Learn How to Create a Craigslist Ad & Make Money!
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The first step to selling your old stuff online is learning how to create a Craigslist ad. We were able to make over $3000 in one month selling stuff on Craigslist! Trust me, it is very simple and straightforward to do. Once you make one ad, they’re all pretty much the same after that.
I know that doing something you’ve never done before can be confusing. Even if it’s very straightforward, the fact that it’s all new makes you wonder if you’re doing it right.
When I first created a Craigslist post ad, I wasn’t sure what to do and kept asking Ian. Because of that, I thought it would be beneficial to show you all that it’s actually very simple to create a Craigslist ad. That way you can start making some money by getting rid of your old stuff.
So What Type of Craigslist Ad Can I Even Make?
First off, I want to let you all know that there’s so much you can do with Craigslist. It’s a great place to find items you’re looking for or wanting to get rid of, either free or for sale.
But there are TONS of other things Craigslist is useful for. Here are just some of the many different topics you can make a Craigslist ad on:
• Offering a job
• Looking for a job
• Offering childcare services
• Offering or advertising a service
• Looking for a quick gig (short-term or small)
• Offering a service (beauty, manual labor, financial, legal, etc.)
• Offering a place to live
• Looking for a place to live
• Looking for love
• Wanting to vent (rant)
• Looking for services in your community (childcare, volunteers, activity partners, etc.)
• Selling tickets
• Advertising your garage sale
• Pretty much anything that isn’t illegal
If you’re in need of anything, Craigslist will most likely be able to help you.
However, I personally would not go looking for love on there. It’s not the safest and best match-making site, so if you’re in the market for a new significant other, I would skip Craigslist in your search.
Nevertheless, it’s totally up to you to decide what you do with your life.
Okay, so now let’s get to the good part: how to make a Craigslist ad. The best part is, it’s really simple to do!
How to Post an Ad on Craigslist
Some listings do come with a fee, depending on the area and type of Craigslist ad being made. Businesses (dealers) have a certain fee they have to pay per ad, and so do some other types of listings. However, if you’re simply posting an ad looking for something (i.e. car parts or a mattress) or posting your items (if you’re not a dealer), then you do not have to pay a fee. Once you select the posting type you want, you will either see you need to pay a fee to post the ad or you will not see anything.
Like I said earlier, it’s all pretty straightforward with you.
So follow these steps and you’ll have your first Craigslist ad created in no-time!
1. Select Your Area
First and foremost, you need to go to the main Craigslist website. From here, you are going to find your state and the closest area listed that’s near you.
For me, I go to Michigan and choose detroit metro. Once you’ve found the correct one, simply click on it and it will take you to your selected area’s front page.
2. Post to Classifieds
To create your listing, click on post to classifieds in the upper left-hand corner.
The screenshot below has the link highlighted in red:
3. Choose Your Ad Type and Category
This part all depends on what you are posting an ad for.
If you’re selling an item, select for sale by owner or for sale by dealer, depending on which you are.
For personal use, you will select the for sale by owner category. Since I mainly only use this one, the rest will be for how to make a for sale by owner ad.
The good news is, the other options are pretty much the same, just a few more (or less) buttons to click. Again, it’s all very simple and the prompts / pages tell you exactly what to do.
Okay, so now on to the category selection. This also all depends on what you are trying to sell.
You can choose anything from antiques to motorcycles to health and equipment. This is to help people find your product when searching in a specific category.
Once you choose the correct one, you are then prompted to select the county you live in. Again, this is for classification purposes. It helps people near you find the ad easier.
After you select the county, you can move on to creating the content of the ad!
4. Putting Content in Your Post Body
Once you’ve finished everything above, you should be taken to a page that looks similar to this:
There is more to the posting, I just didn’t include it since they don’t all look the same.
Everything that is highlighted in green needs to be filled out. Add your title – this is whatever you are posting about. Include your zip code, and then start writing your post!
This is all pretty intuitive, but here are some tips on what to include in your post to appeal to more buyers.
1. You want to include details about what you’re selling / looking for. An example would be creating an ad to sell your vehicle. Make sure to include things such as the make, model, current mileage, title status, and if there’s recently been maintenance done to it (oil change, new tires, tire rotation, detailed, etc.).
2. How long you’ve had the item (depending on if this is relevant or not).
3. The item’s condition (new, like new, fair) and whether it works or not.
4. It’s also smart to add any other information you would want to know if you were interested in buying the item.
However, you should note that putting too much information can also deter potential buyers.
Ian and I bought an engine a few months back and decided to sell it. We included other components of the truck the engine came with in the same post (this was NOT a whole vehicle, just parts of a truck we bought) and other random info.
The engine didn’t sell until we made a new ad just for the engine and said what all the engine would come with (wiring harness, intercooler piping, etc.). That same day, we got 2 people calling about it. The next day, a guy drove 300 miles to buy it. He paid us $1700 for it (we were asking $1800) and we were so happy to finally sell it!
So just keep in mind you shouldn’t say too much (just the necessities) and if people are interested, they can ask you more questions (which is what most people do).
After you finish filling out the green boxes, read below for some tips on a few of the other boxes.
On the main posting page, you are required to include your email address.
At first, I was hesitant to do this because I didn’t want random people to start emailing me all the time. Craigslist has it set up to block your email address from viewers. If someone is interested in your ad, they are given the option to reply via email. There is a specific code / address made that is directed to your email.
It does not show your email address at all, so it is safe to include.
However, you have the option to not allow people to respond to your ad via email. Next to where you type in your email, there is the option to select “no replies to this email.” If you don’t want people to email you, simply select that option.
You also have the option to include a phone number and contact name.
These are totally optional, but if you don’t check your email regularly, you might want to include this.
When adding your phone number, you have the choice to check whether you want calls or texts or both. I do both because it’s just easiest and some people might not text.
Depending on which you select, when somebody goes to reply to your ad, next to the phone number it says call, text, or call & text.
The reply options are shown in the screenshot below:
At the bottom of the page, there is a box that is labeled show on maps.
If you don’t want your exact location shown to people (for privacy reasons), I would un-check this box.
I usually un-check it because the whole world doesn’t need to know where I live.
When meeting with someone, you can give them your address or meet in public. Public is safer but if you’re selling something that’s not easy to take with you, then meet at home. Make sure you always have someone with you, though. You can never be too safe!
There is also a box about others contacting you. It’s automatically un-checked, so just leave it that way. Unless you actually want solicitors. But let’s be real, who does?
Once you’ve finished everything on this page, go on to the next.
5. Adding Pictures
The next page gives you the option to add pictures.
I highly recommend this step.
If you’re looking to buy something, typically you want to see some pictures of it. Otherwise, you might just pass over the post and move on to the next one with pictures.
Adding pictures saves your audience from having to go an extra step and ask you for them. And if what you’re selling or trying to get rid of doesn’t interest them, they just wasted some of their time.
So it’s a courtesy and also good for advertising your item(s).
Once your photos are uploaded, you can drag and drop them in whatever order you want them in. Afterwards, click continue at the bottom and move on.
6. Edit Post
Once you’ve done everything, you are brought to an unpublished version of your ad. Take a minute to look it over and make sure you’ve included everything you want and make sure everything is spelled correctly.
If it all looks good, then click Publish at the top or bottom of the page.
7. Confirm Post
After all of that is done, a page will appear instructing you to check your email to confirm your post.
Go to your email, open the one from Craigslist, and click on the link they sent to confirm your post. Once you do that, you’re ad is up and running!
If you need to edit it, you can with the link provided in the email. Your posting will be good for 45 days unless it was paid for. Then it’s only good for 30 days.
If your posting expires, simply go back to the initial email, click on the link, and select the option to renew your post.
Tip: You can post ads in multiple locations near you. This helps expand your audience and potential buyers. We did this when selling our engine and someone from Chicago came up and bought it. All you have to do is create new ads for each different location and simply copy what you posted in the first ad to the new ones. And obviously follow the rest of the steps to complete and publish the ad. It’s time consuming, but can help you sell something quick.
And that’s all there is to it! Now you’ll be able to easily and successfully make a Craigslist ad. If this post was helpful, please give it a share. 🙂