How To Make Money On Craigslist 2019

Craigslist is one of the leading online classified ad site.

According to DMR, they have 60 million users and 50 billion pageviews per month.  Yes, it’s a lot.

I know what you’re thinking.  Isn’t it… shady?

No, not in my personal experience.  Are there scammers?  Yes.  However, I’ve used craigslist to find housing, jobs, and to sell personal stuff.  In fact, in the past 3 years, I’ve earned more than $200,000 on craigslist (most of which is my salary from a job).

Here, I’ll share some of the my common strategies on making money on craigslist.  These will include some tips and tricks for selling on craigslist, how to post a classified ad on craigslist, and how to respond to ads on craigslist.

Let’s get started.

Sell Used Items On Craigslist

We all have closet full of stuff we don’t use.  Why not sell it to make back some cash?

What’s awesome about selling items on craigslist?  It’s completely free and gets tons of traffic.

There are a ton of categories to sell stuff.  To get an idea of what people are selling, head on over to craigslist and check out the “For Sale” section and start browsing ads.

In order to post ads, you’ll have to create an account.

Once, you registered, you’re ready to post an ad.  I sell used electronics like Macbook pro’s and iPhones because I know they get a ton of eyeballs and people love buying them used to save a couple hundred dollars.

Tips and Tricks for posting on Craigslist

When you’re creating your ad, keep several things in mind to attract the right people:

  • ALWAYS meet in a public area.  Just to be safe.  Meet in a police station if the transaction involves a lot of money.
  • Be detailed as possible but don’t come off as a salesmen.
  • Accept only cash.  There is a slew of Paypal scams out there.  I’ll give an example later.
  • Use the craigslist relay as it protects your real email from being scraped and spammed.  Remember Craigslist gets a lot of traffic, which means there are scrapers who want your personal information
  • Use quality images

After you submit your post, you will wait until people respond to your ad.

Watch Out For Paypal Scams

Before we get into how you respond to ads, make sure to be extra weary to the super fast responses.  Sometimes these are scammers using bots to look for fresh posts and they usually will respond with a generic email that doesn’t outline the item you’re trying to sell.

As soon as I posted this ad, I got a generic response from a “person” named Susan.  She doesn’t say anything about the product since it has to be mass emailed.

Sure enough, after having a conversation with her she wants the Macbook shipped somewhere other than her Paypal listed address.

This is a scam.

The scam works like this:

  1. The buyer sends you the money on paypal right away.  Sometimes they offer more.
  2. You ship the item to where they tell you to ship it.
  3. The buyer opens a dispute, saying that this transaction was hacked since the address you shipped the product doesn’t match the address on their Paypal account
  4. Paypal sides with buyer and removes money from your account and places it back into theirs.
  5. Buyer gets free item.

Respond Quick and Politely

Now that you know how to avoid scams when selling items on craigslist, let’s talk briefly about how you want to respond.

Keep the responses short, sweet, and simple.  It’s very likely you’ll have to talk to handful of people until you find someone who has serious buying intent.  Don’t waste time trying to concoct a perfect response email.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the price is always negotiable on Craigslist.  Majority of the people that respond to your ad will ask for a lower price on their initial email.  Even if you find a buyer, don’t immediately close off communication with the other potential buyers.  The reason is because the buyer might not show up.

I can’t tell you how many times I nabbed a gem while on the ‘waitlist’ of the seller.

Not all parts of making money on Craigslist is about waiting, you can become proactive by buying items.

Buy Low Sell High on Craigslist

I covered this bit on my article on how to make money on Facebook.

Wait?  Don’t you lose money if you buy stuff?

Yes, at first.  The idea is to buy something for cheap on Craigslist and then sell it for a higher value, leaving you to pocket the difference.

The problem with this method is that most people know their item’s worth.  A quick Google search will give them a rough idea of how much their used item can sell for.

So we need two forces that drive value to the potential seller/buyer:

  • Urgency
  • Ignorance

Urgency means that the seller needs to sell the item in a constrained time limit to meet some sort of financial requirement.  I.e paying rent.

Ignorance means that the item is complex enough that the buyer is convinced it has a lot more value than it does.

I’ll give an example of each force.

Look For Posts Near Expiration

Not often will you come across a seller who needs to sell their Surface Pro to pay rent.  However, there can another way urgency is imposed.

When someone is trying to sell something for 25 days and fail, the seller starts to second guess the price they initially valued it.

Using this method of aged posts, I’ve earned several hundred dollars just by tactically picking out sellers who urgently needed to sell their item.

Sell Bundled Items

When you give a lot of gifts, it’s commonly perceived as a lot of value.

Same thing applies when you’re selling your used items on Craigslist.

As I said before I love buying computers.  In fact, when I moved out I bought components for a full desktop:

  • Two LG monitors – $200
  • Mac PRO 2009 8 core – $500
  • Corsair keyboard – $100
  • Bose speakers – $100

This cost a total of $900.

When my lease was up, I decided to sell the whole rig and get a laptop.  Guess how much I sold it for?


$400 in profit and all of it was used.  I pretty much got paid to bundle a set of related items together.  There’s power in numbers as a perceived value of goods.

Trading items is definitely one of the common activities on Craigslist.  However, it’s second to another activity:  getting a job.

In fact, Craigslist only charges customers for job postings, everything else is free.

I used Craigslist to get all my jobs and met more responsive employers than Indeed.com or other job boards.

Find a Job using Craigslist

The last method we’ll explore is finding a job/gig on Craigslist.  This has netted me over $200,000 in salary and contract deals.

You can often times find cash jobs where you’ll be given cash for your work instead of being a 1099 contractor.

First, find something you’re good at doing.  For me, I enjoy coding software so the main categories I browse is marketing, software, web, and the computer gigs section.

Spot Red Flags

Be able to spot “red flags” in terms of employer.  If the ad is sparse, doesn’t have much detail, and doesn’t state the company directly you should put that on the back burner.

I’ll show you what I mean.

Here’s a job posting I see CONSTANTLY.  Usually that means one of two things:

  • High turnover.  A lot of employees hiring and leaving.
  • A recruiter who is advertising their business.

In this case it is a recruiter who is offering to train you.  Often times these are legit businesses and there’s no cost for you to join them.  However, just know that these guys usually don’t care about your career path at all.  They get commission when you get hired so in their perspective you’re just a number.

My personal experience with recruiters is horrific.  I’ve had the worst interviews since the communication with the hiring company is not direct.

The other types of job ads you have to watch out for are too-good-to-be-true jobs.  They almost always have a eye catching title.

What’s the motive behind the people that posts these types of ads?  They are trying to get leads and get paid for them usually via affiliate marketing.

I wrote a small article on how I made $70 in CPA marketing using black hat strategies.  Similarly, these guys are trying to get you take a specific action so they can make money.

It goes without saying to not waste your time with these types of postings.

So what do you look for?  Detailed job descriptions and professional people who wrote them.

Look For Clear Job Description

Here’s a response I got from emailing a descriptive job ad.

You can see how detailed the job is laid out.  There’s a clear expectation of a deliverable and a call to action to interview.

In fact, I’ve been freelancing this company seasonally for 3 years now.

Not a whole lot of money but a quick job that got me $1500.

I’ve definitely got my fair share of offer letters using this method of scanning good job descriptions.



There’s tons of ways to make money Craigslist.  I’ve outlined just a few:

  • Sell your used items
  • Buying and reselling
  • Getting a cash paying job

You just have to sift through all the nonsense and you’ll find the hidden gems.  Craigslist provided me with jobs, housing, and even friends.  In a sense earning money on Craigslist was my least profitable venture.

Hi!  My name is Kenta.  I’m an internet marketer.  I love business and programming.  I hope that you’ll join me on this journey to internet success.  If you have questions or just want to say hi, feel free to reach out via the contact form!

Leave a Comment