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Craigslist Review: How to Sell Your Stuff Safely

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Craigslist Review

craigslist logo

Craigslist is a tried and tested way to sell your unwanted items. You can sell practically anything on the platform, but there is a downside. There are many tales about scams, so you need to be wary. Essentially, Craigslist is a classified site, so you will need to deal with all the potential buyers, which includes time wasters and those who want something for nothing. So, you may prefer to use a separate cell phone number rather than using your landline, so you can respond to messages at your own convenience. However, there are little to no seller fees. So, you can list your items with no financial risk.

Rating

4.1

Legit & Safe

Service Fees

Ease of Use

Payment Process

Pros

  • Posts are anonymous
  • Quick and easy listing in a matter of minutes
  • Little to no seller fees, most auctions are free
  • Sell within your local area

Cons

  • Limited ad customization as templates are fixed
  • No support to complete the transaction

Jump to: Full Review

Compare to Other Sites to Sell Stuff

Decluttr

Decluttr logo

Over 3 million products sold in 12 months with a year limited warranty

Sell smartphones, tablets, laptops books, watches, video games and Lego

Get a free instant item valuation, ship your item for free and get paid

Swappa

Swappa logo

No fees for sellers – buyers pay no fees up $50 items. $5+ thereafter

Sell computers, home tech, cameras, phones, watches, laptops and tablets

Sell your item directly to buyer and get paid the next day via PayPal

eBay

eBay logo

180+ million buyers, easy listings and sell directly from the smartphone

List up to 200 items for free every month, and only pay when they sell

Global brand trust and seller protections in place from buyers scams

How Does Craigslist Work?


Craigslist is an online platform where you can search for housing, items for sales, local activities, furniture, vehicles, and even sell various stuff

Craigslist allows you to;

  • Access the site and list your items
  • Provide as many details as possible about your item
  • Add high-quality photos of the item
  • Post your item and wait for buyers
  • Sell your item and get paid

How Much You Can Earn With Craigslist?


How much you can earn from craigslist generally depends on the type of item and condition. You can also expect to make more money on large household items such as furniture and more expensive items like jewelry, rare collectibles, and other valuables. For instance, you can sell RCA HDTV for $70. Other items you can sell include;

ITEMPRICE
iPhone 6s (32GB$100
Mac Mini$100
GE WASHER$295
Cisco 2500 Router$20
Ethernet PD Charger$46

Who Is Craigslist Best for?


Craigslist is best for;

  • People who want to sell. Whether you are looking to sell a house, vehicle, or other items, Craigslist can be a good option.
  • Those looking for jobs. Those who are looking for new gigs can also use Craigslist. There are many options to choose from, including Education, Real Estate, Accounting, Security, and much more.
  • People who want to sell services. Whether you are an expert or have some skills you can post your skills on Craigslist and get customers

Craigslist Safety Precautions

Craigslist reviews are likely to focus on the presence of scammers that can deter people from using this useful platform. But, if you take some simple precautions, you can avoid these problems and other potential issues when you want to sell on Craigslist. 

Here are four key pitfalls to avoid if you want to sell safely on Craigslist, they are:

  1. Keep it Local: Craigslist is designed to facilitate local selling and buying. So, you’re not going to get any support when it comes to shipping items. 
  2. Safety First: When you do sell locally, you need to take steps to make the process as safe as possible. Always take a friend with you and meet the buyer in a public place only. Remember, you don’t know this person and you need to be careful when you deal with them.
  3. Understand the Terms: When you sell and buy on Craigslist you need to fully understand the terms and conditions. This will help you to know where you stand if something goes wrong and you can avoid violating the terms of the site.
  4. Be Aware of Scammers: You’re not likely to meet a buyer before a sale is agreed and this opens you up to a risk of being scammed. This is especially true if you’re accepting some kind of electronic payment. 

Take extra care when selling on Craigslist, many scams are repeated and you can find plenty of information online. I will cover some ways you can avoid scams in the latter sections of this Craigslist review.

Craigslist allows you to renew an active free post as long as 48 hours have elapsed since it was initially posted, or if 48 hours have elapsed since it was last renewed.

How to Avoid Scams on Craigslist?


The most common Craigslist complaints concern scams, but they can be avoided if you follow these eight simple tips.

Email Addresses: 

Don’t use your private email address when you deal with Craigslist. When you list an item for sale on the site, the platform will give you the option to use an email address that they provide for you. If you take this option and avoid using your personal email address you can insulate yourself from many potential scams.

Public Meetings: 

I’ve covered this briefly earlier, but it’s incredibly important to avoid meeting a buyer at your home, their home, a private place, and other risky locations. If you’re renting a property or selling a service, always meet the buyer in a public location first before you go on to a final destination.

Always Bring a Friend: 

To make the interaction even safer, bring a friend with you and you know someone has your back if something goes wrong.

Use Safe Payment Options: 

When it comes to getting paid, you can accept cash in person. But, don’t disclose your bank details or accept a personal check that can bounce later. If you want to accept money electronically, go with a secure transfer service, such as PayPal, Venmo, and others.

Geotags: 

Always remove the geotags from the photos of your items. If you take a picture with a smartphone with GPS, it will embed the location where the image was taken in the EXIF metadata.

Avoid Third Party Requests: 

Some buyers may want to transfer cash using a third party or escrow service. This is where the money would be held until both parties are satisfied with the transaction. This should be avoided. These types of services are often run by the scammers themselves and they cannot be trusted.

Local Deals: 

Craigslist is designed to be a local site, so it makes sense to concentrate on local deals. But, you need to have some street smarts and if you have concerns about a potential buyer, don’t go ahead with the deal. The old adage “Better safe than sorry” should be your credo if you want to avoid scams on Craigslist.

There’s Always a Catch: 

Sometimes you will see listings or get inquiries from people with deals that seem too good to be true. Trust your gut, there’s always a catch and you need to avoid turning your brain off when you think there’s easy money to be made.

What Can You Sell With Craigslist


There is an extensive list of items that you can sell on Craigslist. Some example categories include:

CategoryExample
AntiquesFurniture, lamps, and vases
AppliancesLarge appliances such as washing machines or small kitchen appliances like toaster ovens
AutoThere are separate sub categories for auto parts, wheels and tires, ATVs, and snowmobiles
BabyInfant clothing, nursery accessories, and toys
ClothingSub categories for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories
PhotographyVideo recorders, digital cameras, and SLR cameras and accessories
Musical InstrumentsAcoustic and electronic instruments
Toys and GamesThere are sub categories for traditional toys and video gaming

Craigslist Benefits: What Does Craigslist Offer?


Transaction Speed

If your business sells through online portals like eBay, Craigslist can speed up the process and put cash in your pocket that much faster. Since Craigslist transactions take minutes, you can reduce the overhead and time taken to ship an item.

Local Reach

Whether you run a large company or a one-person show, Craigslist can provide you with a broader base of clients.

No More Chargebacks

If you do a lot of online selling, you may be familiar with chargebacks present. Thankfully Craigslist doesn’t have these chargebacks. It’s, therefore, worth posting your ad and seeing the amount of money it can bring. 

National Reach

If you’re looking to sell online, Craigslist can get you in touch with a bunch of people from all over the country. If you post your ads to a national forum, you can reach more customers and improve your business.

Craigslist Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Use Craigslist?


Generally, independent sellers don’t need to pay a fee to list their items. However, there are exceptions for high-ticket items.

Type of ListingFee Per Listing
Most listings$0
Listings for commercial, heavy equipment, and most vehicles$3 to $5
Listings for trucks and cars$5
Service ads$5
Real estate listings$5

Craigslist Requirements?


  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have items you want to sell
  • Never post fake or fraudulent content
  • Never post illegal drugs or alcohol
  • No hateful or pornographic content

Craigslist Payout Terms and Options


Since the only forms of payment provided by Craigslist are paying in person with cash or a personal check,  you can only expect to receive cash or a check.

Craigslist Reviews: Is Craigslist Legit?


Craigslist is a legitimate website that allows you to list and sell items. Having a rating of 3.4 on Sitejabber, 1.3 on Trustpilot, and 3.4 on Bestcompany, the platform has attracted a mix of both positive and negative reviews.

While most negative reviews revolved around the company being a scam, positive reviews were happy that it allowed them to sell their unwanted items.

Other users also described the company as a reliable company that responds to queries. In fact, one user claimed that whenever they raised an issue, the support responded within a day. 

But like any other platform, Craigslist is not perfect hence you need to be careful to avoid being scammed.

WebsiteRating
Sitejabber3.4
Trustpilot1.3
Bestcompany3.4

What Are the Craigslist Pros & Cons?


Craigslist Pros

  • Your identity is protected because the posts are anonymous
  • The posting process is quick and easy
  • Many postings can be made with no listing or selling fees
  • Craigslist is a great way to sell larger or higher value items locally

Craigslist Cons

  • There is no enforcement for a buyer to pay
  • A local buyer base will be smaller

How Good Is Craigslist Support?


Craigslist has a comprehensive knowledge and support base including a frequently asked questions page, blogs, articles, and other resources. 

Some of the articles cover topics such as how to submit a post, how to add images, and how to avoid fraud among others. The website also has a help desk forum and contact page that you can use to contact them.

Craigslist Review Verdict: Is Craigslist Worth It?


Craigslist is a tried and tested way to sell practically anything and make extra money. For instance, if you sell an item like an iPhone 6s you can make up to $100. There are many tales about scams, so you need to be wary. 

Essentially, Craigslist is a classified site, so you will need to deal with all the potential buyers, which includes time wasters and those who want something for nothing. So, you may prefer to use a separate cell phone number rather than using your landline, so you can respond to messages at your own convenience. 

However, there are little to no seller fees. So, you can list your items with no financial risk. 

How to Sell on Craigslist


There are key steps that you need to follow if you want to sell successfully on Craigslist. These include:

Visit Your Local Site:

Open the Craigslist site in your browser and you will be directed to your local site automatically. If the site makes a mistake or you want to sell in a different location, you can find a list of available Craigslist locations on the right side of the web page. Simply click on the city where you want to sell or browse the states and cities at the bottom of the list.

You can find a list of available Craigslist locations.

Creating Your Listing:

  • When you’re ready to create your post click the “Create a Posting” button on the left side of the page.
  • You will be directed to a page where you may need to fine-tune where you want to sell. These sub-boards for your chosen city can be clicked to get an even better local match.
  • You will then be prompted with “What type of posting is this?” and as a seller, you need to click “For sale by owner”.
  • Next, choose the category you want to sell in, if you’re not sure, click to see which items are prohibited for sale on Craigslist, including firearms, tobacco, alcohol, and more. Click on the category that best suits your item.
  • You should now be on the form page where you can create your post. It’s advisable to add as many details as possible, the price you want and a full description of the time. You need to enter your email address in the “Contact info” section, but you don’t need to worry, this is not published with the posting. Your email address is only needed so that Craigslist can contact you when you’ve received a reply to your ad. You can fill in your phone number too, but this should be avoided to ensure that your security and privacy are maintained.
  • Once you’ve completed the form simply click the “Continue” button.

Optimize to Find Buyers:

Many people will see your ad, you can help them out by entering a nearby cross street to let them know if you’re in their area. Fine-tuning your location on the map is a great way to get a quick sale. When you’re done click “Continue” again.

Add Photos:

It’s far easier to sell an item if you have some great photos to entice buyers. Take some photos from different angles with good lighting and click the “Add images” buttons to add them to your post. Once the photos are added to the post you can arrange them as you wish by dragging them into position. When you’re satisfied, simply click the “Done with images” button to continue.

Complete Your Listing:

At this stage, your ad is complete. If you’re happy and you want to go ahead click the “Publish” button.

You’re not quite done yet, you will see a message that says “Important – Further action is required to complete your request!” 

Don’t worry. All this means is that you will get an email from Craigslist in 1-2 minutes that will ask you to confirm that you want your posting to be published. Simply click on the confirmation link and your Craigslist ad should appear on the site in around 15 minutes. Keep the email safe, you may need it to find your ad again or if you want to delete or refresh the post later.

How to Sign Up With Craigslist?


To create an account with Craigslist;

  • Go to the sign up page
  • Enter your email address and verification word
  • Confirm your email
  • Start using the website

Sites Like Craigslist


CraigslistSwappaDecluttreBay
Service feesFree3%Free10%
ShippingNoNoYesNo
Best forAppliancesGently used techUsed MediaElectronics and jewelry

Craigslist vs. Swappa


Swappa Summary

  • No fees to list and sell your products
  • Optional featured listing for just $5
  • 2 days to ship the item after getting paid
  • Instant payments via PayPal

Swappa is an online platform that lets you sell phones, laptops, watches, tablets, video games, cameras, and smart home devices. Unlike Craigslist, Swappa is a human-powered marketplace. That means anything that goes live on Swappa must be verified. 

Swappa also charges a service fee of 3% compared to Craigslist, which allows you to list your items for free. More so, Swappa is best for gently used techs compared to Craigslist, which works best for appliances. That said, both websites provide the best platforms to sell things online.

Craigslist vs. Decluttr


Decluttr Summary

  • Next-day payment upon delivery of goods
  • Get the best prices for your used tech
  • 2 different payment options available
  • Get extra cash if you are a student

Decluttr is a totally free website that lets you sell cell phones, tech, CDs, DVDs, games, and books. Like Craigslist, Decluttr allows you to list your items for free. Unlike Craigslist, which allows you to list almost anything, Decluttr’s main focus is used media.

Decluttr also provides free shipping compared to Craigslist, which does not offer such services. Overall the two websites are some of the best online selling platforms.

Craigslist vs. eBay


eBay Summary

  • High user traffic – over 187 million users
  • No listing fees for small scale sellers
  • Promote your listing from as little as 1%
  • Quick processing time for payouts

eBay is the world’s online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers to come together and trade almost anything! While on the surface, it may appear very similar to Craigslist, there are some key differences. Compared to Craigslist, eBay has a money-back guarantee that protects sellers if their items don’t match the listing, will not work, or don’t arrive. 

More so, all its transactions are conducted via PayPal which adds an extra layer of protection for the buyer. As for the costs, eBay’s fee is around 10% of the final selling price compared to Craigslist which is free to use

Craigslist vs. OfferUp


OfferUp Summary

  • List and sell your items for free
  • Promote your listing from just $1.99
  • Low service fee of just 12.9% or $1.99
  • You have up to 3 days to ship your item

OfferUp is a free site that allows you to sell personal items such as musical instruments, furniture, clothing, and books. One of the best things about OfferUp is that both the buyers and the sellers get ratings, something Craigslist lacks. 

The lack of accountability on Craigslist can lead to bad experiences.OfferUp can also arrange meetings with its built-in messaging and you won’t need to disclose any personal contact information. 

Despite the few negative aspects of OfferUp, it is a solid alternative to Craigslist for new and experienced sellers and buyers.

Other Sites Like Craigslist


Craigslist FAQ


What Is Craigslist?

Started in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, the company became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. 

At the moment, Craigslist has over 700 sites in 70 nations and these pages get more than 50 billion views each and every month. That’s a lot of traffic, the site is extremely busy and this makes it an ideal site to buy and sell items.

If you have a clear idea of what you want and you’re prepared to search for it you can find some great deals. 

What does a red flag mean on Craigslist?

A red flag mark means that the ad is inappropriate and hence will automatically be removed.

Is it safe to email someone on Craigslist?

Craigslist provides a cover email address that is forwarded to the recipient’s actual email address. Only Craigslist knows the email of both the buyer and seller.

How can I delete my posting?

You can delete your posting from your account homepage.

Can I add a picture to my posting?

Craigslist offers you the option to add a picture during the posting process. You can upload these images from your computer’s desktop.

Should I put my phone number on Craigslist?

You need to avoid using your personal phone number to communicate with buyers or sellers. 

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