Make Money on Craigslist – It Can be Done!

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shutterstock_116050483You’ve probably heard the warnings over and over again: “Craigslist is full of scams” and “Haven’t you heard of the Craigslist killer?” and “Craigslist = Stalkerlist.”

But despite these (very real) warnings, it is possible to make a boatload of cash on Craigslist. I know this first-hand because over the past 6.5 years, I’ve secured one full-time job, two part-time jobs and countless side gigs that have allowed me to make thousands upon thousands of dollars.

My secret for success on Craigslist?

I adhere to the two C’s: Creativity and Caution. If you’re willing to creatively seek out opportunities and are very careful about how you solicit information and apply to various postings, you can easily bump your income in the positive direction.

Ways to Make Money on Craigslist

There are three main ways to make money on Craigslist. You can sell unwanted items, find full-time or part-time work or secure side gigs (for the sake of this post, a side gig is anything you do to make money outside of your regular job.

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Selling Items on Craigslist

If you opt to sell something on Craigslist, make sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Set your selling price at a comfortable amount that will allow for bargaining/haggling with the potential buyer (it is customary for people to offer less than you post an item for as a means of negotiation).
  • Clearly and succinctly describe the item—your post should be short but truthful. Remember that if you embellish or leave out key information, the buyer may decide to opt out once he/she sees the item. Set yourself up for success by being clear from the beginning (you’ll also save yourself a lot of time and frustration).
  • Don’t forget pictures! People will want to see what they’re buying. I’ve purchase furniture from Craigslist ads before, and I can honestly say that I don’t read many of the posts that don’t have photos attached.
  • Do not list your phone number or address in the post! If possible, obtain the buyer’s information first. Also make sure to use the Craigslist feature that hides your real email address (if you don’t, be prepared to be inundated with spam).

Applying for Jobs on Craigslist

As with selling items, keeping your personal information safe is paramount if you’re going to apply for a job or side gig on Craigslist. Above all, do not blindly send your resume to any post! Make sure to also keep the following in mind:

  • Seek out postings made by actual companies that you can Google & verify. If they have a website, make sure to check it out. It also wouldn’t hurt to do a quick search on LinkedIn or GlassDoor to see if you can verify other employees, etc.
  • Submit your resume to an actual company employee or HR department whenever possible. Chances are, the job will be posted on that company’s website, so make sure your application is submitted that way instead of replying to the email address listed on the post.

Finding a Side Gig on Craigslist

If applying for side gigs, the following extra rules should apply:

  • Use an anonymous email address for your reply (one that lists just your first name and last initial)
  • Agree to payment terms prior to work being done and get everything in writing!
  • If you’re meeting someone for an interview or to discuss something in greater detail, make sure to choose a busy, public place and tell your friends/family where you’ll be.

Try to build some fun into what you’ll be doing! Side hustles are meant to augment your income, not replace it. So why not seek out opportunities to do something you enjoy? Better yet, find ways to turn a hobby into an income stream using the side gigs postings!

Have you ever used Craigslist to make money? What else would you add to this list of tips?

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Jen is the owner of The Happy Homeowner, where she writes about living a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Previously, she paid off $14K in credit card debt in less than a year and hasn’t looked back since. Follow along on Twitter with her financial, fitness and travel adventures @bthhomeowner!