Finding Items on Craigslist to Sell on eBay for Profit

The 'Did You Check eBay' Holiday Airstream Visits San Jose, CA With Top Gifts and Great Deals

Kimberly White/Stringer/Getty Images


Sourcing inventory for eBay is becoming easier as technology improves. One way to look for local inventory (that can even be free) is the Craigslist Mobile App. Sellers can browse for inventory opportunities at any time – like waiting in the dentist office, at their child’s little league practice, when listening to TV in the evenings, or while riding public transportation. If a mobile phone has access to the internet, an eBay seller can browse for inventory to resell. Follow these steps when to browse inventory on Craigslist that could be sellable on eBay.

  • Choose your city or the city closest to you that appeals to you
  • Look under the FOR SALE section (free items are located in the for sale section)
  • Browse through the categories
  • If unaware of an item’s value on eBay, check completed listings

Using the Craigslist App

The Craigslist App has many user-friendly features. Users can create and save searches and receive text alerts showing newly listed items with targeted keywords. If the Craigslist seller has posted photos, those are viewable on the app. Results are sortable by different criteria. If you find an item that interests you, it is each to communicate directly with the seller right from the app.

If you check Craigslist frequently for newly posted items, do the research, and act quickly, Craigslist can be a lucrative source for inventory. eBay sellers may be curious as to why people post items on Craigslist rather than on eBay - after all, eBay is second nature to the 23 million eBay sellers out there! However, not everyone is an eBay fan. Craigslist is ideal for selling for some people because:

  • No shipping calculations needed.
  • No selling limits
  • No eBay experience needed
  • No Paypal account needed
  • No Paypal or eBay fees
  • Cash is king - just meet your trading partner in a safe public place and handle the cash transaction

Some people use Craigslist to sell items really cheap because they are moving soon or just need cash. eBay experience, skill, and knowledge is an asset here. The general population isn't familiar with eBay selling, don't care to learn about it, and are happy getting a sale on Craigslist and pocketing the cash. If you are an experienced eBay seller with patience and determination, you can find items to resell on eBay for much higher prices because your audience is millions of people worldwide.

What to Buy on Craigslist

Some profitable items to look for on Craigslist:

  • Littlest Pet Shop collections
  • Disney Halloween costumes
  • Plush stuffed animals
  • Direct sales companies distributor going out of business (Pampered Chef, Shaklee, Melaleuca, Arbonne, Scentsy, etc.)
  •  Cast iron cookware
  • Pottery Barn items
  • Craft supplies 
  • Christmas ornaments (Christopher Radko, Waterford, Lenox)
  • Vitamin blenders, KitchenAid small appliances

Remember that everything you list on eBay must be authentic or eBay could pull the listing and suspend your account.  Items to use caution when buying for resale:

  • Designer handbags (could be fake)
  • Electronics (make sure they work properly and all parts are included)
  • High-end sunglasses like Ferragamo, RayBan, Prada, and Oakley as they could be fake
  • Autographed items (make sure it is authenticated)

Also, think ahead to the eBay process when buying anything for resale. Some questions to think through include:

  • Is the item easy to ship?
  • Do you have the correct materials to ship the item? Remember it could sell immediately and you'll need to ship it quickly.
  • Do you have room to store it?
  • Will it need climate controlled storage, and if so, do you have room in your home to store it? Items like cosmetics, fragrances, art supplies, or delicate fabrics may require climate controlled storage.

Be safe - only meet your Craigslist trading partner inside a public place, during daylight, and take another adult with you. Anywhere that has security cameras like the lobby of a grocery store or Walmart is a good idea. Even better, meet at a police or fire station as there are always people there and crooks will stay away from those locations.