How to Sell Something on Craigslist Using PayPal

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Craigslist is an online classified advertising service.
Craigslist is an online classified advertising service. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Craigslist and PayPal were made for each other. Craigslist is a local online classified ad website that started in 1995 and, according to CNN, had developed traffic of more than 1 billion page-views a month by 2004. PayPal, an online payment service, went public in 1999 and reached $1 billion in market value by 2002. Consumers recognize craigslist as an alternative to online auctions; they recognize PayPal as an alternative to checks, money orders and credit cards. It's easy to sell something on craigslist using PayPal.

Things You'll Need

  • PayPal account
  • Email account

Open craigslist in your browser and click the "Post to classifieds" link in the upper-left corner of the page. On the next page, click "for sale" under the text that reads, "What type of posting is this." On the next page, select the category that best describes what you are selling. On the next page, select the area nearest where you live.

Type a title for your ad in the "Posting Title" box. Use words that you expect a buyer would use when searching for your item. Include "Paypal" in the title to attract buyers who want use PayPal to pay.

Type your asking price in the "Price" box and your town or neighborhood in the "Specific Location" box. These are optional fields. If you fill them in, craigslist adds them to the description that buyers see in their search results.

Type your email address in the "Reply to:" box. Select the option to "hide" your email address or "anonymize" it based on how you want buyers to contact you. If you "hide" your email address, remember to provide a number where interested buyers can call or text you. If you "anonymize" your email address, buyers can contact you by email, but they can't see what your email address is.

Type a description of your item in the "posting description" box. Tell buyers you will accept PayPal payments for the merchandise you are selling. Click the "Add/Edit Images" button if you wish to add images to your ad. Upload any photos you wish to appear in the ad. Click "Browse" and choose an image file from your computer. Click "Open" to upload the file. Repeat this step to add up to three more images. When you're finished adding images, click the "Continue" button.

Check the email account that you used to place your listing. Craigslist will send an email message containing a link to your ad to the email address you used to place the ad. When you receive the message, click the link to publish the ad. Wait for a buyer to contact you, and close the deal.

Ask your buyer for his email address, and tell him you will send him an invoice for the item. Tell him to pay the invoice by PayPal when he receives it.

Go to PayPal and log in to your account. Click the "My Account" tab and the "Request Money" button.

Type the buyer's email address in the "Recipient's email address" field. Type the amount of the purchase in the "amount" box, and select "goods" under "Request payment for." Click the "Continue" button.

Review the information on the next page, and verify that it is accurate. If you wish, type a personal message to the buyer. Click the "Request Money" button. PayPal will notify you by email when the buyer has paid your invoice. Deliver the item to the buyer after you receive the payment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Craigslist advises its users that most of the money orders and cashier's checks that buyers offer craigslist sellers are counterfeit, and that requests to wire money abroad for any reason are scams. Scammers are less likely to use PayPal to pay for merchandise.

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