Knowing how to sell on Craigslist will keep you from getting scammed. Fortunately, I have sold on Craigslist successfully over several years and have managed to avoid the scammers.

Selling on Craigslist is great because in most cases it costs you nothing to list or sell an item. Other venues like eBay have costly selling fees and typically require packaging and shipping your items. Craigslist items rarely have a buyer that is not local, but buyers may ask you to send to them.

I don't deal with a customer who wants me to ship the item because you can expect that they are a scammer.

So, knowing how to sell on Craigslist will keep you from taking a bad check, make you vigilant to protect against counterfeit bills and more importantly, to keep you from being robbed. In fact, I never take checks when selling on Craigslist, but if you do, only take it if their bank is local, open and will cash the check without depositing it into your checking account.

Unlike eBay and other sites, Craigslist is straightforward and has your listing complete in a matter of minutes. You don't need an account on Craigslist, but it makes listing multiple items easier and faster. No financial information is necessary for a Craigslist account, but you do need a valid email address to sell.

How to sell on Craigslist

Create a new account with Craigslist, look to the upper left-hand side where you will first see “Craigslist,” then “post to classifieds,” and “my account.”

  1. Click on “my account.”
  2. Look at the bottom left of the text area and click on “Sign up for an account.”
  3. Add your email address and fill out the verification word in the box.
  4. You will receive an email with a link to activate your account.
  5. Upon receipt of email, click the link
  6. Select a password. Enter it, then retype the password and press “Submit Password and Log On.”
  7. You will now be asked to accept Craigslist Terms of Use. If this is acceptable, click “I Accept” if not Click “I Decline.”
  8. You should see a new screen with several options available. Choose from view your postings, Make a new posting, check your account settings, handle billing/accounting, and save drafts.

Steps to Sell on Craigslist

  1. Browse to http://www.craigslist.org
  2. The browser will have a world map or a list of several categories with your local in the center of the top screen. If you do not have the right place, click on the Craigslist list link in the upper left-hand corner and go to the world map page where you can select the correct place.
  3. You will see your city's name in the top center of the page, along with a bunch of different categories. Look to the upper left column, under Craigslist and click on Post to Classifieds.
  4. Decide what type of posting you wish to make by looking through the list where you will select the closest option.
  5. You will now see a box showing the category you are choosing for the post. Create an accurate title for the item you have for sale. Keep it short, but give specifics such as model/condition and so on.
  6. Enter the price you are asking for the item. List the price for the particular item in your title. Do not put zero or $1, put your real price. Refrain from listing multiple items in the same listing if they are not the same model and same price.
  7. Type in your email address into the “reply to:” box and then type it again. Do not put your email address or telephone number in the description unless you want to receive spam emails and unsolicited phone calls.
  8. Select “anonymize” (your email will show as xxxxx-xxxxxxx@sale.craigslist.org)
  9. The next area is the “Posting Description.” Enter a detailed condition report of your item. Make sure you write “Local Cash Buyers Only” in your description to help discourage scammers. Do not take checks and make sure you specify that you will not ship the item.The reason you don't want to ship, is you don't want to deal with the scams that happen when you sell on Craigslist. Typically the scammer will contact you and ask, “Do you still have your item for sale.” They don't even specify what item. If you respond, they ask you which item is yours to refresh their memory. Then they tell you they want to buy it and are going to send you cashiers check. They will send you more money to cover the shipping charges and ask you to send the different using the Western Union. Transactions like these never end well, and you lose your money.Worse, the Cashier's Check typically is a fraudulent check, and your bank will charge you back. Don't make this mistake.
  10. Select Continue, and then you will be able to enter up to 8 pictures of your item. Keep the images high quality but no larger than 500 pixels by 500 pixels. The pictures will load faster. You don't want to lose a buyer because the pictures take too long to load. After you have added your images, click “done with images.”
  11. Next is the confirmation page, make sure you have the correct email address, price title, and description. Once you are confident, you can click “continue.”
  12. You will get a confirmation email asking you to confirm the listing. Make sure you click on the link supplied and keep that link, should you need to change your listing.

Search Buyers when you sell on Craigslist

Note: Do a Google Search on the email address or telephone number the potential buyer gives a reply. That way, you can feel comfortable doing your transaction at your home.
If you are unable to find any information on the buyer, opt for a public place such as a gas station, or some other public place.

Obviously, there are many more issues to consider when selling online using Craigslist list, and I'll write more on that later.