- Personal Finance
How to Start Using Craigslist
When I first started using Craigslist about 7 years ago, I had no guide, just information passed along to me by a neighbor. How to start using Craigslist is something I would have found helpful at the time, especially if someone had advised me on some of the pitfalls. Most of us that use the Internet have heard of Craigslist, but statistics show that actually only 50 million people have used Craigslist out of an estimated 243,542,822 Internet users in the U.S. These figures mean that there are still alot of people out there that have not utilized the Craigslist website, but will be potential users in the coming years.
Tips on starting to use Craigslist
Craigslist is a very easy interface to work with and the layout is very simple. Basically Craigslist is a means of connecting users to find jobs, sell things, buy things and to use forums to connect like minded people on topics they share (like pets,music,travel,etc) I mainly use Craigslist to job hunt (I have found my last 4 jobs there) and I also use it to buy and sell things. As an expert Craigslister, I have bought and sold over $20,000 in items over the last few years, easily. When you first start using Craigslist here are some pointers on getting started:
- Start by just getting familiar with the site. Browse some of the ads (they are in categories) and check out of some of the forums on getting started with Craigslist. Although I am not a big forum user, there are people there that use Craigslist everyday, and have lots of great thoughts and ideas on using Craigslist.
- Use your Craigslist search bar to get exact results. If you are looking for a border collie pup for example, search under "pets", "community" and "for sale". Although sales of pets are prohibited on Craigslist, you are allowed to charge a small re-homing fee, so you may find or "re-home" pets under these categories. If looking for a job, say as a photographer, type in photographer under all jobs, and you can narrow your search down to a city by searching "photographer Hayward". Also make sure that when you are on Craigslist that you are in the right geographical area. For me I search the San Francisco Bay Area ads. Craigslist has listing areas for most major cities.
- If looking for a car, be specific. If you don't care what type of car you are buying but want to check out all cars under $2,000, then put $2,000 in the maximum box and your search results will show you all cars listed under that amount. You can also use the minimum box to do the same. Let's say you don't want to look at cars under $1,000, then type in minimum $1,000. I bought my last car on Craigslist, a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I searched under trucks and suv's because I wanted a suv. All suv's came up, and I found my jeep.
Craigslist headquarters in San Francisco
Posting an ad on Craigslist
If you want to post an ad on Craigslist, I have several ideas on how to do that best, including how to ad photos to your ad. To read in more detail about how I buy and sell on Craigslist, read my hub here: How to take good photos for posting on Craigslist.
It is not necessary to have an account with Craigslist to buy or sell, but I find it easier to have one since I buy and sell alot. To get an account, just sign up under the account button and it is free. All you need is a valid email address. Having an account is a good way to track what you sell, and you can also repost from your account once the listing expires and you have not sold the item (sometimes it takes a while to sell an item - I have sold things as fast as a half hour after posting the ad - some things I have re-posted for several weeks) Most postings expire within a week.
If you have any questions on how to start using Craigslist feel free to ask here, I will do my best to answer your questions. And as with anything, there are risks involved, including people that try to run scams on Craigslist. To learn more about how not to be a victim of a Craigslist scam, read more here: How to avoid Craigslist scams.