How to Use Craigslist (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

  • Categories
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Internet
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking Services
  • Craigslist

Download Article

Create and respond to Craigslist ads from your computer, phone, or tablet

Explore this Article


1Posting on Craigslist

2Responding to Craigslist Ads

3Buying and Selling on Craigslist

Other Sections

Tips and Warnings

Related Articles


Author Info

Last Updated: October 9, 2022References

Download Article

Craigslist began in 1995 as a simple email forum for buying and selling, and it has since grown to revamp the world of free classified advertising. Over 700 cities and 70 countries have their own dedicated Craigslist sites that are used for job advertising, buying and selling goods, dating, forums and much more.[1] Before using Craigslist, take some time to become familiar with its format by perusing your local Craigslist site and then start using best practices to get the best results.

Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Posting on Craigslist

Download Article

  1. 1

    Become proficient in searching your local Craigslist. Run a search query that includes the name of your city and the word “Craigslist.” Find your local site and bookmark it for easy future access.

  2. 2

    Peruse the different sections of the site, such as housing, personals, jobs, for sale and community. Get to know the general architecture of the site and the general etiquette for posting.


  3. 3

    Decide how you would most benefit from posting on Craigslist. Choose a classified listing category in which you want to post. Note that there are a few rare cases that require payment, including posting jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area or other larger cities, selling cars or trucks, posting therapeutic ads, posting tickets or posting brokered apartment rentals in New York City.[2]

  4. 4

    Post only when you are ready to check back regularly. Since the newest posts appear at the top, you will get the majority of responses to your post within the first two to 24 hours. Be ready to respond to take advantage of Craigslist’s social power.

    • Craigslist asks that you post to a single category and single location only once within 48 hours for each topic.
  5. 5

    Find the “Post” link in the upper right hand corner of the page. Click on it. Select the type of post you are offering, such as “event” or “housing offered.”

  6. 6

    Answer any additional questions for that category by selecting the radio button that describes your post.

  7. 7

    Enter text for your post, including a posting title and description. Be specific and specify a limited time, amount of money or qualification required. Use the best possible keywords in the title, so that people can search for your listing.

  8. 8

    Enter your personal email. Unless you want your personal email to show up on the listing, select the radio button to use a craigslist coded email relay. This allows you to use your email to receive messages, but still remain anonymous on the site itself.

  9. 9

    Type your email address again and click “Continue.” Upload up to 12 images, if it applies to your listing. If you are selling items, you should always include images that help the viewer to see the condition of the item.

  10. 10

    Confirm your email and post. Preview it and edit it before it goes live. If you like how it looks, publish it.

  11. 11

    Check your email for a Craigslist email. It may arrive in your junk mail. Confirm your post and it will go live. Be ready to respond to posts almost immediately.[3]

    • Save the confirmation email so that you can return to the post to remove it or edit it in the future.
  12. 12

    Don’t give your address information out to anyone unless you have contacted them and you are certain of your safety. You may choose to arrange meetings at a separate location to better protect yourself.

  13. Advertisem*nt

Part 2

Part 2 of 3:

Responding to Craigslist Ads

Download Article

  1. 1

    Peruse Craigslist ads in your state or city. Find an ad that you want to respond to.

  2. 2

    Consider using the option to email the post to a friend, if you want to look at the ad later. Click on the link “Email to a Friend” below the listing. Type in your email and the ad will appear in your inbox until you are ready to respond.

  3. 3

    Go to the ad and click the “Reply” button at the top left hand side of the page. View the contact information for the post, including the name, a telephone number and the email relay. You can choose to call instead of emailing, if an email is provided and you want to expedite the process.

  4. 4

    Copy the email address at the bottom if you want to email the author of the post. Paste it into your preferred email program. Compose and send your email, taking care not to include personal information until you are confident that the post is not fraudulent.

  5. 5

    Look out for a response. Generally, the sooner you reply to the post, the more likely you are to get results from it.[4]

  6. Advertisem*nt

Part 3

Part 3 of 3:

Buying and Selling on Craigslist

Download Article

  1. 1

    Become familiar with what items are best for buying and selling on Craigslist. Many people use it primarily for furniture, technology, events and job postings. You may find you get better results selling smaller items on eBay or Amazon, since people are more accustomed to those forums for used items.

  2. 2

    Comparison shop before you buy. Search online for the purchase price of a used item. Take into account the condition of the item as well. If you are selling on Craigslist, use this method to set your price.

  3. 3

    Determine whether the seller is willing to bargain on the post. Usually, the seller will indicate a price and add “OBO” or “or best offer” if they want to get rid of it quickly. If demand is likely to be high, you are more likely to need to buy it at the full listed price.

  4. 4

    Check back frequently for listings. Being one of the first people to respond is your best chance to get the item.

  5. 5

    Offer to pick up the item at the convenience of the seller if you want to stand out from other responders. Convenience and reliability are good reasons for someone to write you back and arrange the sale.

  6. 6

    Try to speak to the person and confirm the address and time before you buy or sell. Always bring someone else with you to help with transportation and provide an assurance of safety.

  7. 7

    Be specific with your item description and images when you are selling. You want to ensure a happy, direct customer, and the best way to do so is to be honest about the condition, the model and the location.

  8. 8

    Offer delivery service if you want to get rid of an item quickly. Be sure to specify whether delivery or pick-up is desired. Also, specify what types of payment are accepted.

    • With Craigslist, the standard is cash on delivery.
  9. 9

    Don’t respond to post replies that aren’t specific about the item. You may get spam responses.

  10. 10

    Repost your ad every 48 hours to remain relevant on the chronological list. This is the most that Craigslist’s general rules allow. Breaking those rules may result in getting a post removed.[5]

  11. Advertisem*nt

Expert Q&A

Ask a Question

200 characters left

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.




      • Use Craigslist to search for a specific wanted item with Google Alerts. Sign into Google, and then set up an alert for a search term. Type in the term or terms and then add the site that you want to search. For example, “oak desk site: Instruct the alert to contact you once a day or as changes happen and new listings will appear in your email.


        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • As a courtesy and safety measure, remove your post as soon as you’ve completed the desired sale or action. You will no longer receive messages related to the classified ad following the removal.


        Helpful1Not Helpful0

      • Consider using the “Free” item column if you simply want to get rid of an item. In some cities, you can simply place the item on a cross street and post that it is there. People will peruse the ads and pick up desired items from the street.


        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      Show More Tips

      Submit a Tip

      All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published


      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!



      • Beware that Craigslist is sometimes used for fraudulent postings and scams. You should always protect your identity and take another person with you when responding to a Craigslist ad. Craigslist’s ability to disguise personal information means that you must be vigilant when vetting posts.


        Helpful3Not Helpful0


      You Might Also Like

      How to Sell Your Items on CraigslistHow toPost Ads to Craigslist
      How toEmail People on CraigslistHow toAdvertise a Garage Sale on CraigslistHow toSell a Car on CraigslistHow to Sign Up for a Craigslist Seller AccountHow toSell Furniture on CraigslistHow toSearch All of Craigslist NationwideHow to Accept Payments on Craigslist: Best Ways to Stay SafeHow toPost Pictures on Craigslist on iPhone or iPadHow toSpot Car Scams on CraigslistHow toBuy on CraigslistHow toPost Pictures on Craigslist on Android


      About This Article

      wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 34,272 times.

      How helpful is this?

      Co-authors: 7

      Updated: October 9, 2022


      Categories: Craigslist

      • Print
      • Send fan mail to authors

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 34,272 times.

      Is this article up to date?


      How to Use Craigslist (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)
      Top Articles
      Latest Posts
      Article information

      Author: Lidia Grady

      Last Updated:

      Views: 5886

      Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

      Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Lidia Grady

      Birthday: 1992-01-22

      Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

      Phone: +29914464387516

      Job: Customer Engineer

      Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

      Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.