Items You Can't Sell on Craigslist

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

4 min read

It's true that you can find pretty much anything on Craigslist, but that doesn't mean you'll find everything. Here is a list of the top things that you should never try sell on Craigslist.

Do not enter sign

Everyday, users from across the world post their items to sell on Craigslist. In fact, there are currently tens of millions of listings on Craigslist from sellers just like you hoping to make some money off their stuff.

Online marketplaces like Craigslist have grown in popularity and become the go-to place for buying and selling just about anything, from used furniture and appliances to clothing and collectibles. You can even re-home animals or sell your services.

However, there are some things you definitely should not sell on Craigslist. Here we list the items you should not sell on Craigslist because they are against the law, against Craigslist's rules, or generally not a good idea.

1. Illegal Items

This should go without saying but is always a good reminder: Anything that is not legal to have or sell in your state or country should clearly not be sold on Craigslist either. This includes items that have been obtained illegally, such as stolen or counterfeit goods, or are illegal to have, such as drugs (prescription or recreational), banned alcohol, exotic animals, ivory, and so on.

It’s also illegal to sell items like food stamps, fake IDs, Social Security cards, government assistance, and so on. Craigslist also doesn’t allow you to sell items that require age restrictions, such as tobacco, lewd material, or alcohol.

If it's not legal, don't sell it. Attempting to sell these items could not only get you in trouble with Craigslist but also with the law so avoid it at all costs.

2. Certain Weapons

Although a private sale, gift, or transfer of a firearm to another individual may be legal in your state, Craigslist does not allow the sale of guns or gun-related items on their platform.

According to Craigslist’s list of prohibited items, this includes firearms/guns and components, BB/pellets, stun, and spear guns, ammunition, clips, cartridges, reloading materials, gunpowder, fireworks, or explosives.

There are places online to buy and sell these items, but Craigslist is not the place for it.

3. Unsafe Items

Always use discernment whenever selling items on Craigslist for both you and the buyer’s safety.

Items that are expired, recalled, or unsafe should never be sold on Craigslist. Some things are very obvious, like expired food or medication, recalled products, and any items that potentially cause harm to the buyer.

However, this can also include items such as used cosmetics like makeup or brushes, unpackaged or adulterated foods, or used car seats.

4. Items in Poor Condition

While you may want to make money off an item you are no longer using, it is not necessarily good to sell any items that are in poor condition or don’t work properly.

If you know the item doesn’t work well, is on its last leg, or doesn’t work at all, be upfront about it. There may be a potential buyer that is looking for an item they can fix up or need a part from.

Always be honest about the condition of your items to avoid complaints and disappointment from your buyer.

5. Personal Information

You should never sell items that may have your personal information or sensitive data attached to it.

Of course, you should never sell your Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, food stamps, or anything illegal. However, you should also never sell uncleared smartphones, manuals or magazines that have your home address, or any financial documents.

Be sure to check through all of your items before taking pictures or selling them and look for anything that could have your identity attached to it to avoid identity theft.

Selling your items on Craigslist is a great way to make some extra money, but you want to always use discernment to make sure you are following the law, using best practices, and protecting yourself.

Avoid selling anything that is illegal, stolen or counterfeit, guns and gun-related items, unsafe items that could potentially harm your buyer, items that are in poor condition or be upfront about it, and anything that gives away personal information of you or someone else. If your item is allowed, see our blog post Ultimate Guide to Selling Used Items on Craigslist for a complete guide on how to sell your item.

By following these best practices, you can ensure a positive experience for both you and the buyer while maintaining a safe and trustworthy platform to continue selling on.


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