More and more parts of society are moving online every year. In 2021, total estimated e-commerce sales reached $870.8 billion. These sales represented more than a 14 percent increase from 2020. Not only has the internet affected the sales of traditional big-box store-based retail, but it’s also impacted the classified and personal ads of newspapers.
The rise of Craigslist nearly crippled newspapers for a variety of reasons. The website directly led to fewer posts in classified sections resulting in cheaper ad rates, increased subscription prices, less circulation, and less free publicity for the paper.
Using Craigslist is an easy way to avoid the hassles and commitments of websites such as eBay or Etsy. As long as you’re careful about protecting your privacy, there are a lot of money-making opportunities available through Craigslist.
What Is Craigslist?
Craigslist is an American classified advertisement website that contains dedicated subcategories. These sections contain a little bit of everything, ranging from housing, real estate, and apartment rentals to job postings, resumes, free ads, and freelance gigs.
Outside of job ads, the vast majority of Craigslist posts include items for sale or items wanted. These posts offer a unique opportunity for a small business to make sales.
Craigslist began in 1995 when founder Craig Newmark created an email chain involving a few friends. What started as a small electronic newsletter in the San Francisco Bay area would eventually become a national phenomenon.
Craigslist now includes local classified ads in more than 450 cities nationwide, including major hubs like New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Miami.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Posting on Craigslist
There are several reasons why Craigslist became so popular in major cities across the country. For starters, posting an ad to Craigslist is more convenient than contacting your local newspaper, and the ad will be viewed by way more people, including people looking on a search engine.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also completely free. You don’t even need to make a Craigslist account to post ads or classifieds.
Getting to the Page
Posting an ad on Craigslist isn’t difficult, but there are several steps involved:
- Enter the URL http://www.craigslist.org into your browser. The website should automatically take you to the homepage of your local Craigslist classifieds based on the location of your device. On the right side of the page is a list of additional cities and states. Use this list to browse if the Craigslist site doesn’t take you to the right location or you want to create a post in another area.
- Click the “Post to Classifieds” button located in the upper top-left corner of the page.
- A new page will be opened and you’ll be given the opportunity to fine-tune your location if you would like. Posting to a certain sub-board can help you target potential buyers in specific locations.
- You’ll have the opportunity to login to your account by clicking the login button located in the upper right of the screen. You don’t need to have a Craigslist account to post anything, but it will give you access to a control panel where you can manage any posted ads.
Starting Your Posting
- Answer the prompt of “What type of posting is this?” by selecting a category. There are several categories available including job offered/wanted, housing offered/wanted, for sale/wanted by owner, for sale/wanted by dealer, gig offered, service offered, community, and event/class.
- Once you’ve selected the type of posting, you’ll need to enter in quite a bit of information. There is a lot of optional information that you can skip, but a few mandatory fields as well.
- You’ll have to enter in a posting title, postal code, item description, language of posting, and email. A lot of people include their phone numbers to help complete the sale. However, you shouldn’t do this unless you have a third-party app that will keep your personal number private.
- Click the “Continue” button whenever you’ve entered all the information.
Adding More Information and Photos
- On the next page, you’ll see a map of the local area. You’ll have the opportunity to inform potential buyers about your location by dragging the location marker to where you are or entering your location into the text boxes.
- Click the “Continue” button to be redirected to the “Add Images” page.
- Uploading high-quality and up-to-date photos can help increase the odds of a sale. Take a few pictures of the item that you are selling and click the “add images” button. Rearrange and edit the photos as needed and select “done with images” whenever you’re done.
Publish Your Posting
- The final page is where you’ll be able to review the ad posting and see what other users will see. Review your ad for any incorrect information, spelling mistakes, or other errors. Use the “edit post”, “edit location”, or “edit images” to make any desired changes.
- Click the “publish” button whenever you are satisfied with your listing.
- The screen should display a message stating, “important - further action is required to complete your request!”
- You should receive an email from Craigslist within a minute or two. It will ask you to confirm the posting by clicking the link in the email. The link will expire in 30 minutes so you don’t have to rush anything. Once you’ve confirmed the posting, it will appear on Craigslist within about 15 minutes or so.
- It’s a good idea to keep the confirmation email so that you can easily find your online ad later. There’s a good chance that you’ll eventually need to update or delete the post.
And that’s all you need to know about safely posting on Craigslist! Are you excited to start selling?
Stay Safe When Posting Online
You should always exercise great caution whenever you are arranging to meet with a potential buyer or seller online. Always meet in a public place, during the day, and either take someone with you or inform them of the details of your meeting. There is no such thing as being too careful.
It’s always a good idea to keep your phone number private. Downloading the Burner app will provide you with a second phone number that’s perfect for selling or buying items off Craigslist.
Any calls or texts made to your second number are rerouted to Burner before being transferred to your real number. You can keep this number for as long as you like, or “burn” it and select a new one.
Visit Burner today and select your phone number so you can enjoy a free seven-day trial.