There are many ways to make money with Craigslist. The top ways to make money with Craigslist in 2023 are selling your junk, Craigslist arbitrage, and flipping items onto other platforms. Other ways people use Craigslist to make money include freelancing services, attracting business leads, delivery services, and renting property. According to Semrush, Craigslist draws around 200 million users each month! With such a massive audience looking for a range of opportunities on the platform, there’s incredible potential to make extra money with Craigslist. In fact, one of the Craigslist business models below can allow you to make a six-figure income by hiring others to do all the work for you!
Although Craigslist is a legitimate way to make money, it doesn’t have the same level of freedom that other online business models like local lead generation have. Whereas a local lead generation business gives you passive income and the ability to live anywhere while generating leads for businesses online, all the ways to make money with Craigslist require you to be actively working. Most even require you to live in a particular place to make money.
1. Sell your junk
They say one man's junk is another man's treasure. The most typical way people make money on Craigslist is to sell items they no longer use or need. Just because you’re done using an item doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t want it. Many people just throw away or donate their used goods when they could make money. Although donating used items like clothes is a very generous thing to do, most of these items end up in a landfill anyway, so why not see if you can get some cash in your pocket instead?
In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a whopping 84% of donated clothes end up in a landfill or incinerator. By trying to sell your used clothes on Craigslist to someone who actually wants to use them before donating or throwing them away, you’re essentially getting paid to help the environment!
2. Craigslist arbitrage
Retail arbitrage not only works well on E-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay, it’s also a tactic to make money with Craigslist as well! With Craigslist arbitrage, you find cheap, usually pre-used products from places like yard sales and thrift stores where you can get a bargain deal. Before purchasing, you do market research to see if similar items are selling on Craigslist in your area and determine if you can make a profit by reselling the item.
Because items are usually in pre-used condition with Craigslist arbitrage, you can often improve the value of the item by refurbishing it. For example, you could purchase a used desk from a garage sale and then sand and stain the desk to resell it for a higher profit. You could also post ad reselling used smart phones. Phone flipping is what Julia McNeal teaches in her Phone Flipping Academy course.
Can you make a living selling on Craigslist?
You can make a living selling on Craigslist if your cost of living is relatively low and you sell on Craigslist full time. Craigslist is a platform people turn to for cheap, used goods. Therefore, you aren't able to demand as high a price tag for your goods as other marketplaces out there. Furthermore, unlike Amazon retail arbitrage, where you just ship the products to the customer, you need to spend time delivering as a Craigslist seller. Delivering leaves you less time to actually sell and the cost of gas takes away from your profits.
3. Flip items from Craigslist onto Ecommerce platforms
Instead of selling items on Craigslist, you can use Craigslist to find items and flip them for a profit on popular Ecommerce platforms like eBay. Craigslist flipping is profitable because you can check an item's price on another ecommerce platform. You can use this to determine your profit margin prior to purchasing the item. If the margin is too small, you aren't stuck with immoveable stock. The best Ecommerce platforms for selling used items from Craigslist beyond eBay are:
Use the 70% rule when flipping items
The 70% rule in flipping is to pay no more than 70% of the item's market value after any additional costs needed to sell the item. In real estate flipping, it means the investor should only take the deal if they can get the house for 70% of the After Repair Value (ARV) of the property. However, with Craigslist flipping, you can use the 70% rule to determine if you should buy an item by seeing if you can buy the item for 70% of its current Ecommerce marketplace price plus any renovation or shipping costs.
Craigslist Flipping 70% Rule Equation
Item price on Craigslist ≤ 70% of item price on Ecommerce platform + estimated shipping cost + item update cost
4. Find freelance opportunities
Freelancer websites like Upwork and Fiverr aren’t the only places to find working opportunities. You can also find freelance opportunities through the Craigslist job postings, gigs, and services boards. On the Craigslist jobs and gigs boards, you can find jobs people and businesses have posted in various skilled categories, like accounting and finance, education, or customer service. On the Craigslist services page, you can post your own freelancer proposal for potentially interested clients to reach out to you for hire.
You can make up to $5,000/month selling services on Craigslist, depending how valuable your skills are and how many hours you want to work. For example, a bookkeeper gets paid an average of $20/hour according to salary.com, a very common services opportunity on Craigslist.
5. Attract leads for your business
If you already have a service business, you can use Craigslist to attract more leads and increase your business’s revenue. You can post your business’s offer on the Craigslist services board in your local area and increase your potential to attract customers. An established business with a digital presence beyond Craigslist, like a website or social media page, does much better at attracting customers than a freelancer just posting on Craigslist. Especially if the business has successful testimonials or case studies from previous customers.
6. Deliver items to make money on Craigslist without selling anything
A major drawback of Craigslist compared to other Ecommerce platforms is that you have to take time out of your day to meet with a potential buyer when you want to make a sale. Therefore, if you have a vehicle, especially if it’s a truck, you can make money by delivering items for other Craigslist sellers who don’t want the hassle of doing the delivery themselves. Although you can’t get delivery gigs through the Craigslist platform itself, there are many third-party applications you can use to deliver for Craigslist, including:
For example, Roadie drivers earn an average of $13 for a local delivery trip.
7. Be a Craigslist middleman
Craigslist middleman is a business model where you run ads on Craigslist to offer high value services like website or branding design and outsource the work to freelancers with the right skills once you actually close the clients. A Craigslist classified ad is a free post on Craigslist you can use to promote a service you’re offering. The middleman Craigslist business model is for digital services, so you aren’t limited to just connecting businesses with freelancers in your local area. You can post your service ads in cities all around the country, or even other countries that speak your language, to increase your opportunities and make more money online.
You only need 3 applications to do the Craigslist middleman business model, which are:
Heres an example of the successful workflow of the Craigslist middleman business model.
Post web design classified ad on Craigslist
Respond to potential client inquiries by phone and close the deal for $2,500
Receive payment (in full or partial) from the client by PayPal
Hire a web designer from a freelance website for $1,000
Deliver project to client once complete and pocket the $1,500 difference
8. Rent out your property
For people looking to make extra income by renting out their apartment, home, or an often unused vacation getaway, Craigslist can be a great place to find renters. Unlike Airbnb, which takes 3% of the reservation fee from the host, Craigslist does not take a reservation fee. Although renting your property can help you blaze towards your personal finance goals, you definitely shouldn’t attempt it without proper guidance. Before agreeing to rent someone your property on Craigslist, work with a lawyer to help you understand rental laws in your local area and to help you create a lease agreement for your renter to sign.
What else can you rent on Craigslist?
Although housing rentals are the only renting option built into Craigslist, some users report making money by renting out other types of property on the platform. Some of the things that you can rent out on Craigslist to make money include extra home appliances you don't currently need like a refrigerator or washing machine, power tools like a drill or power saw, seasonal machines like a snowblower for the winter or a lawn mower for the summer, and much more! You can set your rental post up as if you were going to sell the item and then communicate with the potential Craigslist buyer about their willingness to rent instead of buy.
9. Send job seekers affiliate links for digital courses
Another way to make money on Craigs list is by using it as an affiliate marketing channel. This strategy is proposed by affiliate marketer and influencer John Crestani and entails using the resumes section of Craigslist to promote courses to job seekers.
What you do is find a course related to making money online that has an affiliate program, such as John Crestani’s “Super Affiliate System” from ClickBank, which has an average conversion of around $1,000! Then, you go to the resumes section on Craigslist and open up each post, copy and paste the email addresses, and send the users an email selling them on the course with your affiliate link in the content so you get the sale credit.
For this strategy to make good money, you need to:
10. Post a gig with affiliate link
Emailing job seekers is not the only way to make money with affiliate marketing on Craigslist. Another strategy recommended by John Crestani is to post a gig with your affiliate link to make affiliate sales. You set the gig up as a “computer gig” and use the post to highlight all the benefits of the type of work the course goes over, without talking about the actual course itself. The affiliate link you use should lead the interested person to the course's sales page or video webinar created by the course creator to finish selling the user so you can make the affiliate commission.
What is Craigslist?
Craigslist is a website for browsing and posting local advertisements founded by Craig Newmark. Jim Buckmaster is the current CEO of Craigslist and the company is based in San Francisco, California. Los Angeles is the city that uses Craigslist the most, followed by San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Chicago, according to Chron. Unlike other online platforms for exchange like eBay that take a percentage of what you sell, selling on Craigslist is free. Craigslist makes money with free services by charging posting fees on a select few categories, including:
$10-75 for job postings in the US and some areas of CA (fee varies by area)
$5 for apartment rentals in Boston, Chicago, and NYC
$5 for commercial real estate in the US
$3-5 for all for sale by-dealer categories in the US
$5 for cars/trucks by-dealer in the US, Vancouver, BC
$3 for furniture by-dealer in Vancouver, BC
$5 for cars/trucks, RVs, and motorcycles by-owner in the US $3-10 for gigs in US and selected CA areas
$5 for services in US and CA
Important Safety Tips for a Craigslist Transaction
Some disadvantages of Craigslist are a smaller audience than other online platforms like eBay or Amazon, the need to often meet people in person, and the potential for a Craigslist scam. However, many people find safety the greatest disadvantage of Craigslist over alternative platforms. Here are some tips to protect yourself and your wallet when using Craigslist.
What is safer than Craigslist?
Facebook Marketplace is safer than Craigslist because buyer and seller accounts are tied to their actual Facebook profile. That means you can check a person's previous marketplace history and you can report to Facebook if something seems suspicious. Craigslist allows users total anonymity, which can cause sketchy situations.
How do you make money fast on Craigslist?
- 1Track down items in your house that you are no longer using but that still have value like old video game consoles, games, furniture, tools, or clothing
- 2Go to Craigslist and "Create a posting" for each item you want to sell
- 3Respond to buyer interest you receive for your items and negotiate a price
- 4Arrange a meeting time and place with the buyer
- 5Show the buyer that the item is in the described condition and receive payment once they accept the item
Selling items from around your house is the fastest way to make money on Craigslist because you already have possession of the goods you're going to sell and you receive immediate cash upon delivery of those goods. Of course, this isn't a long-term solution to make money with Craigslist, but it's certainly the fastest if you need some quick cash.
What sells quickly on Craigslist?
Furniture and home appliances sell quickly on Craigslist. People use Craigslist to find used items at a discount. These items are expensive purchased new. If you want to make money selling on Craigslist, try flipping furniture and other home appliances.
What is the best day to post on Craigslist?
The best day to post on Craigslist is Saturday. Saturday is the day when most people are free. The best time to post on Craigslist during the weekend is in the morning. During the weekday, the best time to post is around 5pm. 5pm is when most people get off work.
Note: Craigslist posts stay active for 45 days for free posts and 30 days for paid posts.
Is there anything better than Craigslist?
Facebook Marketplace: This site may be better if you have a Facebook account and want additional security and reach than Craigslist offers.
eBay: This site is best for those who sell collectible or antique items.
Mercari: This site is best for those who enjoy unique features like instant payments, same day delivery, and no-label shipping.
OfferUp: This site is a solid option for those who prefer using a mobile application to sell.
LetGo: This site is best if you want help pricing your items as its technology will recommend pricing based on similar listings.
Kaiyo: This site is best for selling well maintained furniture.
TaskRabbit: This site is best for finding odd jobs that don’t require extensive skills to complete.
NextDoor: This site is great for those looking to make money by helping their neighbors with tasks like babysitting or dog walking.
Why is Craigslist losing popularity?
Craigslist is losing popularity because it’s not the most user-friendly site and doesn’t even have a mobile application. The Craigslist website is very boring compared to other modern websites, which is why it’s losing users to Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.
Craigslist offers many ways to make money and can be a great side hustle opportunity. However, there are much better opportunities to make money, especially if your goal it to make money online and not be restricted to working in a single location. I've made money from many online business models, but none have allowed nearly the same level of success as local lead generation. A local lead generation business entails using local SEO to rank a niche business website for a specific location, like lawn maintenance in Chicago. Getting the website to rank on the first page of Google usually takes a few months.
Once you get the website to rank, you start to receive people interested in the service the website is offering. You then pass these clients along to a local business who can actually perform the service for hundreds to thousands of dollars in profits every month! Plus, because you use SEO instead of paid advertising to generate the leads, you keep the majority of the profits from your business. It's a great business model because you make money by helping another business make more money. Whether you decide on Craigslist, local lead generation, or another online business model, it's essential to set a goal and be consistent in your efforts to make it a reality.