How to easily sell on Craigslist – Safely and Make Some Money

Yesterday I posted about selling a pair of boots on Craigslist and there were some comments about how to sell something on Craigslist, and is it safe.

I totally understand the concerns and there can be problems for sure if you are not careful. I have bought and sold items on Craigslist for years and have not had a problem. I have made some really good money getting rid of unneeded items and even gotten rid of some free things I didn’t want to move myself.

I have 1 more pair of boots I want to sell, and I am going to walk you through that as I post them today.

First, you are going to need an account, you can sign up for free in the left hand top corner of Craigslist. Then find your city or the closest large city.

Now to list your item, you will go to “post to classifieds” you can see it above circled in pink. Click on that.

Now, you choose what kind of item you are offering. Is it something for sale, do you have a service, or are you looking for something.

I chose “for sale” because I am selling something.

Next you chose where you want your item listed. For the most part I have had better luck listing one item at a time, or grouping items together, like indoor kids toys, and outdoor kids toys and selling them in 2 sets and not just 1.

For the boots I chose “clothing & accessories – by owner” as I am just an individual and not a business.

Now you are able to type in the description of you item. This is where you are adding the body of your posting, the title, location and price.

In the title, give as much information as possible in as little words as possible. I listed the brand name, what style, the size and that they are just like new. You are competing with every other ad on there and you want people to check out yours.

I always check the box that makes my email address anonymous, I don’t want my email out there for everyone. For my location I choose Spring as the city and not “The Woodlands” where I live, because I have found sometime people think that is too far north to come from the city and I don’t mind meeting someone in Spring.

For the price, I wasn’t really sure what to put. These are the boots new, Ariat Heritage Western J-Toe boots they are $169.95 + tax and + shipping. *Always look at OTHER ads on Craigslist for the same item you are selling to get an idea of how to price yours. Since I never really wore these at all, I would love to get $150, but that isn’t going to happen looking at the other ads. It looks like $100 is where I might be able to sell them at. I put $110 because you know someone will offer me $50 and I will have to go back and forth.

* I also don’t put my phone number. A lot of people do and that is ok, but NEVER leave your home phone number and I would do my husbands cell and not mine. You can also use something like a Google number as well.

When you have all that info in, now you move on to where you can add photos. ALWAYS add photos!! I have never bought something from anyone who has not had a photo, I don’t even look at those ads, it isn’t worth the time. I took these will my cell phone, emailed them to myself, resized them smaller, and uploaded them to this post.

Make sure your photos are clear and take a few different shots. I make sure that my kids are not in them, and if it is outside that I don’t have too much of my home showing and no license plates either.

Now you can view and approve your final ad and see what it is going to look like. If you like it, then you can approve it. Now, they will send you an email where you will have to actually list the item. If you do not click on the email and list it, no one will ever see it. THIS STEP IS VITAL! So check your email!

There is my email from Craigslist ^^ I clicked on it and published my ad! Now it is listed and people can see it… My final ad on Craigslist HERE  It is live and you can watch for some emails, or texts and phone calls if you left your number.  * I will let you know if I sell them!

A few more tips when selling:

NEVER have anyone come to your home, if you can avoid it in anyway.

NEVER, EVER, EVER, NEVER, meet anyone by yourself! EVER. Period. I pretty much make my husband meet people places especially if it is a high value item. Always in the day if possible and in a crowded parking lot or other public place. I have met a few other Moms in a parking lot when I have sold maternity clothes or kids items, but I still had someone else with me, either my older son, or a friend. You never know that even if you have been talking to a woman, that they are the person who you will actually meet.

If I have been corresponding with someone to buy something and my husband goes to pick it up without me, I always tell them to expect HIM and not me, as to not scare them or make them uncomfortable that it was a man and not the woman who they had talked to. My husband once came home upset about buying a kids playhouse because the woman was so careless, left him with her baby, and could have been easily robbed by a not nice person. My husband was like, “IF YOU EVER!!!” telling me all the things she did wrong.

I don’t consider the item sold until I have the money in my hand. People are REALLY flakey and many times they will say they are on their way and never show up. I never take an ad down or quit talking to people unless I have the cash. With that being said, I would never have someone drive from far away if I had someone else looking at it. That is not fair.

There might be times where you have to have someone come to your home. We have sold some bunk beds and other large furniture where it required coming to my house. I ALWAYS make sure that my husband and I are both home. I don’t like my kids around and ask them to stay out of the way. I would not let a bunch of people in my house. I also don’t want someone walking all through my house to view an item, if possible take the shortest  route or if you can, bring the item to the front door. If you need to, HIDE electronics and other pricy items, you just never know. We also let our dog go nuts at the door before we open it and “hold him back” as we open it. Then drag him outside. Hey, at least they know that if they come back, my dog will let us know! :)

Like I said, if you are smart and careful, you will have really good luck selling and buying from Craigslist. We have bought really high priced items and saved a TON of money. I bought my Nikon D90, a Macbook Pro, a car, plus more and saved thousands of dollars. We have bought small stuff like a lawnmower, kids toys and preschool items for years.  You have to know what you are looking for or you could get burned. I would never buy something that I was not confident or experienced with if it was a lot of money.

Do you have any tips? Can you think of anything that I missed? Do you have any questions?? 

Check back tomorrow and I will post about Buying on Cragislist.


  1. Nikki eddy says

    That sounds exactly the way I do it. Maybe just mention that a lot of communities, like The Woodlands and probably other suburbs, have more local craigslist-type websites ( that are sometime easier to sell/buy on than say “Craigslist Houston.” And you don’t have to drive as far to make the sale. I post on both for better odds. OH! And I almost always get the response of “I can wire you money…..this would be perfect for my sweet daughter who is ill so i can’t meet you in person” – unless it’s in person, Cash in hand, I wouldn’t trust any of that!! Scam, Scam, Scam! I also wouldn’t recommend pay-pal from a stranger, you may get that kind of response too. You just never know if they’ll actually send you the item after you buy it. I think that’s it. Sorry, I’m on coffee cup #2. :)

    • Mrs. Tee says

      Hi I have never used craigslist before. I have arts and crafts to sell and I have read some great advice. What’s the best way to sell my wreaths. How do I collect the payment for my merchandise without making the shopper feel uncomfortable about sending money to pay it.

      • Sara VL says

        If you are selling crafts, I would try Payment is made via paypal, and you ship (or offer local pickup/delivery). It opens your craft business to a much wider audience.

  2. Stacey says

    Craigslist is the way to go for a lot of baby items. Babies don’t care if their toys were used before! And they grow through them sooo fast that most of the ones we bought were brand new. I understand why now – Davie outgrew them so fast we’ve passed them on to my niece and they still look new! You can get great items for half the price or even less. We just made sure to bleach or sanitize them first, of course.

    We got our pack ‘n play, bassinet, extra bases for our car seat, infant toys and infant shoes this way (toddler shoes get beat up so it’s better to get those new, but babies don’t walk in their infant shoes!). I’ve also had good luck with furniture, like a love seat for our game room and a trundle bed.

  3. Whitney says

    We sold our truck on Craigslist and the first two offers were scams, you can tell by the wording they use, it just seems off, like it was written by a robot or something and they always end the email with “Gob Bless”.

  4. Nicole C says

    Very good tips, Tiffany. We have bought and sold a lot of things thru Craiglist, I especially loooove getting my college books thru them– they are so much cheaper. When we sold our pack n play (that had lasted 4 kiddos) I wished that I would have 10 of them – I had so many responses and everyone commented how clean and what a bargain it was and everyone wanted it :)
    My advice to people about Criaglist is just make sure that you would want to buy your own product (i.e. clean and working), and you’ll have success!!

  5. margaret says

    we too have had great success on craigslist. We have sold 3 cars through them and purchased one. We have also sold multiple pieces of furniture, other stuff, and even advertised for garage sales.

    We have found with larger items (like the cars) that we give a phone number–often google voice number…(and make all calls through that same google voice number) because it weeds out the scams for the most part. The scammers mostly email not call.

  6. Angel says

    Thanks for posting very good advice. I want to sell my very good condition cellphone , but i’m worried about selling on craigslist. I heard lots of scams and bad things happen. I really want to sell this cellphone and I don’t want to sell on Ebay because you have to pay and etc.

  7. Chris says

    Craigslist is a great place to make some money if you are selling old stuff or even buying stuff to sell. Please be careful though.. I tried selling cell phones and did great for almost a year. Then was assaulted in at a busy store during the day while i met someone. If you are selling anything over $100 I would take extra precautions. was probably my 300th time selling something and it was a $400 dollar iPad 2. Meet people inside like at Starbucks or go to your local police station or somewhere that has a lot of cameras. Get there a little early wait for them to text you and ask what car they are in. Get a license plate number and text it to a friend before you meet them. Never hurts to be careful.

  8. amanda johnson says

    Is it safe to accept western union for selling a cell phone for 850? It requires giving your full name and email?

  9. Teresa says

    Thanks for the info. I have some household stuff I want to sell a dining table and chairs and that would require me to load it in my car and drive it to a busy location. Also doesn’t it look suspicious if you are selling stuff in a busy location?

    You said don’t provide phone number so how does the person who wants to buy contact you? Via just email? I don’t like to give out my cell number to everyone.

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