Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (2024)

Craigslist allows users to buy and sell goods or post classified ads for anyone in a community to read or exchange. The service launched in the mid-1990s and has since grown to cover every continent. But what exactly is Craigslist, and how does it work?

What Is Craigslist: A Brief History

In 1995, San Francisco resident Craig Newmark created an online hub meant to inform visitors of local events. Soon, individuals began using Craig's small platform to post jobs, services, items for sale, and more, eventually requiring the use of a server.

Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (1)

During a housing shortage in San Francisco, individuals began posting ads for apartment rentals in and around the city. In response, Craig wrote software that could automatically add email postings to a website: craigslist.org. Finally, in 1999, Craig was able to devote himself full-time to Craigslist.

How Does Craigslist Work?

Craigslist functions as an online classifieds forum, but it also allows for community discussions, job postings, service advertisem*nts, and more. Visitors can post their own ads, apply for gigs, or take advantage of deals they're interested in. A quick glance at the Craigslist home page shows an array of sections. Some of the key sections you'll find include:

  • Community: This section is for events and trends happening in your community, including classes, lost and found items, political forums, and local news. There's also a unique section called "Rants & Raves," where posters can share whatever thoughts and feelings they have.
  • Services: Here's where you find people and organizations offering services, such as car repair, website design, or dog walking.
  • Housing: Use this section to find or advertisem*nt an apartment for rent. You can also find real estate listings in your area, whether you're looking to buy, sell, rent, or trade.
  • Jobs: Job postings are very common on Craigslist. You can find listings for pretty much any field, including Education, Real Estate, Accounting, Security, and Media.
  • For Sale: If you're looking for an item on the cheap, this is where you'll find it. One of the most used areas of Craigslist, these ads are placed by individuals selling anything from furniture to collectible figurines.
  • Discussion Forums: Craigslist has forums for discussing pretty much everything under the sun, such as tech products, religion, celebrities, and politics.

You can use the Wanted category under the For Sale section to solicit specific items you may want, or browse listings of other people's requests.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

Craig Newmark was once asked to include sponsored ads on his website but turned down the offer. Instead, Craigslist focuses on only a couple of revenue streams, including:

  • Fees for job postings: There's a fee for posting a job posting in major U.S. cities, and it ranges from $7 to $75, depending on the location.
  • Fee for apartment postings: Individuals who post an apartment listing in Boston, Chicago, and New York are charged $5 per posting.
  • Other posting fees: Craigslist also charges fees for other postings, mostly depending on the region. You can find a complete list on the Craigslist posting fees page.

How to Use the Craigslist Marketplace

Follow these instructions to set up and begin using the Craigslist Marketplace.

  1. Go to the Craigslist home page. If you have your location services on, Craigslist will pull up the largest community home page closest to your area.

  2. Use the search bar on the left to manually search for listings, or browse subcategories under the For Sale section.

    Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (2)

  3. Every listing is different, with varying levels of detail. Each ad will have a map of the general location for an item, plus a description.

    Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (3)

  4. You can inquire about an item by selecting Reply in the upper-left corner of the page. You'll be given options to reply by email directly or to use the email provider of your choice.

Craigslist allows posters to mask their email address to keep their personal information private. The email you see and use will be directed to the poster's email account on file.

Craigslist Near Me

You can use voice search to find an item, service, or gig on Craigslist. Through Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, say "Craigslist near me" to be directed to your regional Craigslist page.

You can also use voice commands to search for items or services. For example, you can ask to see "puppies on Craigslist" to see a list of cities and their puppy listings.

All About the Craigslist Discussion Forums

You can use Craigslist forums to participate in or start conversations about pretty much anything, from classical music to the latest iPhone.

Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (4)

Under this section, you can choose a forum to view using the search bar at the top of the page. After selecting a forum, you will see a list of all the threads and discussions related to a particular topic or search term. If you see something that interests you, select the blue hyperlinked areas to view the response in more detail.

Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (5)

To reply to a post in the forum, you need to sign-up for a Craigslist account.

You can compose a new thread to start a new discussion or comment on others by replying. You can also rate an individual's response or flag it if it is inappropriate. The forums are a great place to learn, discuss topics, and find friends.

How to Stay Safe on Craigslist

Just like any other online activity, it's important to stay safe. If you're selling a product, service, or posting a gig on Craigslist, here are a few security tips to keep in mind:

  • Don't add all of your contact information: Keep your contact information to the bare minimum, just enough for buyers or those interested in your post to reach out.
  • Only accept cash for monetary transactions: Do not accept checks or money transfers for your product or service. Many scams have occurred for buyers using these methods.
  • Always invite buyers to a safe place: If you don't have a place of business and you're an individual selling an item, meet the buyer in a public place. Never invite buyers to your home.

For buyers on Craigslist, it's best to always:

  • Ask questions: If you're unsure about an item or service you're interested in, be sure to ask questions. You can also request more photos, past transactional information, and other details.
  • Don't send money first: Don't ever send money to a seller prior to seeing the item or knowing exactly what you're purchasing. This is a good way to get scammed.

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Looking for cool items on a budget in your area? Try Craigslist (2024)


Is Craigslist in the UK? ›

The U.S.-based site entered the U.K. market in 2004 with a London site and now covers a range of cities and areas across the U.K. While the platform does not draw as much traffic as its leading local competitor, Gumtree Jobs, it nevertheless presents a convenient, free portal for U.K. employers to advertise local jobs.

How to search all Craigslist locations at once? ›

How to search all of Craigslist at once
  1. SearchCraigslist.org — Web app.
  2. SearchTempest — Web app.
  3. CPlus for Craigslist — iOS and Android.
  4. Search All Junk — Web app.
Mar 29, 2021

What is Craigslist USA? ›

classified advertisem*nts website. Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities for free classified advertisem*nts (with jobs, internships, housing, personal advertisem*nts, erotic services, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.

What is the Craigslist? ›

Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is a privately held American company operating a classified advertisem*nts website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.

Does anybody use craigslist anymore? ›

Do People Still Use Craigslist? Absolutely. You can search your local area on Craigslist and find used furniture, cars, rentals, and even jobs.

What is gumtree used for? ›

Gumtree.com, known as Gumtree, is a British-based online classified advertisem*nt and community website based at Hotham House, Richmond, London. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical market.

How do I search nearby areas on Craigslist? ›

Location Searching
  1. Go to any craigslist site and click the geographical name at the top of the page.
  2. A map will open up - you can write in the name of a city or ZIP code or adjust the map.
  3. As you type you are presented with suggestions. Select the location you wish to search.

How to search Craigslist nationwide for free? ›

Follow your search word or words with "site: craigslist.org". This will focus the search for information on Craigslist and all of its subdomains. Use additional modifiers to narrow your search. You can add additional search criteria by using search operators.

What cities use Craigslist the most? ›

According to the Alexa data, the Los Angeles Craigslist accounts for 6.41 percent of the traffic going to Craigslist, while Chicago makes up 3.07 percent of Craigslist traffic.

Does China have Craigslist? ›

Yes, there is Craigslist in China. The default setting is in Chinese but you can convert it into English.

What is Mexico's Craigslist? ›

We have Craigslist in Mexico both in English & Spanish . There is an alternative as well named " Mano y Mano " which in English translates to " hand to hand " . Mano y Mano is more often used by the local Spanish speaking community oft times ( not always ) with lower price points and more humble offerings .

Which country uses Craigslist the most? ›

Craigslist receives traffic from all over the world, with 75.81% coming from the US alone.
  • United States – 190 million visitors (75.81%);
  • Guam – 45 million visitors (17.98%);
  • Canada – 7.7 million (3.07%);
  • China – 1.7 million (0.68%); and.
  • UK – 705.4K (0.28%).
Jun 1, 2024

What is most popular on Craigslist? ›

12 Items That Currently Sell the Most Money On Craigslist
  • Home Appliances. Gently used or well-maintained appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers are always in demand. ...
  • Furniture. ...
  • Electronics. ...
  • Cars and Motorcycles. ...
  • Power Tools. ...
  • Sporting Goods. ...
  • Garden Equipment. ...
  • Tech Accessories.
Jan 24, 2024

What is the best way to use Craigslist? ›

13 Tips for Staying Safe on Craigslist
  1. Always use a proxy email address or phone number.
  2. Plan details in advance.
  3. Meet in public and bring a friend.
  4. Stay safe when a buyer comes to your house.
  5. Use a secure form of payment.
  6. Trust your instincts when vetting buyers.
  7. Always inspect items before forking over the cash.

How do Craigslist make money? ›

Craigslist's business model is based on providing a free classified advertisem*nt platform to users. They generate revenue by charging users a fee to post some types of ads in select cities and by running paid banner ads.

What replaced craigslist UK? ›

Top 10 london.craigslist.org Competitors

gumtree is the first site for free classifieds ads in the uk. buy and sell items, cars, properties, and find or offer jobs in your area. visit locanto free classifieds and find over 2,563,000 ads near you for jobs, housing, dating and more ✔ local ✔ safe ✔ free.

Does craigslist work in Europe? ›

And yes, I know that craigslist has a lot of European locations but, save for a few metropolises, most are pretty bare.

What is the UK classified website? ›

gumtree.com ranked number 1 and is the most visited Classifieds website in United Kingdom in May 2024, followed by vivastreet.co.uk as the runner up, and redbrain. shop ranking at 3rd place as the leaders of the Classifieds websites in United Kingdom.

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