How to Sell on Craigslist Safely

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sell on craigslist safely

I’m sure that most of you have heard of Craigslist. If you don’t know what Craigslist is, I’ll give you a brief overview. Craigslist is a classified site where you can look for jobs, sell things, and find other services. People are up in the air when it comes to whether they should sell things on Craigslist. Unfortunately, Craigslist is in the news once in a while because of robberies. I want to stress to you that, in my opinion, Craigslist is safe. You just have to have common sense when you’re selling stuff. I’ve sold a few items, including my old car and other unwanted items, on the site over the years. I’ve never had a problem. Today, I want to go over some tips that will show you how to sell on Craigslist safely. That way, you get rid of your unwanted items and make money.

Review your messages carefully

When someone wants to buy an item from you on Craigslist, they will send you a message via email. Take the time to review each message carefully. Sometimes people don’t really want to buy something from you. They just want to troll you. Sometimes people will send you a lowball offer. They are not looking to negotiate. If you receive any message that just seems off, ignore it and move on to the next one. To be honest, you will get those kinds of messages often. Don’t get mad; just ignore them.

Also, if someone emails you asking if you can pay with a cashier’s check, ignore them. It’s a scam. Craigslist transactions should be done with cash, PayPal, or Cash App.

Never meet at someone’s house

Sometimes a potential buyer may want you to bring the item to them. That’s not something that I’d consider in most cases. You don’t know what the hell you could be getting yourself into. I’m the type of person that would rather be safe than sorry. In 2022, you can’t afford to not be safe. There are some crazy folks out there. If someone really wants you to bring an item to them, ask if there is any way they could meet you somewhere safe.

If the answer is no, you can wait for another buyer or take someone with you to do the transaction. In most cases, I would probably just wait for another buyer.

Safe Locations

Always meet up at a safe, secure place. I’ve met up with buyers at the post office and gas stations. There are a lot of people at both locations. The best places are store parking lots, the mall, and police stations. In today’s world, you must ensure you are safe. In the past, you could meet at people’s residences. Honestly, you still can, but this is a safe post on how to sell on Craigslist. The safe way is to meet somewhere safe and in the public. If you don’t want to meet with people in person, you sell stuff online on places like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Mercari.

Consider What Items to Sell

Even though I believe Craigslist is a safe place to sell items, there are some things I will never sell there. I won’t sell electronics or certain tennis shoes on the site. I feel better selling them on eBay. The few times I hear about Craigslist robberies, it’s because people are trying to take people’s phones or Jordan shoes. That’s enough to deter me from selling them. Those items are usually expensive. Unfortunately, you could be a come-up for a criminal if you’re not careful. Take some time, figure out your selling niche, and then list them on Craigslist. Some suggestions could be collectibles, unwanted stuff, and gadgets.

Let someone know where you’re going

When you sell an item, let someone know where you’re going. Call or text a friend or a family member the transaction details. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you want to ensure nothing happens, bring someone else with you. Having another person with you can calm any possible nerves that you have.

Don’t allow people to get items from your house*

I put an asterisk next to this one. Earlier, I said it’s not wise to drop something off at someone else’s house. In most cases, you shouldn’t invite anyone to your home either. The only reason you might consider doing that is if you sell an old used car that needs work or a big appliance like a refrigerator. In those cases, you may not have a trailer or truck to meet up with the buyer. They will have no choice but to come to your place. If this is the case, ensure you have good communication with the potential buyer. As long as everything seems fine, you should go through with the transaction.

Trust your instinct. Also, make sure that someone is at home with you if a buyer is coming over.

Complete transactions in the daytime

The final tip on how to sell on Craigslist safely could have been the first tip. You should complete your transactions during the daytime. You’re putting yourself at a lot of risk if you decide to meet a buyer at night. I don’t care how profitable the item is, don’t do it. Don’t do it even if you need the money. You can wait a few hours until the next morning. Only schedule your meetings during the day. I typically do most of my transactions between 10 am – 8 pm. I know I’ll have to adjust that time during the winter season when it gets dark early.

Sometimes you may get buyers that want to purchase things at night. Ask them if you can do the transaction in the morning. If they are overly aggressive or pushy, stop communicating with them. That’s a red flag in my book. I want you to be smart and safe, so beware of people trying to only meet up at night.

If you’ve been on the fence about selling on Craigslist, do it. There is money to be made from that platform. This guide just went over how to sell on Craigslist safely. Make sure that you use the tips that I discussed above. If you do this, you should have no problems selling on Craigslist.

Do you sell things on Craigslist?



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Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.