Ideas for Making Money on Craigslist

What is Craigslist?

Making Money On Craigs ListWhat is Craigslist? The History of Craigslist…

The popular website,, was created by Craig Newmark in 1995 as an email distribution list of friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area, before becoming a web-based service in 1996. It was incorporated as a private, for-profit company in 1999 and has been expanding to cover more and more different cities since then.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark observed people helping one another in friendly, social and trusting communal ways on the Internet via the WELL, Mind Vox and Usenet, and felt isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco. He decided to create something similar for local events.

The first emailed San Francisco event listings debuted in early 1995. The initial technology encountered some limits, so by June 1995 new software was installed to handle the expanding website better and the mailing list “Craigslist” resumed operations.

Newmark submitted most of the early posting himself and they were notices of social events of interest to software and Internet developers living and working in the San Francisco Bay area.

Soon, word-of-mouth led to rapid growth. The number of subscribers and postings grew rapidly. There was no moderation and Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for nonevent postings. People trying to get technical positions filled found that the list was a good way to reach people with the skills they were looking for.

This led to the addition of a category for jobs. User demand for more categories resulted in the list of categories growing and expanding. Community members started asking for a web interface. Newmark enlisted the help of volunteers and contractors to create a website user interface for the different mailing list categories.

In need of a domain name for this, Craig registered (as well as later on, to prevent the name from being used for other purposes). Around the time of these events, Newmark realized that the site was growing so fast that he could stop working as a software engineer and work full time running Craigslist. By April 2000, there were nine employees working out of Newmark’s apartment on Cole Street in San Francisco.

Newmark says that Craigslist works because it gives people a voice, a sense of community trust and even intimacy. Other factors he cites are consistency of down-to-earth values,  customer service and simplicity.

Newmark was approached with an offer for running banner ads on Craigslist, but he decided to decline. In 2002, Craigslist staff posted mock-banner ads throughout the site as an April Fool’s joke.

In 2001, the company started the Craigslist Foundation, a section 501(c) nonprofit organization that connects people to the resources they need to strengthen communities and neighborhoods.

It offers free and low-cost events and online resources to promote community building at all levels. It accepts charitable donations and, rather than directly funding organizations, it produces “Face-to-face events and offers online resources to help grassroots organizations get off the ground and contribute real value to the community.”

Since 2004, the Craigslist Foundation has hosted an annual conference called Boot Camp, an in-person event that focuses on skills for connecting, motivating and inspiring greater community involvement and impact. Boot Camp has drawn more than 10,000 passionate people since its inception. The next Boot Camp event will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2010.

The Craigslist Foundation is also the fiscal sponsor for Our Good Works, the organization that manages, an application that distributes volunteer opportunities across the web and helps people get involved in their communities.

Craigslist Today

As of 2009 has a staff of 28 people and makes most of its money from paid job ads in cities like San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon – and paid broker apartment listings in New York City.

The site serves over twenty billion page views per month, putting it in 33rd place overall among web sites worldwide and 7th place overall among web sites in the United States, with over 49.4 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone.

With over eighty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements to personal ads and erotic ads.

One of the most notable things about is that it has gone through very little aesthetic changes since 1996 and even for that time it’s extremely simple and basic.

Today there are a plethora of options for users to choose from as far as which types of listings can be searched though or posted. Craigslist has comprehensive for-sale listings with everything from cars to household appliances. The website also has an extensive jobs/services section as well as a classifieds section for social interaction.

You can sell just about anything on Craigslist. People post ads for everyday items, brand new items sold in bulk or used collectables. Craigslist is renowned for being one of the primary online sources of local, affordable merchandise.

Selling digital content is also possible on Craigslist, usually with the help of a third-party website service for processing funds and delivering content. In this respect Craigslist works as an excellent advertising system wherein every poster gets at least a few minutes at the “top of the list” sweet spot.

Lastly there are untold profits to be made by seeking jobs on Craigslist or offering services. Craigslist has both employer-Seeking ads as well as employee-seeking ads. You can provide service to local people and get paid per-job like a contractor, you can find local full-time and part-time jobs, or you can look for someone to do the work for you.

As you can see there are nearly limitless opportunities to make profit from It’s one of the most diverse websites for buying/selling goods and services and it’s completely free!

All you need to do to start profiting from Craigslist is figure out what you want to do (Sell junk, offer your services or provide digital content) and figure out how to use the website!

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