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How to use Craigslist

Sample craigslist page

Craigslist is an online marketplace many Americans use to buy and sell items. Learn how to find things and how to use Craigslist safely.

Once you know how to use Craigslist, you can find many things. There are many different sections of Craigslist. You can use it to find apartments to rent. It can even be used to search for jobs. You can search for things to buy and use it to sell things online.

First make sure you know how to use Craiglist safely!

Sometimes, people will use Craiglist for “scams.”  This means, they will try to trick you to give them money or personal information. When you buy something on Craigslist, you should always see the item in person before you buy it. Do not send anyone money before you receive the item. When you go to buy the item, ask the person if they will meet you in a public place rather than at their house. If you must go to their house to buy an item, bring someone with you.

The “For Sale” section is useful  

This is where you can search for used items that people are selling. Craigslist will show you what people are selling near you, so you won’t have to go far to buy it.  You can search for specific items in this section.  For example, if you need a pan you can search in the “Household” section. If you want a TV you can search in the “Electronics” section. If you need a bed you can search in the “Furniture” section.   

In the “Housing” section you can search for apartments and rooms to rent  

You can narrow your search if you want to. For example, you can search for rooms that are a specific price. Once you see an apartment you like, click on the picture.  There will be a brief description of the place. The price will also be listed. If you want to rent it, email the owner. If you decide to go look at an apartment, ask an American friend to go with you to make sure the apartment is not a scam.

In the upper left-hand corner, there is a button that says “reply.”  Click the button. The website will highlight the owner’s email address. Use the highlighted email address to contact the owner. Ask the owner if the apartment is still available. Then, tell him or her that you are interested in renting the apartment.

When you email a person on Craigslist, be sure not to give out any personal information. For example, do not type your credit card number, birthday, or other identifying numbers. If something doesn’t feel safe, do not respond.    

Once you understand how to use Craigslist, you can find your city and start exploring.

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