How to Post an Appealing Ad on Craigslist

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More than 50 million people in America alone use Craigslist to sell goods and properties, advertise jobs or meet their perfect love match. That makes it an ideal website to sell anything you want. And selling unwanted items can help you raise money during tough times or simply help you make a little extra cash on the side. Much like online auction sites and print-based classified advertisement papers, posting an appealing ad can increase interest and get you a higher sale price.

Clean up the item you're looking to sell. If it's a property, give it a good cleaning and vacuuming. Take clear, bright photos of your item looking its best. Show any key features that might help sell the piece.

Go to Craigslist and select your location. If you have an account, log in. If not, click on "post to classifieds."

Select the type of ad you want to post -- whether it's a job, house or item for sale. Click "continue" and select another category from the submenu. Choose the category closest to your item. Pick the wrong category and people might not see your post, or -- worse -- it might get deleted.

Write a strong, clear posting title. Describe the item in a few simple words. For example, if it's a computer, include the make, model and type. Don't try to cram in empty words such as "amazing" or "incredible." Avoid exclamation marks, which can make you look like a spammer. Add your nearest city and the price you're offering.

Pick out all of the most important details of your item and put them into the description box. Use punchy, short sentences rather than long paragraphs. Electronic goods in particular need all of the key specifications, as do cars and bikes.

Include any appealing extra details. For example, if the item is rare, say so. If the item has some prestige -- for example a guitar previously owned by a famous rock star -- make that clear.

Click "Add / Edit Images" and find the pictures you took of your item on your computer. Choose two or three of the best items and upload them to your ad post.

Check your ad for grammar and spelling errors. Ask a friend to check it if you're not comfortable with writing. Matt Sledge reports for the Huffington Post that Craigslist ads without grammar mistakes get better response rates.

Enter your email address. Click "continue" and double check that your listing looks and reads the way you want it to. Click "continue" again and your post will appear on the site.


  • If you're posting a Craigslist job ad, include the salary, location and a compelling description of the role.


  • Check the latest blacklisted words on the Craigslist site. Some phrases are banned to prevent spamming, such as "instant cash."