How to Use Craigslist

By Techwalla Internet Editor

Looking for a used car? Selling a refrigerator? Buying and selling individual items on the Internet has become a valuable resource for connecting with interested buyers and sellers. Craigslist is a popular classifieds center that is easy to navigate and it's free.

Buying

Step 1

Go to the Craigslist website (see Resources below).

Step 2

Select a city. On the right hand side of the webpage, there is a list of cities. Click on the closest one to where you live.

Step 3

Select the category you are interested in. In the center of the next page, there are groups of listings such as items for sale, jobs, housing, even personals. Click on the item that you are looking for. Or you can type it in and use the scroll bar at the left.

Step 4

Select the items you interested in purchasing. Say you are looking for a bike. Click on "bikes" and the entire list of bikes for sale or trade will open, listed from the most recent entries first. Narrow the search at the top with criteria such as price range or type of bike.

Step 5

Click on the ads you want to look at. Print them out if you like and follow the individual directions as to calling or emailing.

Selling

Step 1

In the top left hand corner of the webpage, click on "post to classifieds."

Step 2

Select a category. A prompt will ask you what you are posting. Click on the line that best applies (for example, job offered, housing wanted, something for sale).

Step 3

Select a subject area that your item fits into. Click on the most fitting area.

Step 4

Type a title in the "posting title" field. For example: Bike for Sale.

Step 5

Fill out the description of the item. Be detailed. This is where you catch the buyer's interest and will also set the asking price or trade value. Be sure to put your contact information here as well, whether it is your phone number or email or both. The following box will ask for your email, but that won't be posted to the general public. It is for Craigslist to contact you.

Step 6

Add a picture. Items with pictures tend to sell better. Click on the "add/edit images" button to upload a picture already saved on your computer. Click on "Continue" button. Look over the ad to see if it's how you want it and click "Continue" again.

Step 7

Read the terms of use and click on either "Accept" or "Decline." It will seem like you're done, but you're not. An email will be sent that has a link you need to follow to publish your posting. When the link is established click on "Publish" and the ad is posted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the email to delete the ad once the item is sold. Each ad automatically expires after 45 days.
  • Don't ever go alone to an address you are unfamiliar with. Meet at a neutral location or take along a friend.

References & Resources