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7 Ways to Make Money on Craigslist (with Examples)

By Christopher Jan Benitez |

Craigslist has been around since 1995 and survived the tenuous online landscape. From the dot-com bubble to the social media craze, America’s favorite online classified ads is still alive and running.

You don’t need special skills or abilities to learn how to make money on Craigslist.

People learning how to make money on Craigslist is now a real thing. It helps sellers make money through their products, services, and even properties. The platform connects them to buyers online within the same locale for hassle-free transactions.

Moreover, unlike eBay and Amazon, Craigslist charges you nothing for posting a classified ad on their site. With its free barrier to entry, making money on Craigslist as a seller is easier and cost-effective.

Throughout the years, there have been arguably better Craigslist alternatives that people can choose from. OfferUp and LetGo build on Craigslist’s success to provide users with a more intuitive way to shop.

Also, despite the provisions set by the site to help you identify and avoid transacting with scammers, finding genuine buyers can still be tricky especially for newbies.

Nevertheless, these did not stop 60 million users post an average of 80 million classified ads a month on Craigslist.

Given the volume of users and activity on the site, you only need to determine how you can tap the right people to your classified ads.

In this post, I will discuss with you tips and advice on how to make money on Craigslist featuring products you need to sell and methods you need to follow.

How To Make Money On Craigslist

Keep in mind this isn’t a “try every single option under the sun.” Some of these options for making good money on Craigslist will be a great fit for you. Others might not be.

Keep an open mind, try out the options that you can do, and see what ends up working. What makes the most profit for one Craigslist entrepreneur might not work for another. And vice-versa.

Location, skills, and tools on hand matter. But if you’re willing to follow these Craigslist tips and try out some different things there is profit to be made for virtually anyone!

1. Find Leads For Your Business or Skilled Side Work

Aside from buyers and sellers, Craigslist is a place where you can search for job opportunities. If you are more interested in making money by working for it, then you should take a cue from Claire, who is one of Ramit Sethi’s Earn1K students.

Through Ramit’s course, Claire was able to earn $8,000 from Craigslist on top of her current graphic design job.

Claire was already making $50,000 a year as a designer. But she wanted to supplement her earnings with a side hustle.

Given the fragile economy, Claire was only looking out for herself in the off chance that she might lose her job.

One of the things she learned from the Earn1K course is the Craigslist Effect. Ramit describes this as the process of identifying situations where everyone is horrible to them, then by being semi-decent, you can dominate the market and take the lion’s share of the profit.

The image above is an example of the Craigslist Effect at play. Ramit applies the concept of saving money by being frugal.

He then creates a quadrant that allows him to identify actions and classify each based on their difficulty and scope.

From the image, saving money and tracking your expenses is placed under hard-small wins. This makes sense. Instead, why not do things that are easier and have a massive impact on your costs?

For Claire, it’s about writing better emails for part-time job applications, asking for a raise from your current employer, and other easy and big wins tasks.

Key Takeaways

Working multiple jobs may not be the most efficient way to make money on Craigslist. However, it is a viable option if you have nothing to sell and no capital to use.

Below are basic things you need to follow to build your profile in Craigslist’s job market.

2. Flip Items

The concept of flipping items is not new. It deals with buying an item on the cheap, refinishing to make it look better, and selling it at a higher price.

In some cases, you don’t even have to improve the item you purchase and sell to make money.

There are many items being sold via Craigslist ad for very cheap. The person selling often just wants to be rid of it. There are also a lot of listings in most cities’ free things sections of Craiglist.

This excellent post at Punch Debt in the Face details the multiple items that the author bought and sold on Craigslist where he made a fortune.

For example, he bought a Lane Rhythm credenza (above) for $250 that he sanded and stained to make it shine. After 24 hours of posting an ad on the site, he was able to sell it for $650.

You don’t always need to do extra work to take free things and sell them for good money.

But a little bit of work and touchup often goes a long way. Especially on vintage items.

Merchandise resale is a big business. There’s a reason entire YouTube channels are devoted to making extra income flipping objects.

Key Takeaways

Given the number of case studies he featured in the post, he followed a set of rules allowing him to take advantage of the seller’s mistakes.

He detailed all of them in the post, but I’ll mention the most important ones below.

3. Flip Some More! Flip Free Stuff From Craigslist

In the case study above, he details how he purchases items from Craigslist and resells them to make money. In this post at The Flipping Ninja, A.J. Hakimi buys discounted items from thrift stores and sells them for more than the original price.

His process, which is similar to retail arbitrage on Amazon, helps him earn $2,700/month or more than $40k a year.

In the post, the author shares how he bought The Mystery Chair from Flexsteel (the mystery of which is the hidden recliner) for $10. After taking beautiful photos of the chair and marketing it as such in its classified ad, he was able to sell it for $200.

Most of the case studies in the post feature couches, sofas, and dressers, which goes to show that there’s money to be made in these types of items. However, he also made money by selling art and television.

So there’s no limit to what you can sell on Craigslist.

There is a whole world of free (or almost free) items on Craigslist that you can take, flip, and resell for major profits.

It’s true that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Finding these free items may take a big more work, but the return on investment can be amazing.

Key Takeaways

While the process of flipping items on Craigslist looks easy, there is a certain art that you need to apply making selling them on the site.

Below are practices that you need to hone and develop to make the all-important sale.

4. Sell Your Phone

Smartphones and mobile devices sell like hotcakes. Since every manufacturer pumps out a different model every so often, consumers will ditch their “old” phone they purchased months ago to get their hands on the latest version.

Given the trends of electronics, you can take advantage of the high turnover rate of mobile devices by selling them on Craigslist.

This post by Stephen at Cell Solo details the exact process that he did to sell his phone on the site. He was able to get a buyer for his 3-year old iPhone 4s 32G for $160.

Key Takeaways

Selling your mobile phone can be tricky, given that you need to tweak your phone with the help of your service provider.

Below are tips that you should keep in mind before making a sale on Craigslist with your phone.

5. Offer Multiple Gigs

In light of the gig economy, it has become convenient for people to commit to different side hustles instead of just one big job. The beauty of having different jobs is that you are not dependent on a single source of income.

By diversifying your income streams, you become resistant to the changing economic landscape that’s putting some people out of business.

If you need someone to help inspire you to a career in side hustling, then Jeffro of JasonCouponKing.com is your guy. His post on Budgets are Sexy documents his Craigslist experiment in which he posted different ads offering various services.

Jeffro decided to undertake one-off projects that did not require any long-term commitment.

He offered an average of $18 for menial jobs like pulling weeds, tearing down art displays, and working as a chauffeur.

By the end of the month, he was able to add $655 on top of his usual income.

That’s not a full-time gig by any stretch but it shows there are potential customers for even the most menial of jobs or tasks on Craigslist.

Key takeaways

Ultimately, Jeffro’s experiment was a mixed bag. He claims that some of the jobs he offered like moving services and paper routing paid so low that it’s not worth repeating them. Nonetheless, there are lessons to be learned from his experiences, some of which are detailed below.

6. Sell Appliances

Ryan of ReCraigslist considers appliances as the second most valuable item to buy and sell on the site. He even dedicates a full-blown post about selling appliances on his website and even launched a training course on how to sell appliances on Craigslist at ApplianceSchool.com.

From his post, he explains how appliances are high demand, high supply item. Similar to how people replace their mobile phones, lots of households dispose of their perfectly working machine in place for a newer model.

At the same time, appliances straight on the market cost thousands of dollars, so it is only logical for people to browse sites like Craigslist for the same model at a lower price.

Ryan has turned selling appliances on Craigslist into a lucrative business. For every machine he sells, he earns a profit between $75-200.

Bonus: You can also make money reselling concert tickets on Craigslist.  If you are interested in joining a training course that shows you how to flip concert tickets, go here.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to reselling products on Craigslist in general, you need to offer them extra value to purchase your products. The same applies to appliances.

Assuming that the machines you are selling are pre-loved, you need to make sure that the units still works and operates at an efficient level.

Below are ways how you can add value to your appliances so you can sell them easier.

7. Monetize Your Hobby on Craigslist

You might be surprised by what some people will pay cash for. Take a look at any hobbies you have or have been thinking about. There are obvious ones like sewing, jewelry making, and handcrafts that tend to be favorites of the make money on Etsy crowd.

While those are all good options, there are less obvious options, as well. 

This blog post talks about how aquarium plants and clippings turned into hundreds of dollars a month via Craigslist ad. From things she would have just thrown away.

Do you grow Microgreens in an inside garden to sell to restaurants or use in your own cooking? Do you whittle different little carvings from wood? Mold little tabletop RPG characters from a 3-D printer?

All of these are very different hobbies that could become a source of extra money from Craigslist.

The hobby doesn’t have to be normal. Sometimes very unusual hobbies can do well in helping you to sell on Craigslist.

There are plenty of stories of individuals taking mass produced cheap prints (the type with hundreds of thousands of copies) of paintings found throughout homes in the past and painting funny scenes onto them before selling those changes.

You could take old far out of date fabrics and create something new.

Or do something completely different. There are many options for making extra money from a hobby on Craigslist, weird or not.

Don’t forget to record your progress on YouTube to see if your channel takes off!

Key Takeaways

Conclusion

While time may have caught up with Craigslist, there is still no denying that you can still make good money off the platform. By using the case studies above as inspiration for your Craigslist journey, you too can make earn a small fortune that you can add as one of your many income streams.

This is not a passive income setup. It will require time and work to get going. How much extra income you earn will depend in part by how much time and effort you put into it.

And if you’re just getting started, Craigslist is a great place to be. You can use the money you make on Craigslist to reinvest back into your business. I call is stair-stepping. That’s how I built my first online business and I have no doubt that you can follow in my footsteps.

Thanks for reading this post! If you have questions about the article or have experience in making money on Craigslist that you want to share, feel free to comment below with your thoughts.




Niche Business Ideas | 8 comments

By Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional freelance writer who provides small businesses and startups with content that aims to grow their engagement and conversion with their audience. To learn more about Christopher, you can follow him on Twitter.

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8 Comments

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Jhony_Isaacs

At first thanks to you dicuss about craigslist detail. I’m wrok at Home improvement tools from amazon. Now I know about craigslist from here about it’s sellling and ads method. I have a question anyone can earn here from deliver his own serivce or product. Or put on here free ads?

Rohit Singh

Awesome strategy, thanks for sharing this awesome information.

Spencer Haws

Thanks Rohit!

Giovanni Zappavigna

Great article, I love the part about the item flipping. You can do a nice amount of money by doing that. A significant percentage of people just want to get rid of their things, so they sell at a low price, plus you can bargain with them.

You just need to put efforts and take the time required, and you can make a couple of bucks with that technique.

Sumon Ahmmed

It is really grate post for me. This Post will help me to to start Craigslist to earn some money and sale Local product.

Thanks again for the post 🙂

Ray Holmes

My affiliate blogs were stagnant for so long. I didn’t made any sales and wanted to quit, however I am very hopefull after reading your article. Seems I can see a light and feels excited again. Hope to see my first sale after I will apply what you had said. I appreacite you posted something like this to help us newbie. 🙂

moumita

I think similar strategies can be applied to amazon fba too

Legit Craigslist Poster

I love always Craigslist Hot Traffic that really concert and make more bucks….. 🙂

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