Turning junk into cash has always been the basis for side hustling. In fact, you can now do this easily online through Craigslist, a popular public forum found in many cities around the world. But, can you make money selling on Craigslist? In this review, we’ll explore the platform from various angles to help determine if it’s truly worth your time.
What is Craigslist
Craigslist is a website whose main purpose is to feature classified advertisements. The founder’s goal, in the beginning, was to feature local events through an email distribution list. However, with time, people took to the site because posting ads is free and easier than doing it in local newspapers.
Within a year, it expanded beyond its San Francisco origin, featuring more classified categories in other cities worldwide. As a global resource, it’s currently one of the most sought after web services in the U.S., allowing users to post as well as view ads for various trading and business activities.
How to Sell on Craigslist
Selling on Craigslist is fairly easy. It requires nothing much from your side other than a computer, the items you intend to sell, an email address, and a camera. The site provides a simple user interface for listing your first ad.
Since it is created for local transaction purposes, most users usually start with their own cities first which can be found on the right-hand side of the craigslist main webpage. Alternatively, you can use the name of your city in front of the URL i.e. sanfrancisco.craiglist.org to go straight to the page. If such a link isn’t available, just choose the city nearest to your current location.
After successfully setting your location, you can proceed to post your ad. You don’t need an account for this. All you need to do is to click on “create a posting” and it will prompt you on the type of posting you want to make. In this case, you may select either one of the three;
- Sale by owner – if you are an individual spontaneously selling used items.
- Sale by dealer – if you are a professional seller.
- Services offered – if you intend to get paid for a particular service rendered.
Clicking any of these will direct you to another page that categorizes your products into numerous categories. Here, you will choose the category that best fits your selling intention. If you cannot find one, simply choose the “general for sale” category.
Following that, you will insert the product title, description, and price. And then, if you like to make it public, you may include contact information such as your location, email address, and phone number, but keep in mind that this comes with some risks which I’ll discuss later. The next (optional) step is to upload up to 24 images featuring the item you want to sell.
At this point, you may publish your ad if you feel it is good to go. It takes about 15 minutes for the ad to go online if you have an account. If not, you need to first respond to the confirmation message sent to you via email before the 15 minutes begin to elapse.
That’s about it. Now you just need to wait for interested buyers to reach out to you.
How Much Can You Make on Craigslist
Your earning potential very much depends on what you are selling as well as the appeal of your ads. You can basically sell anything; a couch, a car, or even a dog walking service. If there is a huge market for your product or services within that local community, then you’re likely to sell much faster. Nonetheless, your ad still speaks for your item and plays a big role in influencing the buyers’ interest.
For this reason, you need to ensure that you provide catchy titles as well as simple-to-read descriptions. You can couple this with some well-taken professional photos to give buyers a clearer picture of the item. Obviously, the more items posted for sale, the more money you stand to make.
The Advantages of Selling on Craigslist
- It’s free – Unlike other listing platforms, setting up an account as well as an ad will cost you nothing on Craigslist. However, charges do apply for some categories but even then, it will cost less than it would on other platforms like selling on eBay or on the Etsy marketplace.
- Sell locally – If you are looking to tap into your local market, then Craigslist is a good place to start. Craigslist sites are location specific, exposing your ads only to the people in your specific location. This will also make it easy for you to arrange meet-ups or pick-ups with buyers since they are likely to be within your reach.
- Expand your customer reach – As a seller, you want your product to reach as many potential buyers as possible. The site receives millions of visitors daily and thus increases ad views and sales conversion. If you run a local business, the ad can improve exposure to your company’s visibility. Here, you might win yourself some repeat customers.
- Quick and easy transactions – All you need to do is list an ad, accept an offer from a buyer, meet with the buyer and have him/her pay you in cash in exchange for the item. The transaction will be complete within no time. There is usually no bidding, the use of third party payment such as PayPal, or shipping arrangement, making the whole transaction pretty straightforward.
The Disadvantages of Selling on Craigslist
- Re-listing- Due to the high numbers of users, hundreds of ads may be listed daily. Although your ad may remain active for 30 days, you still need to take the time to re-list it. Otherwise, it will get pushed down the list by newer ads, thus reducing its visibility.
- Flagging – Craigslist has a feature that allows users to flag an ad, which then risks removal if they feel it is inappropriate for one reason or another. Some people misuse this privilege by flagging their competitors’ ads. This can be challenging for some sellers who are trying to make some extra cash.
- Scammers – Fraudulent activities and online scams are common in public domains and it’s something you’ll encounter often on sites like Craigslist. Some people will take advantage of your offers so you need to be vigilant during sales transactions, be it processing payment or doing meet-ups. You must always safeguard your money as well as your safety.
- Crime – Even though face to face transactions have their advantages, they can also be risky for users. When meeting a total stranger, you might fall victim to criminal activities such as robbery or violence, especially when dealing with high-value items. Criminals can plan a robbery at your house or shop using the information provided on your ads so, refrain from sharing your personal information whenever you can.
So, Can You Make Money Selling on Craigslist?
Craigslist offers a convenient method for selling second hand or bargained items locally. I wouldn’t really recommend it for businesses because it doesn’t look professional unless you’re doing a clearance sale. But if you’re looking to get rid of your junk, there’s no harm trying out the platform and see where it leads you to.
Unfortunately, for those of you who don’t have anything interesting or profitable to sell, this site has very little to offer. Yet, that doesn’t mean making money online is out of your reach. Ever heard of affiliate marketing? It lets you earn sales commissions by referring customers to products and services that you endorsed.
This is made possible with any businesses or stores that have either an affiliate or referral program. The niche can be related to your hobbies or your job skills and signing up is usually free. Once you’ve obtained the affiliate links, you can then promote through blogging, social media, or even paid advertisement.
Feel free to visit my recommended training platform to find out more about this opportunity and learn how to get started on a shoestring budget. I hope this review has taught you a thing or two about selling on Craigslist. If you’ve anything else to add or ask, please let us know in the comment area below.