How to Post and Delete Ads on Craigslist

If you're going to sell anything over Craigslist, then you'll need to post an advertisement or two in order to draw people's attention to it.  Most advertisements can be posted on Craigslist for free, but a few types — such as job postings — require you to input your billing information and pay money.  

By default, all Craigslist posts will expire after a certain amount of time, requiring you to re-post them.  However, you can delete your posts early if you wish; for example, you no longer want to sell an item, or you've already sold it.  We'll cover that in the last section of this article.

You don't need an account on Craigslist to post an advertisement, but having an account makes your advertisements easier to keep track of, especially if you post in multiple cities or areas.  For the purposes of this tutorial, we're going to assume that you have a Craigslist account.  If you don't, see our How to Make a Craigslist Account tutorial to learn how to create one.

How to post an ad on Craigslist

  1. Go to www.craigslist.org in your web browser (which should take you to the Craigslist sub-site for your local city or area).  Then click My Account.

  2. Under "Log Into Your Craigslist Account", click in the box labelled "Email / Handle" and type in the email address that you used to sign up for Craigslist (you probably won't have a "Handle", or user name for Craigslist, yet).  Then click in the box labelled "Password" and type in the password that you used to secure your Craigslist account.  Then click Log In.

  3. Once you reach your account page, click the drop-down menu next to "New Posting In:" and select the city or area in which you wish to post an advertisement (they are arranged in alphabetical order, by the way).  Then click Go.

  4. On the next screen, you will have to select what category of advertisement you want to post.  Are you offering a job?  Looking for a job?  Selling something?  Wanting to buy something?  Looking for love? 

    Click the button beside the most appropriate choice for what you want to do.  You should be taken to the next screen automatically; if you aren't, click Continue.

  5. Your options from here on out may be different, depending on which option you chose.  In this case, we chose to post an advertisement for the private sale of an item.

    Once again, click the button beside the category that best describes what type of item you wish to sell.  If you aren't immediately taken to the next screen, click Continue at the bottom of the screen.

  6. Now it's time to create your actual advertisement.  There's quite a bit to do here, so we'll split it into several parts.  First up is your contact info.

    In the top-right corner of this box, you can choose to use Craigslist's "email relay" function.  This will anonymize the email addresses of both you and potential buyers in communication with each other (though it won't alter any other information that you provide), which helps to keep people from sending unsolicited emails or attempting scams. 

    Or, you can also choose to not allow Craigslist users to email you about an advertisement.  In that case, you should probably provide some other form of contact information.

    In the bottom-left corner, you can choose whether you want to allow Craigslist users interested in your advertisement to contact you by phone or by text message.  If you select one or both of these options, be sure to click in the box labelled "Phone Number" and type in a number at which potential buyers can contact you.  You can also click in the box labelled "Contact Name" and type in a name that potential buyers should ask for if they have an inquiry.

  7. Next up is some general information about your post. 

    Click in each of the highlighted sections in the screenshot above and type in:

    — A title for your post
    — Your asking price for the item that you're selling (optional)
    — The specific location of the item (optional; you may want to use this to declare where you want to meet potential buyers)
    — Your postal code
    — A brief description of the item that you're selling

  8. Next, you can provide more detailed information about the item that you're selling.  All of this is optional, so you can skip it if you'd like.

    Click in each of the boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and type in or select:

    — The brand or manufacturer of the item
    — The model name or number of the item
    — The dimensions of the item
    — The condition that the item is in

    You can also click the check box beside "Include 'More Ads by This User' Link" if you want to show people who view this advertisement some other ones that have been posted by you.  If you're only selling one type of item, this may help them find other items that are like the one you posted, if it's just not right for them.

  9. Next, you have the option of providing a map and address information to help prospective buyers know where the item is (or where you want to meet to deal).  This will allow potential buyers to find your item more easily by using extra options to search.

    If you want to provide map information with your advertisement, click the check box beside "Show On Maps".  (If you don't, skip this step.)

    Now, you can click in the boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and provide up to two street addresses (if you want to specify a place where the two intersect).  At the very least, you must specify a city and state/province/territory.

  10. At the bottom of the screen, you can click the check box highlighted here if you want to display a message that people can contact you for other inquiries besides your specific advertisement.  We'd advise against doing so, as it opens you up to receiving unsolicited communication.

    When you've entered all of your information, click Continue.

  11. On the next screen, you can add pictures of your item (up to 24 of them) to show it off to potential buyers, with the first one being the main one used when they browse or search for it.  Simply click Add Images and use the explorer window that appears to find a picture of the item on your computer.  Then click it to select it, and click Open.  Click the "X" in the top-right corner of a picture to remove it from your post.  Click Done With Images when you're done adding pictures to your post.

  12. You will now be able to review your advertisement before you post it.

    In the top-left corner, Craigslist will tell you how long your advertisement will stay posted on the website before you need to renew it.  You can also click the Edit Text, Edit Map, or Edit Pictures buttons to make changes to those facets of your post (see steps 7, 9, and 11, respectively).

    Click Publish when you're ready to post your advertisement.

  13. Craigslist will notify you that they have sent you an email that will allow you to confirm that you want to post an advertisement.  Go to your email client, log in, and open the email from Craigslist entitled "POST/EDIT/DELETE: [your ad title and category]".  Click the first blue hyperlink there (blurred out in the screenshot due to privacy reasons).

  14. A window will appear telling you that your post is up, and you will also receive a confirmation email to that effect.  You can click the first blue hyperlink here to view your post on Craigslist.  Congratulations on posting your advertisement!

How to delete a Craigslist post

  1. Go to www.craigslist.com in your web browser (assuming that you aren't there already) and log in (assuming that you aren't already).  Simply follow steps 1 and 2 in the above section to do so.

  2. When you reach your account page, you should see what advertisements you currently have posted.  Click Delete beside the one that you want to get rid of.

  3. On the next page, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to delete the selected post.  Click Delete if you're sure that's what you want to do.

  4. You will receive a message from Craigslist that your post has been deleted.  If it has been less than two days since you posted the advertisement, you can click Undelete This Posting to cancel deleting the post and put it back up on Craigslist.

There!  You now know how to add and remove posts from Craigslist.


How to Sell on Craigslist

As we explained in our What Is Craigslist article, Craigslist is a bit different from traditional e-commerce websites, such as Amazon and eBay.  It allows you to post advertisements for things that you want to sell (or buy), but it does not facilitate the transactions themselves (such as processing payments or taking care of shipping and handling).  Therefore, you'll have to make up a bit of the legwork.

There are three key steps to selling on Craigslist: posting an advertisement, communicating with prospective buyers, and then meeting up to complete the transaction.

How to sell something on Craigslist

1. Create an advertisement for the product or service.

The only way that other Craigslist users are going to know that you have an item or service that you want to sell is if you tell them about it.  Therefore, the first step in selling an item on Craigslist is to post an advertisement, like this one:

You should provide as much detail as you can about the item, such as what condition it's in, an asking price, its manufacturer or model, unique identifying numbers, and so on.  It's also important to include one or more pieces of contact information, so that anyone who wants to buy what you're selling can get in touch with you.  Finally, you may want to provide some pictures, too, so that people can see what your item looks like.

See our How to Post on Craigslist tutorial for instructions on putting an advertisement up on Craigslist.

2. Get in touch with people who want to buy your item.

As we mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, Craigslist leaves the details of a transaction between a buyer and a seller up to them to hash out.  This is why, in the previous tip, we said that it's extremely important to include contact information for prospective buyers to reach you at.  The default is email (and Craigslist will partially anonymize your email address to help keep people from sending you junk mail), but you can also provide a phone number. 

You can even add some location data, if you want to meet (this is useful if the item is stored somewhere other than where you live).  However, just be careful about revealing more personal information than you're comfortable with!

3. Finalize the transaction by meeting in person.

Once you've worked out the details with the buyer, you should ask them to meet you in person in order to pick up the item and make the payment.  You can, of course, ship the item to them once they've paid you (or have them pay you later), but we would suggest completing the deal face-to-face if possible.

The reason for this is that most deals that go bad on Craigslist do so when people don't meet face-to-face, instead solely working out the details over emails, phone calls, or text messages.  Our Is Craigslist Safe and Craigslist Scams articles have more information about that.

 

There!  We've just made selling on Craigslist as easy as 1-2-3!  Check out some of the other articles we mentioned for more detailed instructions on how to hawk your stuff on Craigslist!


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!


How to Make a Craigslist Account

Now that you know what Craigslist is and how safe it is, it’s time to start using it to buy or sell things in your local community (and perhaps the surrounding areas, too).

While an account isn’t actually necessary in order to use Craigslist, it makes the service much more convenient to use.  For example, it allows you to keep track of your listings across all of Craigslist’s local sub-sites, and it also allows you to save your searches so that you can easily repeat them and find new things that you’re looking for often.  In addition, it allows you to post messages on Craigslist’s forums.

To sign up for Craigslist:

  1. Go to www.craigslist.org in your web browser.  You will be redirected to the local Craigslist site for your city or area.

  2. Click My Account in the top-left corner.

  3. On the next screen, under “Create a Craigslist Account”, click in the box marked “Email” and type in your email address.  Then click Create Account.

  4. Craigslist will notify you that it has sent you an email containing a hyperlink that will activate your account.  Go to your email client, log in, and open the email titled “Craigslist.org: New Craigslist Account [Your email address]”.  Click the first blue hyperlink in the email.

  5. You will now be taken to a screen where you can create a password for your account.  Click in the box labelled “Password” and type in a password that you wish to use for your account (note that it has to be at least 8 characters long).  Then click in the box labelled “Re-Type Password” and type in a copy of the password that you just entered.  Then, click Submit Password and Log In.

  6. If you successfully create a password for your account, Craigslist will notify you that you have done so.  Now, click Continue to Your Account.

  7. Craigslist will display their terms of use for you to read.  If you’d like a hand with reading them, our Privacy Policies article may have some tips on important things to look for.  When you’re done, click I Accept if you want to continue with using Craigslist.

You’ll be taken to your main account screen.  Congratulations!  Your Craigslist account is all set up!