How to Sell On Craigslist in Just 7 Easy Steps

Selling items on Craigslist is a great way to earn extra cash. It's quick, easy, and almost always free. You don't even need to create an account to start selling. This article shows you how to sell items on the Craigslist website in seven easy-to-follow steps. Let's get right into it!

Step 1: Open the Craigslist website

First things first: go to The website will automatically track your general location and load a list of classified local ads. Listing varies from housing to services and everything in between.

Step 2: Choose the State You Live In

If the website’s location appears inaccurate, or you simply want to sell the item in a different area, manually select the right location in the far-right corner of the page.
Alternatively, type the name of the city you wish to sell your items in on the search bar, followed by “” For instance, if you want to sell in Washington, D.C., type
Although you can list the same ad in multiple cities—some actually post in all 50 states—your ad might be flagged as spam as it goes against Craigslist's Terms of Use. If you want to post your ad in multiple cities, you can either use a VPN or wait at least 48 hours before removing the original ad and posting a new one in the new location.
On the upper left corner of the screen, just under the Craigslist logo, click on a link that says "create a posting." This will bring you to a page that asks you to fine-tune your location even further. Click the area that best matches your location. The website will then bring you to yet another page that says "what type of posting is this."
Before proceeding, click on the prohibited items list to make sure you're complying with the website's terms of use. Among other things, weaponry, prescription drugs, tobacco, alcohol, US military items, and pet sales are prohibited on Craigslist.
In the "for sale" section, you'll be given two options: for sale by owner or for sale by dealer.
The "for owner" option applies to private individuals with several selected items to sell. The “for dealer" option, on the other hand, refers to recurring sellers with large inventories or those who make or buy items to resell.
Listings for independent sellers are free. Dealer listings, particularly heavy equipment, furniture, and most vehicles, costs $3 to $5 per listing.

Step 4: Choose the Item's Category

Once you select "for sale by owner/ dealer," the website will automatically redirect you to a page that features about 50 categories. Choose the category that best suits your item. If your item doesn't fit any specific category, click on the option that says "general for sale."

Step 5: Enter the Item's Details

On the form page, you'll be asked to write a detailed description of the item you're selling.
Before anything, give your ad an eye-catching title. It should be worded in a way that's easy to find in the Craigslist search bar.
The "description" section doesn't have a character limit, but it's best to keep it short yet informative. Use brief sentences and bullet points. List important information first, including the item’s make/manufacturer, model name, dimensions, condition, and, of course, price. Fully disclose any damage or imperfections.
Also, don’t forget to mention why you're selling the item. Are you upgrading, downsizing, or moving? Does your item have any major flaws, or do you simply not want it anymore? Buyers will trust you more if they know why you're getting rid of the item. Be as straightforward and honest in your ad as possible.
Aside from the item description, make sure to leave your contact information. Use your personal/secondary email or phone number.
Experience sellers recommend writing the last digit of your phone number as a word. For instance: "For more information, contact me on the number 123-456-789zero." Supposedly, this prevents scraping software from adding your number to a telemarketer list.
When you've filled in all the required details, click "continue."

Step 6: Upload Pictures That Sell

Although optional, your chances of receiving offers significantly increase if you add pictures. Fill the slots with compelling, high-resolution photos. Here are some tips to follow when taking pictures:
  • Display the item as if it's brand new. If possible, grab a cloth and give it a dust-down. Wipe away fingerprints or grease stains. Iron out any creases. Make it look nice!
  • Set the item against a flattering background. If you're selling a black bike, set it against a light background.
  • Use strong but natural lighting.
  • Avoid flashes or electric lights unless you absolutely know that you're doing
  • Don't get too artsy; skip the crazy effects and filters. Keep it plain.
  • Take different shots, including the sides, the back, and any other important detail like imperfections or damages.
  • Avoid stock photos from the internet.
When you've uploaded your images, click "done with images."
Once you're happy with your ad, click on the button that says "continue."
If you have an account, the ad should automatically be posted within 15 minutes or so. If you don't, you'll receive a notification email to verify the ad before it goes live. If your listing needs any changes, simply click on the "edit text" or ``edit images" options.
And that's it! You've now successfully posted an ad on Craigslist.


Selling items on Craigslist is as simple as can be. As long as you have a working email, you don't even need to create an account.
A quick word of caution: when selling locally, always meet your buyer in a public place. If possible, take someone you trust with you. Also, stick to cash and services like Venmo or PayPal. Never disclose your personal or banking information to a buyer.
Stay safe, and good luck!