Last Updated: October 28, 2015 650

How do I use Craigslist?

Found In: Sell things online

Craigslist is essentially a large online garage sale, quite similar to eBay in fact. The difference between eBay and Craigslist is that Craigslist tends to be a little shadier, as it is lot easier for scammers to rip off buyers due to the buying and selling procedures.

However, these scams are usually very easy to spot if you look for the right signs. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. As long as you keep an eye out and avoid the shadier sellers, Craigslist can be a very useful way to get cheap items in your local area.

The first thing you will need to do is open your web browser of choice and navigate to You should then click the “My Account” link, and finally the “Sign up for an account” link.

Craigslist requires your email address as a means of identification when you want to log in. Type the email address you wish to use for Craigslist into the empty box provided, and then type the words that are shown in the CAPTCHA image in the other empty box. A CAPTCHA is used to verify that you are really a human, and not an internet robot that is programmed to spam the registration page. Now click the “Create Account” button to continue the registration process.

You should receive an email from the Craigslist Help department asking you to verify your account by clicking the link they sent you. Click the link, and then choose a password. You should try to make it extremely complicated and random, but not so much so that you cannot remember it. Once you have decided what your password will be, type it into the empty box provided.

Congratulations, you have successfully created your very own Craigslist account! You can now log in to your account by heading over to the Craigslist homepage and clicking “Log in”. Type in your email and password and you are good to go.

Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: There are a lot of people selling items on Craigslist, but it is very easy to spot which ones are scammers. One good way is to google the sellers email address and see if there are any negative reviews about them on sites like so you know whether they have ripped off people trying to buy from them before. If there are a few negative reviews, then it is best to stay away from this seller.

Tip #2: Craigslist usually has pretty good deals on stuff like furniture, but if you want the best deals possible on furniture, then you should check Craigslist at the end of the academic year. This is when college students will be trying to get rid of their furniture as soon as they can, and they will most likely be willing to sell for extremely low prices.

Tip #3: If the seller wants you to pick the item up, ask them to meet you in a public place in broad daylight, preferably a place where there are security cameras around. This way if the seller was planning on robbing, raping or kidnapping you, it is highly unlikely that they will do it when in a public place like that. While it is very uncommon for a seller to be a robber, rapist, or kidnapper, it is always better to be on the safe side.

Tip #4: One of the most useful features of the Craigslist search bar is the ability to use hyphens to exclude keywords, for example, “cupboard –ikea” if you want to view cupboards that aren’t from Ikea. This way you wouldn’t have to scroll through the huge amounts of Ikea cupboards if you hate Ikea furniture.

Tip #5: If you are doing a large amount of searching and don’t want to have to click on the listing to see the item, tick the box that is next to the word “pic” on the search bar. This way you will be able to view quickly items as you scroll, and can decide whether you are interested or not without having to waste time loading the listings page, deciding you don’t like it and then loading the search page again.

Tip #6: If you are buying a used phone, tablet or laptop, you should check it is all in working order. Make sure it turns on, that the screen isn’t cracked and looks fine, and check the overall body of the device for cracks, scratches, and marks. You should also check the ports, and make sure they aren’t broken, bent or otherwise damaged in some way or form. You should bring a flashlight to make inspection easier, as there are some things you could miss if you only view the device in low light.

Tip #7: Often on Craigslist you will see gift cards being sold, and they are usually listed for 70% to 90% of their cash value. For example, you might see an iTunes $50 gift card listed for anywhere from $45 to even $35. I once saw some poor guy selling a $100 Best Buy gift card for $40! That’s insanely cheap. If you are thinking of buying an item from a store that has gift cards, you may want to check Craigslist first.

Tip #8: Perhaps the best thing you can do on Craigslist is negotiating. Generally sellers will not negotiate on a newly listed item, but give it a few days and they will probably be more than happy to knock the price down a fair bit. For example, if someone has had a couch listed for $100 for three days, offer them $80. Chances are, since they have had it listed for three days, and they obviously don’t want it, they would be willing to drop the price a bit just to get rid of it. This can be very useful, especially if you are on a very tight budget and cannot wait till payday to buy something.

So now you know the basics of Craigslist, and also a few handy pieces of advice to help you get the most out of the website. Remember; keep an eye out for scammers, because there are plenty of them on Craigslist. Like I said, if it seems too good to be true, then it most likely is.

  • tommy

    how do I post pictures of items for sale?

  • ron

    How can I get on to manage my account?

  • Connie Thoorsell

    I have an account. I just want to sign in