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Make Money Selling Things on Craigslist

Updated on October 26, 2009

One of my favorite ways to make extra money is to sell the excess from around my home. With fast growing kids, changing styles, and new life phases, it seems I always have an abundance of items that are no longer being used. The first place I look to sell these items is on Craigslist. In my opinion, unless you have something very valuable (that is shippable) Craigslist is the way to go.

There are no fees with Craigslist, meaning all the money you make is yours. You get to set your price. There is no gambling as to whether you will make any money. You set the price you want and hope it sells. If you list an item for auction on EBay there are a couple of bad scenarios that can happen. The price does not get bid high enough for you to make any money after the fees, or it doesn't sell at all and you are still out the fees (meaning you just lost money). No worries when selling on Craigslist - if it doesn't sell you are only out your time.

I have found that some things work better than others. Grouping like items together will help them sell better and more quickly. Do you have an entire wardrobe of boys 4t clothing? Rather than selling it one piece or outfit at a time, group all winter clothing together and all summer clothing together and sell it that way.

Take good pictures of the items you are selling. I believe that Craigslist will allow four photos, but I can never get more than one to load. I just say in the ad that I have more photos and to email me for them if interested. I have never had a problem selling anything by doing this, as long as I have one photo up. People can judge the condition fairly well and decide if it is worth pursuing. I know that I really dislike searching for something and not being able to see a picture of it.

Be very careful when selling on Craigslist. Sometimes strange people respond to my ads. There are a couple of ways I protect myself when selling items from my home. First, if I get even the slightest strange feeling from an initial email I just ignore the email. They do not have any of my contact information unless I reply to their email. Better to be safe than sorry in my book. Second, I will only schedule pickups when my husband is home and I make sure the person that is coming knows that my husband will be home. Third, I have the item waiting by the door, or if it is nice weather I will make an excuse to be outdoors with the item waiting on the buyer. Fourth, I keep the phone with me at all times when I am making a sale. Fifth, I only deal locally.

Unfortunately scams are running rampant on Craigslist. If someone contacts you from far away, even just another state, but especially if they are from another country just ignore them. If someone tries to pay you more than what you are asking for be very wary. I would ignore these offers too. If someone wants to have you ship the item, don't do it. These are all typically scams. They offer to pay you more for your "time", mail you a cashiers cheque (fake!) and have you ship the item. Only after you ship the item does the cashiers cheque bounce and you have created a major mess for yourself. Deal locally, in cash only and you will be fine.

If you need extra money, Craigslist is a great place to sell your unwanted items. If you haven't tried it before, it is super easy and fast. Good luck!


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    • Leah Helensdottr profile image

      Leah Helensdottr 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks so much for the tips in this hub, Jennifer. I'm going to follow your advice!

    • ponchomeg profile image

      Meagan 7 years ago from Lansing, MI

      I definitely need to get back into selling stuff on Craigslist again! Thanks for this great, informative Hub. :)

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Great blog, I've got loads of stuff that would only really sell locally, demijohn's and heavy stuff. I'm going to give it a go now.


    • KKalmes profile image

      KKalmes 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Thank you Jenny for the info... I have always been hesitant to try selling on Craig's list, although I have friends who have done it and my sons buy from it often.

      I am going to make the leap from timid to bold and pull out all the truly interesting stuff that won't fare well in a garage sale and sell it on Craig's list.

      Thanx for the do's and don'ts... thumbs up and useful!

    • linky2010 profile image

      linky2010 7 years ago

      Nice article, I'll try craigslist, been with eBay almost all the time and their fees are eating all the profits. Cheers.

    • Krisstea profile image

      Christy 7 years ago from Savannah

      Thank you. Great advise on the safety concerns.

    • Kellsbells1 profile image

      Kellsbells1 7 years ago

      Great hub, thanks for the advice.

    • profile image

      cheetah groups 8 years ago

      I was just thinking about trying to sell some of my things on Craigslist! You gave some great tips - thank you.Great advice

    • jjmyles profile image

      jjmyles 8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great tips with sound advice. I have sold on Craigslist and it was quick,easy and free.

    • Bmystic57 profile image

      Bmystic57 8 years ago from Sheldon,Tx

      Been trying to sell some stuff on craigslist,but haven't had much luck.some tool boxes side mount for a truck and some wheel adapters to turn your truck into a dually truck.and added some good pics too.

      don't know what I'm doing wrong here unless the people think the price too high. can't give it away...not rich...just conservative.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 8 years ago from NY

      Great article. You've been fortunate. I've tried to sell many things on craigslist with no success. I'm glad that someone else is having better luck.


    • Shane Gray profile image

      Shane Gray 8 years ago

      It is a very easy way to make money! Thanks for the reminder!

    • beadams profile image

      beadams 8 years ago from St. Paul

      I like this hub.

      nice advice.

    • loveislam profile image

      loveislam 8 years ago

      good information

    • adler406 profile image

      adler406 8 years ago from Big Sky Montana

      been doing some looking on craigs list...but havent actually did anything on it yet...this bit of information will really help though...thanks so much for that...Dont really care for all the added fees that ebay does on you...advertising bid fee and if its a high dollar amount another fee..fee for pics..fee for special fonts...they like to fee the heck out of a person thats for sure...nickel and dime a person to death as i would say...well thank you again for your bit of information and good luck to all those who try the list....

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      I love Craigslist for everything! Good advice on selling stuff.


    • LazarDRod profile image

      LazarDRod 8 years ago

      I've never tried craigslist. ebay was always my thing. I might try craigslist now, though. No fees!

    • NaomiR profile image

      NaomiR 8 years ago from New York

      You know, I've never thought to sell anything on Craigslist, but now I think I'm going to give it a try. Great hub!

    • Real Estate Lady profile image

      Real Estate Lady 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I love Craigslist! This was an informative hub, learned a couple things I didn't know before. Thanks!

    • clairecov profile image

      clairecov 8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      We love craigs list and have several items waiting to be posted there. I guess I better get on it!!!

    • profile image

      Egoodman 8 years ago

      I will try Craiglist. Thanks for the info.


    • AshtonCorey profile image

      AshtonCorey 8 years ago

      Good tips, Thanks

    • Jebranto profile image

      Jebranto 8 years ago

      Gotta Love Craigslist!!!

    • Artemus Gordon profile image

      Artemus Gordon 8 years ago

      I have never had too much luck with Craigslist. But then I live in a rural enough area that a 2 hour drive is required to get to the closest city I could post ads in. I will stick with E-bay for now.

    • ratnaveera profile image

      ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum

      Great Hub! craigslist is the easiest way to make money selling our things as our ad easily reaches millions of people.

    • profile image

      12IvyLane 8 years ago

      I have been wanting to get rid of some stuff and hate to throw it out. I might try craigslist, thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Jawa Lunk 8 years ago

      It's much better and cheaper than ebay!

    • Csjun89 profile image

      Csjun89 8 years ago

      Pretty good way to clear clutter at home

      always wanted to get down to tidying my house up

      good hub there!

    • profile image

      jack 8 years ago

      hey very good infor

    • profile image

      ThePeeDeeWildcat 8 years ago from Just Across The State Line

      Thank you for the education! In these extraordinarily fast changing times, an old pine knot like myself needs all the help that he can get.

    • profile image

      jbryant22 8 years ago

      Great advice, thanks for the hub

    • J-ART profile image

      J-ART 8 years ago from Florida, United States

      good advice!

      Im gearing up for a move soon, and I am thinking of lightening up my load and selling a bunch of stuff that I rarely use in order to save up some money and make the move a bit easier.

      Ill certainly be using some of your advice!


    • Larry Ivey profile image

      Larry Ivey 8 years ago from South Florida

      I like this hub. Think I will look more closely at Craigslist. Maybe, there will be some local buyers for some things I have for the Holidays.

    • Robert Clinton profile image

      Robert Clinton 8 years ago

      Marketing on craigslist is tough before, Even i hire few guys to do that but they failed. But my hopes are increasing after looking your solution on that. Will apply them.

    • Sulleybunny profile image

      Sulleybunny 8 years ago from United States

      Great advice, I have a little one and have been thinking about using craigs list to get rid of some old stuff and get her some new more age appropriate toys and what not :)

    • Joel McDonald profile image

      Joel McDonald 8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      We love craigslist! We've probably found 20% of the furnishings/accessories in our home from craigslist. In addition, we've sold a lot of items we don't use anymore, and would otherwise be collecting dust.

      Thanks for sharing your tips! Knowing how to use CL to its fullest definitely makes a big difference.

    • SCP profile image

      SCP 8 years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina

      Craigslist is great about letting you know when your price is too high. If you dont get any calls, it's too high!! It is so easy to use Craigslist, plus it is local so there is no shipping!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      Thanks so much, I will definately look into it. I have tried ebay and its such a pain, agree completely on that.

    • profile image

      BookFlame 8 years ago

      I've sold lots of things on craigslist, and your advice is right on! It's a great resource but you have to be very careful!

    • Destined To Win profile image

      Destined To Win 8 years ago

      Great advice and welcome information. Thanks.

    • fdoleac profile image

      fdoleac 8 years ago from Hollis, New Hampshire

      I have had great success with bartering on CList. One example - I had some trees cut down at our home. I offered free wood in exchange for splitting some of the wood for me. Had 5 responses in less than one day.

    • aimey dee profile image

      aimey dee 8 years ago from Chico, CA

      I have been considering getting rid of all my dvds since i never watch them. Now I am more equipped with what to do. thank you for taking the time.

    • profile image

      Grandma Jones 8 years ago from Washington

      Good information, I have sold on ebay 3 times and only one time did I acutally make any money, this has got to be a better option Thanks-You

    • profile image

      raj 8 years ago

      Its a nice content, good post. thank you.

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 8 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks for the information about Craigslist. I tried Ebay years ago and didn't like the way it was done. May have to try Craigslists.

    • profile image

      Elaine77 8 years ago

      worth trying!

    • profile image

      DannieK 8 years ago

      I was thinking about using ebay to sell things, but now I have another option. Thanks!

    • profile image

      allseminars 8 years ago

      surely an amazing work

    • profile image

      bestcellphones 8 years ago

      i sold my scooter on craigslist, but before i did i had 2 people try to scam me.

      1. a guy tried to pay via pay pall and have it "shipped" to africa

      2. some guy tried to "help" me sell my scooter and said he had helped others sell things that wern't selling

      I just ignored them cause i knew they were scams, I thought i better not give them any insight to make thier scam better. So be carfull when selling on craigslist.

    • Jonathan Martin profile image

      Jonathan Martin 8 years ago from Seattle WA

      It is amazing what people will buy off Craigslist. Great hub! You have obviously put some work into it. Definite bump up! I just wrote my first hub What do you think?

    • Green Things profile image

      Green Things 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great advice. I have not used Craigslist yet (I know! hard to believe) but have used Kijiji quite a bit and the same precautions apply.

    • johntriggerman profile image

      johntriggerman 8 years ago from United States

      Thank you for the tips and insights, will give these tips a try. Rated your hubs, thumbs up! :)


    • Song-Bird profile image

      Renee Hanlon 8 years ago from Michigan

      I was just thinking about trying to sell some of my things on Craigslist! You gave some great tips - thank you.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 8 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      This was very helpful - you gave some excellent information. Kartika

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your experience and great advice. You are have to be extra careful now a day.