OfferUp vs Craigslist: Which One Is Better for Selling Things?

Updated on May 19, 2020
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.

Is Craiglist still a valid marketplace, or is OfferUp a better option?
Is Craiglist still a valid marketplace, or is OfferUp a better option?

Is OfferUp Better Than Craigslist for Selling Things?

OfferUp is a free smartphone app that allows you to sell things locally from your home, much like Craigslist. The question is whether one is better than the other.

I've used Craigslist for several years, selling furniture and other things from around the house. I've also used OfferUp quite a few times as a seller. Both have their pros and cons, and I'll share my experience using both.

OfferUp Home Page
OfferUp Home Page

Selling Things On OfferUp Vs Craigslist

The main advantage of using OfferUp as a seller is that you don't have to publicly disclose your name, email, or phone number in your ad. Transactions are conducted anonymously through the messenger in the app, and the process is fast.

On Craigslist, you can exclude personal information from your ad too, allowing the buyer to simply reply to the ad itself, which is done anonymously via email, but this system is outdated by today's standards, and in my experience, I sell things a lot faster on CL when I list my phone number in the ad. A motivated buyer wants to reach you directly, not wait for you to receive their email, and hopefully reply.

To avoid getting telemarketing calls from listing a phone number in a Craigslist ad, most people display it as words instead of numbers to prevent bots from harvesting the number, but this can be annoying to do over and over again when you're posting multiple ads, and your privacy is comprised. You'll still get occasional spam calls.

TruYou Verification

OfferUp verifies a profile through a driver's license and phone number. You can also sign up through Facebook. Verification is usually completed the same day at which time a badge is displayed on your profile showing the account's been verified. While verification isn't a requirement, it's a great feature because you can choose only to do business with people who have been verified. This makes using the app feel much more secure.

Get Ready for Low Ball Offers

I sold a lot of stuff on OfferUp, but similar to CL, the app is loaded with people expecting very low prices. Not long after posting my items for sale, I started receiving several low ball offers from people, most of which vanished after I made a counteroffer. But I also sold quite a few things on the app at good prices too. The app is very popular. If you live in a heavily populated area, your ad will be seen by a lot of people.

Posting Ads

The task of creating and uploading an ad on the app is fast, usually taking less than one minute, and everything is done through your phone. Simply snap a picture of the items you're selling, upload them to the app, and write a brief description along with your sale price. Posting an ad on Craigslist takes longer, and unlike CL, you can post them repeatedly without it being flagged or removed.

When someone makes an offer you'll receive an instant notification with a "cha-ching" cash register sound effect, which is quite exciting.

Meeting for the Sale

On both sites, you sell items locally, making arrangements with the buyer on where to meet for the transaction, which basically feels like a hostage negotiation. Payments are not made through the app. What I do is meet the buyer in a public place during the day, accepting cash only.

The only time I had someone come to my house was when I sold furniture, but the items were in my detached garage, not in my house.

I never had anyone no show me after making arrangements on the app. On CL, that's a different story. I encountered many flaky people there over the years, some of which never showed up.

Buyer Ratings

The seller can rate the buyer, and the rating is displayed in their profile. The rating comes in handy when deciding whether or not to sell your merchandise to someone. I only accepted offers from people who had a verified profile and a good rating. Craigslist doesn't have any rating system. You never know exactly who you're dealing with.

OfferUp Product Page
OfferUp Product Page

Is Craigslist Worth It Anymore?

Using Craigslist is like stepping into a time machine back to 1998. Although the site is totally outdated, it's still a decent place to sell things locally, especially furniture, but I prefer OfferUp for the speed and ease of posting ads.

I can post an ad in less than one minute, and I can also see buyer ratings to help avoid doing business with shady people. I also don't like having to communicate with a buyer through email or have my phone number exposed to the general public.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • Can I use my desktop instead of my cell phone for OfferUp and Craigslist?

    Yes, Offer Up has a website too if you don't want to use their app. I've only used the Offer Up app through my phone. For Craigslist, I've always used their website, but there are a few Craigslist apps available.


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