How to Use Craigslist

Now that you’ve signed up for Craigslist, you may be wondering how to use the website.  Excellent question!

Actually, there are only really three things that you can do on Craigslist: contact advertisers about things that you want to buy or rent, post your own advertisements for things that you want to sell, or just have a chat with people in the discussion forums.

But hey!  The simplicity of Craigslist is what makes it attractive to some people.  Here are some more details on the ways that you can use Craigslist.

The three different ways of using Craigslist

1. Contact people whom you want to buy stuff from

Many people have posted advertisements on Craigslist, looking to rent out their housing, offer a job, or sell their possessions or skills.  You can search through the Craigslist sub-site for your local city or area (or the surrounding areas) for something that you need.  When you find an advertisement that piques your interest, click Reply (or use any other contact information that the person provides) and get in touch with the poster.  You just might be able to work out a deal that benefits both of you!

2. Post your own advertisements to sell your own things

If you have some things that you want to unload, you can advertise them on Craigslist.  Most advertisements are free to post, and they’re rather simple to boot.

Make sure to include as many details about each of your items as you can, and give ample contact information as well.  Craigslist won’t take care of the selling details for you, so you’ll have to work out with the buyers how the items will be collected and how you get paid.  Communication with your business counterparts is crucial in that regard.

3. Have deep discussions in the chat forums

If you don’t feel like buying or selling through advertisements on Craigslist, you can always head to one of their discussion forums.  There, you can chat about topics ranging from crafts and food to photography and sports.  You will need to have an account on Craigslist (and go into your Settings tab and give yourself a “handle”, or user name) to participate.

Our How to Make a Craigslist Account tutorial will provide you with instructions on creating an account, and our How to Change Your Craigslist Password tutorial will show you the area in which you can create or change your “handle”.


That’s about all there is to using Craigslist!  Have a look at some of our other tutorials for more in-depth directions for how to use the different features of Craigslist!