Ah Craigslist, how I love/hate you. As a journalist, I will admit craigslist has been potentially deadly to the print business, but it is oh so entertaining. If utilized correctly craigslist can prove to be quite lucrative for your budget.

You’re Giving WhatAway for Free?

I admit I got my idea for this post from a 2007 wisebread post titled “Cool & Funky things I found FREE on Craigslist”. Letting my procrastination get the best of me, I wanted to see what cool, free things I could find on craigslist. Here are my favorites:

Seriously, with this dog? This was the first posting I pulled up, and honestly if I wasn’t at work and my roommate wouldn’t kill me, I’d probably take up this offer.

Surprisingly, I have seen many pianos advertised for free on craigslist. Some need to be refurbished, while ones like this just needs a new home.

Okay, I’ll admit I wasn’t only browsing my current home of NYC, I also wanted to see what Missouri and Illinois were offering up. This is by far the most bizarre “free” post, saying this barn is yours if you remove it all.

Besides these weird pieces, craigslist also offers a lot of practical free things such as clothing, boxes, dirt and building materials. Next time you think you need to purchase something random, hop on to craigslist first.

Steps to a Successful Craigslist Post

As with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Although selling items on craigslist is generally pretty easy here are a some tricks to make sure you get that futon, old record collection or whatever else it is sold:

  • Always Add A Photo: Yes, having a photo is not mandatory but it will increase post views. You don’t have to be an Ansel Adams, but make sure the photo showcases your item in the best light.
  • Price Reasonably: Look at what other people are charging and try to stay around the same value.
  • Repost: Repost your ad to keep it on top that way people will see it when they come onto the page.
  • Title Appropriately: Some people try to be witty with their titles. This isn’t a banner ad, people are actively seeking what you are selling. You are more likely to draw someone in with an informative, grammatical title than one with ALL CAPS and cool $ymbols!!!!
  • Be Honest: When you are typing up the description tell the truth, you’d be surprised what people are willing to take in. In fact if someone shows up and you weren’t truthful about what you are selling they are more than likely not going to trust you and not buy from you. Also, be as specific as possible with the details; measurements, how long you’ve had it, where you purchased it.

How to Score Some Extra Cash

I am not talking about getting a job, if you want to make some money on the side, you can do so easily on craigslist — just be careful.

  • Flip It: I read a story about a guy who makes nearly $125K a year reselling items on eBay. You could do the same with craigslist if you just resell items that others are offering for more. This skill takes a keen eye and some time, as you will need to get the items and possibly spruce them up. If you are up for the challenge this can be a fun and lucrative hobby.
  • Free: Even if you aren’t looking for something to add to your home, sometimes the free section has people willing to pay money to get rid of their big furniture. If you or a friend has a truck you can offer to pick up what they need and either flip it, or dispose of it yourself. I saw a post today offering someone $20 to get rid of some bricks.
  • ETC: This is where you have to be careful, it is easy to get scammed so do as much research as you can. Many people who have jobs often overlook the ETC section of craigslist. In this part you will find people looking for everything from study participants to movie extras. If you are bored and want to make some extra cash grab a friend and browse through the ETC section.


Did you enjoy this article? Yes No
Oops! What was wrong? Please let us know.

Ask a Question