How to Use PayPal on Craigslist

By Chris Miksen

If you've sold an item before on Craigslist, you have probably noticed that there are no available payment options. All payments must occur outside of Craigslist, and while Craigslist recommends that you deal in cash, you can pay for an item --- or receive payment for an item --- via PayPal. PayPal isn't as secure as cash when it comes to Craigslist, but as long as you have the buyer's or seller's PayPal email address, you can complete the transaction.

Step 1

Finalize the deal. Get confirmation from the buyer or seller that the deal is exclusive between you and him. While this isn't as important if you're the seller, it's of utmost importance if you're the buyer. You don't want to send money to someone who has decided to sell the item to another buyer.

Step 2

Ask for the seller's PayPal email address if you're the buyer, or give the buyer your PayPal email address if you're the seller. PayPal is not integrated into Craigslist, so the buyer must manually send the money to the seller.

Step 3

Visit and sign in to your PayPal account. If you are the seller, the buyer's money will appear in your PayPal account minutes after the money is sent. If you are the buyer, click the "Send Money" tab and fill out the information, such as the amount to send and the seller's PayPal email address.

Step 4

Notify the seller you've sent the money if you are the buyer, so she can ship you the item. If you are the seller, notify the buyer that you've received the money and the date you will ship the item.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can communicate with a seller with an email address provided on the Craigslist posting.
  • Using PayPal if you're the seller is far more secure than if you're the buyer. You may be part of a scam if you're the buyer, and the scam artist can take your money and run. Open a dispute in the PayPal "Resolution Center" if you do not receive an item you paid for.