How Does Craigslist Make Money?

Curious how Craigslist makes money running their website? In this article, we’re going to tell you about how Craigslist makes money, and explain a bit about their different types of ads. You are always responsible to pay for any items you want to buy from a user on Craigslist, but since the site doesn’t take a cut, how do they make their money? We’ll answer that here, and to begin, answer this common question: is Craigslist free to use?

Is Craigslist free?

Craigslist is mostly free to use. It costs you nothing to sign up for an account, browse the website, or post messages on the message boards. In addition, most types of advertisements can be posted on any of Craigslist’s sub-sites at no charge to you. There are some exceptions and possible added fees.

In some areas, certain types of ads cost money to post, such as apartment rentals, furniture, and therapeutic services. We’ll tell you more about the potential Craigslist posting fees below.

Craigslist postings that are not free

So, how does Craigslist make money?

There are some types of advertisements where Craigslist charges people money for the privilege of posting them. These are usually for job hiring, or for high-priced items, and are selected based on the density of the urban areas they are posted in, where Craigslist is used frequently. We’ll list them below.

Types of paid Craigslist advertisements

Job postings in San Francisco

All job openings advertised for the San Francisco Bay area cost $75 per opening to post or renew, including if the same job is advertised in multiple categories.

Job postings in other major American urban areas

All job openings advertised for locations listed in the table below cost $25 per opening to post or renew, including if the same job is advertised in multiple categories.

AtlantaAustinBaltimoreBostonCentral New JerseyCharlotte
Fort MyersHawaii (the whole state)HoustonInland Empire (California)JacksonvilleKansas City
Las VegasLong Island (New York)Los AngelesMilwaukeeMinneapolisNashville
New Hampshire (the whole state)New York CityNorfolkNorthern New JerseyOklahoma CityOrange County (California)
Richmond (Virginia)SacramentoSt. LouisSan AntonioSan DiegoSeattle
Southern Florida (Miami-Dade / Broward / Palm Beach)Southern New JerseyTampa BayTulsaVancouver (BC, Canada)Washington (DC)

Apartment rentals in New York City

All advertisements for apartment rentals in New York City cost $10 per unit to post or renew.

Therapeutic services in the United States

All advertisements for therapeutic service providers across the United States cost $10 to post and $5 to renew.

Tickets (by dealer) in the United States

Licensed American ticket outlets are allowed to advertise available tickets on Craigslist at a cost of $5 per posting. Individual Craigslist users however, are allowed to advertise tickets for sale for free, under certain conditions.

Cars and trucks (by dealer) in the United States

Licensed American car and truck dealerships are allowed to advertise cars and trucks for sale at a cost of $5 per posting, though individual Craigslist users are allowed to advertise their cars or trucks for free, under certain conditions.


Craigslist accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express as payment for paid advertisements.  Advertisements can also be paid for by signing up for a paid posting account. Click here for more information about what paid posting accounts are and how to sign up for them.

That’s a bit of information about how Craigslist makes its money! If you haven’t already, check out our other articles for an introduction to Craigslist and how it works, and a tutorial on how to post on Craigslist.