Craigslist Basics


Craigslist is a classifieds website that allows you to create local posts online in a wide variety of categories. It's available in most major metropolitan markets in the United States and Canada, and in select cities and geographic areas around the world. Craigslist is free for most personal posts, but does charge fees for posts in certain categories, including job postings and real estate listings for commercial use.

Craigslist Categories

  • Craigslist offers different categories to better fit the needs of your online post. Categories include Community, Personals, Discussion Forums, Housing, For Sale, Services, Jobs, Gigs and Resumes. Most categories have their own subsections to narrow down the type of post. For example, the For Sale section breaks down into several categories depending on the item you are selling, including electronics, household, tools and cars and trucks, to name a few.

Posting on Craigslist

  • You need an email address to create a Craigslist account and submit a post. Before a post goes live on the website, Craigslist sends you an email with a link to confirm the posting. Most posts take around 15 minutes to appear once they've been confirmed. Craigslist only allows you to post once per 48 hours in one location at a time. If you try to post more than once or in different locations, your post may be blocked by Craigslist.

Commercial Postings

  • Craigslist allows individuals and businesses to post job openings, services and real estate listings. Some of these postings may incur a fee if they are posted in certain geographic locations. For example, as of September 2013, job postings in the San Francisco Bay area cost $75 per posting, while therapeutic services in the United States cost $10 per posting (see link in Resources for a full listing of the fees). If your post has fees associated with it, you can pay it with your Visa, MasterCard or American Express card.


  • Because anyone can post on Craigslist, you may find the occasional scammer or untrustworthy person. Craigslist offers a service called email-relay that hides your real email address when replying to an ad or when someone contacts you about something you've posted. You can still use your email program normally when using the email relay service. To stay safe, it's never a good idea to send cash through the mail or pay for an item before seeing it. If meeting in person, always do so in a public place and bring a friend, if possible. If accepting payment for an item you're selling, only accept cash -- stay away from personal checks, money orders, Western Union and MoneyGram.

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