How Does Craigslist Make Money?

It can be said that almost everyone has used Craigslist at least once in their life and made some profit out of it. But how does Craigslist itself make profits? It is a website that lets you advertise your products and services and also helps you to sell or buy different products in your locality and other areas. So many questions arise like Do Craigslist even make money? Do they want to make money? If they are making money, how are they doing it? Let us see. In this article, we will see about ‘How Does Craigslist Make Money?’.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

There are not so many ways with which Craigslist is making money but the most common way of doing that is that they charge fees to post jobs and rentals on the website. They charge fees like $15 to $80 depending on the area of the offer. The money they are making from the job posting and rentals varies from area to area and the money earned by the posting of jobs and rentals are used just to operate the website. But the ‘not earning’ part is intentional and the president of Craigslist i.e. Jim Buckmaster has said that building a superior experience for the users of the website is more important than making profits.

About Craigslist

Craigslist is an online website used for posting classified advertisements, job listing, rentals, and some other types of products. It was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995 and was incorporated in 1999. It has expanded in more than 70 countries. It has developed over the years, and it is used for other things like buying and selling products and meeting new people. 

Ways by which Craigslist make Money

There are two ways in which Craigslist makes most of its money. The first method is that they charge certain fees for posting job offers across the United States of America. The second method is that they also charge fees on posting rentals. Craigslist charges at least $25 for job listings posted on the website in 6 major cities of the United States of America. They change the rates in different areas with which they can earn more. In San Francisco, they charge at least $80 for posting job listings. So there are different price points in different areas for posting job listings, the fees vary from $10 to $75. As mentioned, they also charge for posting a rental list in Chicago, Boston, and New York for at least $ 5 to $15 per post. 

These were the main methods that were helping Craigslist make most of the money. Some other ways are listed below:-

1. They also charge fees on different all for dealers around the United States at least $3 to $5 

2. They charge cars and truck dealers in the United States and some parts of British Columbia $5. 

3. They charge commercial real estate in the United States for $5.

4. Car/Trucks Motorcycles and RVs by owner are charged $5 in the United States. 

5. They charge $3 to $10 for gigs in the United States and some selected CA areas.

Furniture dealers in the United States, British Columbia, and Vancouver $3 to $5. 

6. They also charge Therapeutic Services in the United States for at least $10, and advertisement reposts around $5. 

They charge these listings to avoid spam and other security things.

How much does Craigslist earn?

Now let’s talk about how much Craigslist earns monthly or annually. It is hard to believe that a website that is just using the revenue earned by the posting of the job listing and posting of a rental listing is worth around $3 Billion. Yes, that is true, Forbes estimated that Craigslist was worth at least $3 Billion in the year 2016 or 2017. In 2016, Craigslist made around $700 million in revenue, most of which was net profit, which was all according to an estimation done by the AIM Group that is a Florida-based research firm, the given estimation was based on many valuations of comparable public trading companies which includes companies like eBay. With those estimations, Craig Newmark, then 64, who owns around 42% of the company was worth at least $1.3 billion.

How Craigslist could earn more?

Now it is known that companies like Amazon and eBay are multi billion companies with the profits reaching the skies, and on the other hand, Craigslist is just around $3 Billion with approximately the same amount of customers on the website. The thing with Craigslist of not earning profits is not a mistake or problem, but it is the mindset of the owners of the company. The president of Craigslist, Jim Buckmaster, said that building a superior experience for the users of the website is more important than making profits. 

But, if they want to earn money then it will be an easy method with only to start putting advertisement banners, Google advertisements, and other advertisements on the website, and it will not even affect the customers or the overall performance of the website. By just putting advertisements on the website, they can easily be one of the highest-earning companies in the world if we consider the regular customers. And the advertisement on the website is only one way of getting on track with today’s market. If they want, they can easily put some percentage of commission on the products and services that the customers are purchasing or selling.

About Craigslist 

Craigslist is an American-based company or website which runs its business in classified advertisements which means small advertisements which are advertised, distributed, or sold free of cost. Classified advertisements are popular in newspapers, magazines, online platforms, periodicals, and many more areas of advertising. Craigslist offers many categories of products and services, there are at least 8 main categories and then hundreds of different subcategories. The products and services that Craigslist offers are community services, items wanted, gigs, resumes, jobs, rentals, housing, discussion forums, and for sale. You can find at least everything on Craigslist like garage sales, car parts, toys, utensils, etc.

Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark, who started a mailing chain with his friends to post events on the internet and that’s how it started it all. In 1995 when Craig started posting the local events of San Francisco, this idea of sharing events spread fast with the local people and in no time the Craigslist was being used in many things and an idea got instilled in Craig’s mind, and he started changing or updating the website to help the local people requirements and helping others with this platform. After the rapid growth of Craigslist in 1995, Craigslist was developed and expanded into a web-based service with many new categories, and like that, in the year 2000, it was spreading in other cities of the United States of America and with that in many cities of Canada as well. In 2008, Craigslist started supporting many other non-English languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. After some years in 2012, Craigslist was working in more than 700 cities through at least 70 countries.

Craigslist Mind-Set

It is mentioned that the owners are not doing or running this business to earn a profit because they just want to satisfy their consumers with the best experience of web-based services. Yes, their top priority is their consumer’s satisfaction and not the profit. The CEO of the company has said that building a superior experience for the users of the website is more important than making profits. In today’s world, some businessmen are putting their customers on top of the profits.

There are many ways in which Craigslist can make money, and some of them are mentioned above, but the CEO of Craigslist has different ideas about it. He said in an interview that “We’re a business, we’re incorporated as a standard for-profit. We just operate differently than most businesses do. Everything we do and every decision is made from the perspective of the users of the site. For instance, for a while, we were approached with the idea of running banner ads or text ads on the site. Potential advertisers pointed out to us that we could make many millions of dollars per month based on our traffic. We don’t consider it because users aren’t asking for text ads or banner ads. I don’t know of any other internet site that operates that way or makes decisions that way.”

With sayings like that from a CEO of a company that has an option of easily earning millions of money without even disturbing the users of the website is both amazing and unusual at the same time. This statement alone shows how the owners of Craigslist are honest and truthful with their consumers, and they put their consumers on top of their profits.

How can you sell and buy products on Craigslist?

For selling products on Craigslist, open their website. After opening Craigslist’s website. Set your location if it’s not set by default. One can also put a different address if they want to sell from another area. After that, click on the “create a posting” button or option. After that choose all the required options and fill in all the information. After publishing, they will receive a mail from Craigslist for confirmation and after confirming, the post will be posted. If someone is interested, the seller should try to ask the buyer to pay with cash as it will be more safe and comfortable for both parties.

For buying products from Craigslist, one needs to find the desired products from all the categories and options. After finding the products, examine the products and their description. Check the price, location, condition, and other important things. After being sure of the product contact the seller with Craigslist anonymous secure response link. After the deal is confirmed, one should try to pay with cash only as it would be more safe and trustful, and it also gives the buyer the chance to check the products in person. 

Craigslist‘s competitors

Craigslist is not the only one that is using this type of business. Many sites are somewhat similar. Some of the competitors are listed below. They are as follows:-

1. eBay– This site is also one of the most popular sites for selling and buying products. But this site is not free as Craigslist, you need to pay for the classified advertisements. eBay charges around $9 to $10 for posting a listing for 30 days. As this site is bigger in comparison to Craigslist, it has more popularity. 

2. Facebook– Many people don’t know about Facebook Marketplace that has similar features like Craigslist and it could be used as an alternative. Here the selling of products is free. There is also an option to create groups and buy and sell products there. 

3. Poshmark– It is similar but the only exception is it only works with clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and other similar products. Poshmark takes 20% of the sold products if the products are sold for more than $15 and they charge $2.95 for under $15 products. 

4. Mercari– They are not like Craigslist in terms of classifieds, they ship the products and charge 10% for every sold product. The listing is free. 

5. Oodle– It is almost similar to craigslist and they also offer event tickets and office spaces that other sites don’t offer. It requires the user to connect the Facebook account with them for security purposes. Otherwise, this site is free to use.

What products and services are allowed and not allowed on Craigslist?

There is at least everything available on Craigslist, but there are also many things that are not allowed. The products or services that are not allowed are:-

1. Weapons

2. Ammunition

3. Pets

4. Prostitution

5. Prescriptions

6. Alcohol

7. Stolen products

8. Lottery

9. Endangered items

10. Counterfeit items.


We can say we conclude that Craigslist is making money, but it’s only to make sure that they can operate the website effectively. They are making money with the fees that they charge on posting job listings and rentals. But it is not that they can’t earn money, they can, but they don’t want to. If they want they can increase their revenue by millions of dollars in just one month, but they are not doing it by choice. They are putting their consumers on top and not the money.


1- Can we buy new furniture on Craigslist?

Answer-On Craigslist you can easily buy old furniture but buying new furniture is not the best thing to do on Craigslist.

2- Is Craigslist popular in the United Kingdoms?

Answers-Craigslist is not as popular in the United Kingdom as it is in the United States.  

3- Are we supposed to sell pets on Craigslist?

Answer-No, you are not supposed to sell any pets on Craigslist.

4- What is the price of the lowest price limit on Craigslist?

Answer-There is no lowest price limit, you can also get free stuff in the free items option.

5-What is the most sold item on Craigslist?

Answer-Many items are sold daily but toys and household items are the most sold items on Craigslist.

How Does Craigslist Make Money?

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