How To Make Money With Craigslist Arbitrage: 3 Ways You Can Make Money Fast On Craigslist

November 24, 2023

You can make money with Craigslist arbitrage using traditional methods like retail reselling, where you buy a profitable product people are searching for (like furniture, phone accessories, or baby items for low costs or free). Then resell those items for profits. But in 2024, there are other ways to make money on the platform, like providing a service, volunteering, flipping things, or landing cash-only gigs. 

Craigslist gets over 250.6 million visits every month and is ranked 39th on a list of websites Americans visit the most. You can access an audience actively looking for a product or service. The key is knowing what people want. How can you fill a gap in the market? What can you sell or provide to make their lives easier? 

Of course, Craigslist arbitrage is less profitable than an online business model, like starting a local lead generation company. But you can do a few things to make some quick cash on this digital marketplace. This article shares three ways to make money fast on Craigslist. 

Can You Make Money Selling On Craigslist?

Yes, you can make money selling on Craigslist, but you need to know how to play the game. Retail arbitrage is all about liquidation. People aren't interested in a good deal. They want a great deal. So if you're going to make a profit, you need to do some market research and access things like:

Check out the competition: How many listings are selling the same product? (If it's 20+, it might be too competitive).

Research your product: The more details you have about your inventory, the better you can pitch a compelling offer. What added features can you showcase to increase the item's perceived value? For example, is it handcrafted? Is it made in the USA? How does it differ from current listings and related posts?

Price to sell: Your goal is to make an income selling on Craigslist. You need to sell for a profit without listing too high, or you risk not being able to sell your stock. For example, What price is the competition asking for the product?

"Craigslist generates over $1 billion in revenue". Business Insider

Consider listing your item $10-$15 lower than your competitor. (Not a lowball price tag. But you need to price it low enough to entice people that your product is the best deal). You can make a living selling on Craigslist. The key is to streamline your process of acquiring cheap items to resell in bulk quantities and scale your online business.

First, find a warehouse clearance store or an online store that consistently lists quality goods for free or low-cost. Next, invest in automation software like CL Autoposting Tool or Hot Ad Poster to post and renew ads quickly and handle campaign management. Then create as many Craigslist accounts as possible and automate your process to scale your sales.

3 Ways You Can Make Money Fast On Craigslist In 2024

1. Solve A Problem For Craigslist Customers

You can make cash on Craigslist today by solving a problem. How can you provide a solution? Instead of looking up ways to make an income online, think about people's problems. (The more significant and painful the issue, the more you make). Can you offer a service on Craigslist that people want?

  • What are your skills? 
  • What can you do that has high-perceived value?
  • Is this something that people are actively searching for online?

From consulting to tech services and setting up email accounts, you can make extra money on Craigslist today by increasing your offer's perceived value and convincing people that they need what you're selling.

Another option is to act as a Craigslist middleman and outsource jobs to freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Post in multiple cities on Craigslist, and you'll get more traction and more clients. In addition, you can provide solutions to problems like:

  • Website design & graphics
  • Content writing & video editing
  • Cooking/meal prep & childcare
  • Cleaning services & executive assistant

Global spending on outsourcing hit nearly $731 billion in 2022. People are willing to pay because they don't want to do the work themselves. Price competitively and build a name and reputation for yourself, and you can charge more. Land enough gigs on Craigslist to make five figures a month. 

2. Include Add-Ons To Your Craigslist Product Listing

Including add-ons to your Craigslist listing is a chance to monetize your post and drive more online traffic to your offer. Do you have a talent, hobby, or skill that you could add to your product listing? For example, if you're selling vintage frames, do you have tips on how to take better landscapes? Or, if you're selling baby items, find a source to get smaller products for free. Then you're not out any cash. (Of course, you won't profit from the free stock you give away). But you will be able to charge more for your primary product. 

You should also consider things like; How can you make your listing unique? What can you offer to stand out from the competition? Focus on the benefits of your merchandise, be flexible with your pricing, and be open to negotiations, and you'll make more sales.

3. Land Cash-Only Gigs On Craigslist

You can make 'Craigslist fast cash' by landing jobs that pay the same day. For example, use the Craigslist Cities feature to find listings that are looking for things like: 

  • Construction & handyperson
  • Moving & garbage removal
  • Writer & delivery service
  • BETA tester & driver

People post all kinds of jobs on the platform. If you're willing to do anything for money on Craigslist, it's possible to make a few hundred bucks today. Another option is to volunteer your time to help a business or homeowner. But you can profit without selling anything with a few easy steps.

Start by creating a post and clicking the 'Community' link to list your offer. (The idea is to offer the first service free and then upsell additional services). For example, you can offer to do website audits for small business owners. Then, use a free tool like Shine Ranker to assess issues and get tips on improving them. Shine Ranker shows you what needs fixing and how to fix it. Fix one problem and upsell the others to generate funds quickly.

What Can You Sell Today To Make Money On Craigslist?

You can make money today on Craigslist by selling things people want to buy. Check out Facebook Marketplace for free stuff, then relist it on Craigslist for a markup. Another option is to find stuff around your house that appeal to the masses. Items you can sell that everybody needs like:

  • Recyclable materials & things you make
  • Old clothes, books & household items
  • Costume jewelry, purses & shoes

The fastest-selling items on Craigslist are baby products, furniture, used cell phones, and accessories. But you need to list quality products that work. (And have all of the pieces/parts).

Use high-quality pictures and keywords in your listing to get more views. (You can use a free keyword tool like Keywords Everywhere to access popular search terms). Craigslist has a broad user base, so your target audience will be determined by what you sell. 

For example, if you sell kids' clothes, you appeal to parents. Sell collectibles, and you'll get collectors. You can make money fast on Craigslist if you find things for free and relist them for profit. If you're broke, you can sell items you own and are no longer using. Create a free listing and offer a better deal than the competition to land a fast sale.

How Do You Make Money With Retail Arbitrage?

You make money with retail arbitrage by buying items at a low price and reselling them for a higher than you paid. But retail arbitrage is one of the most low-profit business models in 2024. So if you want to make some real coin, you need to be a bargain hunter. Go to a local flea market, yard sale, garage sale, or thrift store.

You can also check out auctions, a retail store, or even bargain stores. (Or hit a clearance item sale a look for a good deal). You can also find online arbitrage deals on sites like Facebook Marketplace or eBay and look for things people want to get rid of for free. Another option is to take advantage of a little-known section filled with overstocked, open boxes and refurbished items sold by Amazon Warehouse

You can also find closeouts and markdowns on the Amazon website. Plus, you don't need an Amazon seller account for these deals. Instead, go to the Amazon seller app and click the three horizontal lines in the bottom right section.

Then select 'Deals & Savings.' (You can access both in the sub-menu to score discounted products online). The sites cater primarily to household goods. But they're one of the top ways to make money with Craigslist because they're products that are easy to sell. (After all, they're things everybody needs). 

How To Make Money Flipping Things On Craigslist

You can make money flipping things on Craigslist by buying low and selling high. The most profitable products to flip on Craigslist are things that appeal to everyone, like:

  • Bed in a box & furniture
  • Sports & exercise equipment
  • Power tools & musical instruments
  • Tech accessories & board games

Flipping on Craigslist is profitable if you can land low-or no-cost deals and resell high. However, as a business model, retail arbitrage has some of the lowest profit margins, with most people earning 10%-25%. Nevertheless, you can make a few hundred dollars a month if reselling is your side gig. Or if you can land discounted products people want, you can earn $2000-$5000+/month selling on Craigslist in 2024.

It's not hard to sell on Craigslist, but it's not an easy business model either. First, you must always be sourcing new inventory for free or low-cost. Then you need to invoke a sense of urgency or develop a unique angle that will set your Craigslist listing apart from the competition. You also need to establish a system or utilize software to automate tasks. Then you can scale your business to make Craigslist fast cash. Another way to make money on Craigslist is to flip cell phones like what is taught in the Phone Flipping Academy by Julia McNeal.

How Can You Make More Sales On Craigslist?

You can improve your sales with a few methods. Ideas that will help to weed out the 'tire-kickers' and attract serious buyers with things like:

  • Check out competitor listings.
  • Create as many Craigslist accounts and original ads as you can.
  • Understand the needs of your target audience.
  • Use keywords in the footer.
  • Create as many Craigslist accounts and original ads as you can.

  • Display a phone number or contact form and encourage users to contact you the old-fashioned way instead of email or text messages. (You might get fewer inquiries. But you'll end up connecting with buyers who are genuinely interested ). 

Is It Worth It To Sell On Craigslist?

Yes, it's worth it to sell on Craigslist if you want to make some extra coin or develop a side hustle. Or for people willing to invest the time, effort, and systems to scale selling on Craigslist can replace their 9-5. Rebutting rumors that Craigslist is experiencing a slow death, the site still gets more than 80 million classified ads every month. With some of the lowest ad fees, Craigslist is a popular way for people to make money with arbitrage.

The resale market is on fire, and it's not only for bargain enthusiasts. With the population becoming more concerned with environmental issues, buying secondhand isn't just a way to save some coin. It's a greener solution. The secondhand market has grown 45% from 2016-2022 and continues to grow. Not to mention that 37% of small business owners utilize outsourcing services, and flipping items continues to generate decent profits.

Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Amazon overshadow Craigslist's popularity in certain countries. But, there are still hundreds of cities and countries where it remains a dominant online forum. 

Plus, with over 700 local sites in 70 different countries selling on Craigslist is still a way to make cash online in 2024. You can list random items worth money that you can find around your house for free, like: 

  1. Star Wars action figures & Pokémon cards
  2. Hot wheels cars & Lego
  3. Vintage chandeliers & picture frames
  4. Comics & used books
  5. Power tools & extension cords

"Over the last three months, Craigslist's global ranking has increased from 92 to 85". Similar Web

Of course, you need to protect yourself and not fall victim to fraud. Unfortunately, the safest way to get paid on Craigslist is with cash. (Personal checks can bounce, and wired funds are risky). Plus, the platform discourages sellers from accepting digital payments like a credit card. (Even from trusted sites like PayPal). And never share your personal finance information with anyone on the platform. There are a few other things you shouldn't do when selling on Craigslist to protect yourself, like:

  • Avoid using your real name
  • Use a proxy email address or phone number
  • Set up meetings in a public place (or have someone with you if buyers come to your home)
  • Plan the details ahead of time
  • Don't offer to accept digital payments

Craigslist is a safe way to resell inventory, but you need to be smart. (Unfortunately, there will be scam artists no matter where you sell). 

How Do You Get Noticed On Craigslist?

You can get noticed on Craigslist by knowing your target audience and leveraging scroll-stopping headlines. Naturally, you want your listing to stand out, but the platform is competitive. You need to adopt a few tricks to get your listing in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

First, consider creating listings that have these key features:

  • Keyword-focused titles & descriptions
  • Detailed information in the content of your ad
  • Eye-catching visuals
  • A clear call to action
  • Fair price tag

The best time to sell on Craigslist is between 10 am and noon or 5 pm, Monday-Friday. This is because people are on their lunch breaks or have finished work and are more inclined to be online. But if you're a weekend poster, morning posts tend to get more views. Then you get views and a steady stream of online traffic to your offer.  

Craigslist has an algorithm that favors new listings over old ones. A way to circumvent this issue is to use the 'Repost' button next to your active post. (This will also help you get your listing to the top of Craigslist).

Get your listing to the top of Craigslist using a few easy hacks like:

  • Post in a city nearby if they have a better market for what you're selling
  • Relist weekly
  • Use SEO tactics (like keywords)
  • Check your inbox regularly

Craigslist ads stay active for 30 days and then expire. But you can employ a few methods to keep your listing live, like deleting and reposting with new content. Then you avoid the 48-hour limit and get additional traffic. (Be sure to use new copy in your ad listing every time you repost to avoid being flagged by the platform). 

Part of being a successful seller on Craigslist is about following their rules. Therefore, they won't tolerate sellers who try to play the system with frequent posts, ads that are too similar, or duplicate listings in multiple cities.

You can post in a single category in a specific geographical area once every 48 hours on Craigslist. But you can post as many ads as you want if they're unique and target different categories or an alternate city. (If you don't comply, your ad will be flagged and may be removed). 

How Can You Make Money Without Selling On Craigslist?

You can make money without selling on Craigslist by replying to an ad posted by people looking to hire or rent stuff you don't use every day, like seasonal sports equipment, a parking space, a storage bin or shed, etc. Other ways to make cash without selling on Craigslist include the following:

1. Complete online surveys: 

Find survey sites listed in the 'etc.' subsection under the jobs main section or in the 'computer' subsection in the gigs section willing to pay cash for your opinion.

2. Use affiliate links:

You can sign up with an affiliate program like ClickBank for free. Then find trending items selling well and create a unique angle- why people need this product. Of course, affiliates don't own inventory; your only job is to drive online sales and get people to click your link. But if you promote profitable products, you can earn decent cash with the business model.

3. Market your skills:

Have a talent? Can you teach something? From acting and IT tech support to piano lessons and karate, people are looking for someone to help them solve a problem and are willing to pay for your expertise.

4. Get paid to wrap your vehicle:

Companies like Wrapify will pay for individuals to use their vehicle as a motorized billboard and pay between $196-$452/month.

Why Starting A Local Lead Generation Business Is A Better Online Business In 2024

You can make money with Craigslist arbitrage, but you're dealing with some of the lowest profit margins on the internet. On the other hand, the lead generation model has profit margins of 85%-90%. Plus, it's a proven concept and a way to generate passive income.

Lead gen is less competitive than other online business models because it has a higher barrier to entry. You need to learn the skills to build and rank websites that get to the top of the SERPs. Natural obstacles like location and population size reduce market saturation.

The business model focuses on local traffic, so it takes less time for your site to hit the top of Google. (Compared to ranking at a national level). And because you're offering a service that people are actively searching for online, you generate a steady stream of digital traffic. So get your site to the top of Google and own prime real estate. You own the website, tracking number, and leads.

Once your site produces, you sell your leads to a local business owner for a profit. You can build your lead gen sites for about $500 in 10-15 hours. (You can make more than one at a time). Then you can scale fast and create an online empire. There's no limit to how many sites you build. Plus, you can do this business from anywhere in the world.

Local lead generation

Take this site above, for example. It's only one of over 80 lead gen properties I own and rent. But this site has been making me $2000/month since 2015, and I rarely need to touch it. Of course, Craigslist arbitrage might get you a few wins. But if you want to create financial prosperity, local lead gen is the best way to make money online in 2024.


To make money with Craigslist arbitrage, you need to be willing to experiment and test a variety of products, prices, and categories. Find the winning formula, and you can sell as a side hustle and make a few hundred dollars a month. Or you can scale and streamline your systems and earn a full-time income.

Of course, you need to be willing to hustle and know how and where to find low-cost items you can sell for a decent profit margin. But it's not a way to generate passive income like the lead gen business model. Of course, you can develop a steady cash flow by securing a reliable source that offers quality items for bargain prices. Then, once you build a stash of inventory takes less hustle. But if you're willing to do the work, you can make money with Craigslist arbitrage in 2024.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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