Make Money on Craigslist with Flipping

Make Money On Craigslist with Flipping

Make Money On Craigslist with Flipping

The following is a guest post from Thomas. Thomas blogs over at i need money ASAP! where he helps people who need money fast.

Over the last year I’ve made over $1000 on Craigslist and you could too! Selling personal stuff on Craigslist is great if you need money quickly but selling your own stuff isn’t the only way to make money on Craigslist. There are plenty of other opportunities if you need money asap. Here’s how you can make money on Craigslist too…

Craigslist Flipping: How To Make Money On Craigslist

One of the best ways to make money on Craigslist is through flipping, buying items cheap and reselling them for a profit. There are thousands of items put up for sale every hour and not everyone knows exactly what their stuff is worth. Some people are either really bad at pricing their stuff or they just don’t care what it sells for. Either way, finding these cheap items and flipping them is an easy way to make money on Craigslist.
Personally, I like to flip bicycles on Craigslist. In my area there’s a large market for used bicycles and there are also lots of old ones for sale. It’s easy to find cheap bikes that require a bit of work on Craigslist. These can be flipped for double or triple the price after just a bit of extra work. Buying bikes for $20-$40 and selling them for $60-$200.
Flipping stuff on Craigslist works best when you’re familiar with the item. For me its bicycles but for you it could be:

  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Video Games/Consoles
  • Appliances
  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Power tools
  • Lawn tools

Finding Items To Flip:

#1: Find A Deal On Craigslist

Making money on Craigslist is much easier if you’re able to spot a good deal. Here’s what to look for to find a good deal:

  • Scratches or other cosmetic damages
  • Dirty or dusty items
  • Items with bad pictures
  • Posts with misspelt keywords
  • Broken items that you can repair

Don’t forget to negotiate with sellers on Craigslist. Always be polite and friendly when negotiating. You’d be surprised how easy it is to knock a few dollars of an item if you just ask politely.

#2: Find Items In The Trash

Craigslist isn’t the only place to find items to flip. It’s sometimes amazing the things that people throw out. I’m constantly finding old bicycles in the trash. Sometimes they’re in perfect working order but otherwise they’re pretty easy to repair and sell on Craigslist. The best part is that it’s 100% profit!

The best time to find these items is on your bulk trash day. Try going out the night before to find the best items.

#3: Visit Garage Sales

Another good source of items is from garage sales. Visit garage sales in your area and look for items that could easily be flipped on Craigslist. Garage sales are another good opportunity to negotiate, just ask nicely “if that’s their best price”.

Spend a Saturday morning visiting garage sales in your area. Just make sure to stick to items that you know can sell for a profit.

Be Patient!

When trying to make money on Craigslist it can pay to be patient. Sometimes you can charge a much higher price if you’re willing to wait a few days or weeks. If your item is seasonal you may have to wait even longer to get a high price.
When flipping bicycles I often pick up a few during the winter months when there aren’t as many buyers. These bikes can often be bought at a much lower price. Then I just hold on to them until the spring. Once we get the first few days of nice weather the number of bike buyers goes up dramatically and so do the prices!

Be Handy/Creative!

Add value to your items by fixing them or adding some creativity. When selling bicycles I usually give them a simple tune up including tightening the brakes/shifters and cleaning/lubing the chain. I’ll also fix any broken parts like flat tires or old bearings. This adds extra value and extra money to your Craigslist flips.
In the past I’ve also flipped furniture. In this case adding value/creativity could be in the form of a fresh coat of paint. We once found an old banker’s chair that we coated in bright yellow paint and a glossy finish. We were able to sell that item for $150!

Tips To Make Money On Craigslist:

Here are a few tips that every seller should know. Following these tips will make it easier to make money on Craigslist.

  • Always include a few nice pictures
  • Price things appropriately
  • Provide an accurate description (including wear or chips/cracks)
  • Include all relevant keywords in the post
  • Put a deadline on your post, create a sense of urgency
  • Don’t respond to “spammy” inquiries
  • Setup a separate email address to avoid spam
  • Only accept cash (no checks or money orders)
  • Small bills are preferable
  • Meet in person, don’t ship anything
  • Conduct the transaction in a public place
  • For large transactions consider doing the transaction at a bank where the funds can be deposited immediately while the buyer waits (and can be also be checked for counterfeits)
  • Bring a friend if the transaction is sizeable
  • Be prepared to walk away if anything seems “off”
  • Copy or photograph the serial number of the device

Hopefully after reading this post you too will know how to make money on Craigslist. Don’t forget to come back and let us know how you did!
Good luck!
For more ideas on how to make money fast visit Thomas at i need money ASAP!

Photo by ubrayj02 via Flickr


  1. says

    I know someone who made their full-time living by flipping stuff on Craigslist. They were lucky and often found hidden treasures and flipped them for a much higher price! They also would go to thrift stores and then sell those items on Craigslist.
    Michelle recently posted…Sales Tactics You May Be Falling ForMy Profile

    • says


      Haha – so true. Sometimes we just want to get rid of stuff to get it out of our hair. If you have the time and find it fun, flipping can make a lot of money!

  2. says

    I haven’t done any flipping on Craigslist, but I’ve done some on Amazon. I’m most comfortable with books, so I’ve gone to college library book sales and found some $50 textbooks for 50 cents! It amazes me how much stuff people get rid of without checking what it’s really worth.
    Daniel recently posted…Is the 4-Hour Workweek Relevant?My Profile

    • says


      That’s an interesting idea. I’ve heard that the textbook companies now are churning out a new edition each year to really clamp down on the used textbook market. I’ve been out of school for years, so I haven’t thought to look into this. Sounds like it may be a good method to pick up some extra $$$. Thanks for sharing!!

    • says

      Thats a very good idea… I might have to steal that one! I recently sold some of my old college text books. I was surprised at how much they were still worth and how easy it was. Just enter the ISBN and they’ll tell you exactly how much its worth. Plus they pay for shipping. Just print the label and put in the mail. It was very easy.

      It would be very easy to do this with a smart phone at a garage sale. Thanks for the idea!
      Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…Financial Help For Single Mothers And FathersMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m glad to see you included the advice “meet in person, don’t ship anything.” Shipping things always adds a level of difficulty I don’t need. I put something on Craigslist one time (I choose to deal only with local sales) that was responded to by someone in California. No thanks. Verifying I get the money before I ship it out, then having to box the thing up and send it out and hope that the guy doesn’t claim it never got there….I don’t need the hassle.
    Brock @cleverdude recently posted…Before Buying That Wedding Gift, Ask Yourself This One QuestionMy Profile

    • says


      Very true – there are some people on Ebay that are a royal pain in the ass (maybe 5% of the folks). This simply isn’t the problem if you go through Craigslist, but you do have to drive to go meet them and potentially wait around.

      I have had numerous people claim that their Wii, Gamecube, Xbox games were scratched and they wanted to return them. I test everything before sending, so I know they are trying to scam me out of $$$.

      Another guy bought a guitar amp from me (I bought for $1 and sold for $30 plus shipping) and he claimed that it wasn’t arriving fast enough. He gave me a negative rating and opened a case because it took an extra 4 days to get to him. Can you believe that?!?!?

  4. says

    Making money on craigslist is a great way to go. I haven’t done any true flipping, but I did sell a working microwave I found discarded in our old basement.

    When CL was brand new, the first thing I ever listed was actually my car. I didn’t have a good photo and clearly was learning. When I got 50 replies right off the bat I waited to get a picture, redid the description, and sold it for 50% more than I first listed it for!

    The joke as well is that I met one of my best friends on CL, we happened to have more in common than a lamp! :-)

    Miel recently posted…Miel’s Money Stories – Life or DeathMy Profile

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you can usually tell if you set the price properly based on the # of responses. I once also placed my car on their and received 8 replies in about 4 hours. This let me know I needed to up my price a bit :-)

      CL really is awesome as it has something for everyone!

  5. says

    Great Post! Flipping on craigslist will be hard in the beginning until you find your niche and what sells. You can make tons of money if you are a mechanic or are really good at cars. You can buy inexpensive cars and fix them up for cheap yourself and sell it back for a higher return.

    • says

      Absolutely! Finding a niche makes it much easier to make money on Craigslist. My niche is used bikes but that’s just because I’m decent at repairing them and seeing value where others might not. It all depends on what you’re experienced with. I have a friend who flips old video games (buy on Craigslist and sell on eBay). That’s just what he knows best.
      Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…37 Easy Small Business IdeasMy Profile


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