Step-by-Step Instruction for Posting an Ad on Craigslist

by Elle Smith

Craigslist boasts billions of page hits each month and with good reason -- its largely free online classifieds pages reach across the nation and around the world with dedicated sections for jobs, automobiles, pets, housing, personals, social events, garage sales and goods for sale or trade. With a few exceptions and restrictions, a user can find or sell nearly anything, and those who post can include up to four photos to make their ad more appealing.

Step 1

Log on to Find your country, state and city, and then click to get to the local page.

Step 2

Create an account for frequent selling and ease-of-use when logging in. Click "My Account" in the upper-left corner under the "Craigslist" logo. An account will give your listing more credibility with Craigslist. Click the link at "Sign Up for an Account." Enter your email address and verification code, then click the "Create Account" button. Craigslist will send a verification email to your email address.

Step 3

Open the email from Craigslist and click the link inside the email. Agree to the Craigslist terms of service by clicking "Accept," and you will be taken to your new account dashboard.

Step 4

Find your city in the pull-down menu in the top right corner of the dashboard, then click "Go." If you opt not to create an account, use the "Post to Classifieds" link on the main page.

Step 5

Click "For Sale" if you want to post an article for sale on Craigslist. Similarly, choose "Personal," "Housing," "Community" or "Jobs" to post an ad. Select the sub-category for the item you wish to post.

Step 6

Enter a headline in the text box to best describe the item you wish to post. Create a compelling title that gives the reader a clear idea of your item. Enter the price, if applicable, and your location.

Step 7

Write a clear and concise description of your item. Click the "Add/Edit Images" button to add pictures if you like. Navigate to the file on your computer, and then click "Continue."

Enter the verification code. A confirmation will be emailed to you. Respond to the link on the email to post your listing.


  • Read and heed the warnings posted on the main page of
  • There are many scams that can harm you financially.
  • Take precautions when meeting strangers for transactions.


  • Craigslist ads can take up to 15 minutes to show up on Craigslist.
  • Ads for job listings are not free.


About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.

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