years ago

Great way to put things that might generally be missed.


privateye2500 profile image

privateye2500 8 years ago from Canada, USA, London

It's good to know that ebay finally has a tad of solid competition - I am SO sick of ebay.


RUTHIE17 8 years ago

I've used CL for a couple of years now selling just things locally--both big and small.  My daughter uses it to advertise her cake decorating classes schedule.

As for payment--we ask for cash.  If they insist on paying by check, it has to be a Postal Money Order only. We've read of ways to scam a cashiers check,  so we don't take those anymore.  Even with the PMO, we get the drivers license information.  We do the transaction in the driveway or on the front porch, but no one gets into the house and yes, only when there are the 2 of us home.

I know this sounds a little paranoid, but you can't be TOO safe nowadays.


jooles01 8 years ago

Hi Dorsi,

I've heard of Craigslist somewhere before but never bothered to check it out. I'm going to take a look at it now in the hope that it's operating in the UK too. It sounds great. Thanks for the information.


shangrila profile image

shangrila 8 years ago

g1 +1


Make Money 8 years ago

Good tips on how to make money using Craigslist.


lucas131 profile image

lucas131 8 years ago

Good hub i really like how you presented all the contect, craigslits is a money maker!


Dustin Jones 8 years ago

it's actually very easy. When I wasn't working 80 hours a week I was easily capable of making a few hundred a month off craigslist buying items and hussling peoples prices down, buying wholesale lots and finding bargains that were ebay profitable, or taking ebay items to craigslist. You wont get rich but if your tech savvy and have a business like mind, your bills can be paid on the site if you live in a populated city with lots of items for sale.


clive 8 years ago

i need acommerical washer my tel 954-817-6401 email happy chris1005@yahoo.com


nancydodds1 profile image

nancydodds1 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

Its very excellent information about craigs list. Very informative tips you introduced in this hub. I like it very much.


Bruce Elkin profile image

Bruce Elkin 8 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

THanks Dorsi, I'm just about to use Craig's list to promote my books and articles on crafting simple, yet rich, effective and sustainable lives and work. I got a transcript of a teleseminar to guide me, and I've been putting it off, doing the old "Yah, but…" shuffle that I warn my clients about. And your article spurred me to put my Craig's List experiment to the top of my list. So it's on the agenda for tomorrow. THanks!


hubber-2009 profile image

hubber-2009 8 years ago from India

They make money from three cities job ad. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I've used Craig's list to buy when I lived in a bigger city, but now I'm far removed from any of them listed on Craig's list. Would it still be worth my time to advertise there?


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everyone that stopped by to read my hub. I hope you are enjoying Craigslist and hopefully got inspired to make some money there!

RGraf, boy that's hard to say. With the price of gas nowadays it seems people are not willing to travel as far- how far away are you from the nearest Craigslisters?


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Thanks for the advice Dorsi. Wish I had known about Craigslist a while back. Would have come in handy when two households of possessions were merged into one. Gave most of the excess away to people who could use it. However, we still have extras of things and can definitely advertise my husband's wine services.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 7 years ago from America

I found our dog on Craigslist. Springer $50.00 thought it was a great buy 16 weeks old.

Good information on this hub.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Peggy and moonlake, thanks for stopping by. I LOVE Craigslist- I should go work for them...lol!!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Since you are an artist Dorsi I was thinking Craigslist must be a great way to sell some of your paintings.


paul 7 years ago

Hi, what a nice hub,I think that picture onsite can talk much than word"picture express thousand word" is it right?Have nice day


Rachel 7 years ago

In my area EVERYONE is sufferring and there are NO jobs so selling things on Craigslist is NOT much of a help at all when nobody has the money to buy it anyway. However, you can use it to market services, business, and do some marketing for other local businesses for pay. However, there are so many scams it really never pays off in the end. The south is just struggling financially, always has and always will Im afraid.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Gumtree is the local Australian version of craiglist - and its a great way to furnish a house or sell unwanted stuff easily. I think the whole seond hand/recycled market is going to take off with the recession!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everyone for the comments on making money with Craigslist. I have noticed a definite slowdown for some things on Craigslist, but I believe the need for second hand items, jobs and services will still stay hot. It's better to make a little on something than throwing it away, and job hunting on Craigslist is a great way to see what's out there without driving all over kingdom come!

Lissie- that's interesting about Gumtree. I think the second hand market will take off!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

thanks for share. It open my eyes


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

Don't know how effective Craiglist will be for India


jaredp 7 years ago

Ok so, what about people in South Africa...I would rather recommend Junk Mail Classifieds...


brohhma profile image

brohhma 7 years ago

GOOD THOUGHT


lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

I've dabbled with craigslist, but have had more success with ebay. Could be because I live in a fairly small town though. Nice to hear you've had so many successful sales without incident. The recent negative craigslist news has been a bit scary. Your advice to not let people into your house is very important. The no fee for posting in craigslist is certainly enticing.


fitness programs 7 years ago

I DID NOT ABOUT THIS...THANKS TO YOU, NOW i CAN SELL A LOT OF UNWANTED THINGS AND MAKE MONEY....WOW! GOOD IDEA!!!


Ginger 7 years ago

CRAIGSLIST is really a wasted effort thse days. Everyone wants to sell or rent and noone wants to buy or offer (especially a legitimate job offer)! I have put several items up for sale at very reasonable prices despite their perfect condition. Nobody is biting! I guess it doesn't help that I live in a town filled with chronic gamblers and drinkers, but, even the honest people don't have the decency to pay anymore. They all want to get something for nothing. So, I've packed it in. There's no way I'm selling an item for 1/10th of its value. I'd rather not get anything and leave it in storage for better times.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thanks everyone for stopping by and reading and commenting. I still think Craigslist is a good way to find jobs ( I've found my last 2 recent jobs there) and for selling things. Yes it's a tough market but all the more reason to buy and sell on Craigslist, you can make some extra money and not pay those storage fees!


billy 6 years ago

I hope that Craigslist continues to grow. I also am sick of E-bay. With the new rate increase coming in a couple days. After your item sells, some people will be paying 15 percent of the sale to E-bay and Paypal. E-bay is becoming too greedy. I believe that there may be sellers leaving E-bay in huge numbers, that will bring e-bay down. Outside of Craigs list what is the next best auction site. I looked at Bonanzle but it is still small.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

billy) I didn't know that EBay fees are going up - that's a lot! I'm sure Craigslist will be an attractive alternative to EBay but hopefully it doesn't get too spammy.


Grills Guy profile image

Grills Guy 6 years ago from Santa Cruz

Awesome hub makes me wanna give this a try.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Grills Guy) Glad you were motivated. Let me know how things go if you do try Craigslisting.


Michael Berry 6 years ago

I love the feeling of making a good sale and having some cash, especially if I make profit. But what I love more is the sense of freedom of not having all that clutter around waying me down or holding me back.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Michael) Amen to that!


Michael  6 years ago

Craigslist is amazing. Be creative and will come thru your hard work and working diligent. A hot seller for me are high end bikes. I buy people that are moving and sell it on craigslist.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Great going Michael!! I love these kind of Craigslist success stories!


MPlisting 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Another way to take leverage from craigslist is www.fiverr.com. Here you can buy or sell your services worldwide. Go to www.fiverr.com and look for mplisting


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thank you MP listing for the tip!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Mike) I have to agree. One of the most frustrating things about selling things on Craigslist is when people don't show up. Besides that, it's a great place to buy and sell. Thanks for stopping by!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

They warn not to take bank checks either. Unfortunately, there must be a lot of counterfeiters out there too. Sad, isn't it?


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Yes it is Sinea.Thanks for reading and the comment.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Andrew) I'll check that out. Thanks for the tip!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working