One of the easiest and most accessible side hustles that you can start today is to begin selling on Craigslist. Buying and re-selling items on Craigslist can earn you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars if you succeed in finding the right items and advertising them correctly.

Making money on Craigslist can be so lucrative that some people have even found ways to earn a full-time living through buying and selling on the site.

It’s a great side hustle, but you’ve got to know some of the ins and outs of online resale to turn a profit. After all, there are thousands of items for the average user to sort through on Craigslist, from medical equipment to vintage furniture. And you’re usually competing for attention not just with other Craigslist items, but with other, similar websites like eBay. Here are five quick tips for you to maximize your profit in the fastest, most lucrative way possible while selling on Craigslist:

1. Know What Sells the Best on Craigslist

Before you start buying and selling like crazy, get to know the demographic of your area and see what types of items sell the best in your Craigslist region. For example, the market for ski and snowboarding equipment would be a hot section for Craigslist in Boulder, but not so much in Boston. Once you know what items are the hottest sellers in your area, it’ll be easier for you to pick the right items to sell at the highest profit.

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Avoid Getting Your Post Flagged

There’s nothing worse than finding out that the people you want to sell to don’t like your posts. Make sure you follow these guidelines to avoid unnecessary angst:

  • Don't post in multiple cities from the same email account. Craigslist will think you're a no-good spammer.
  • Don't make your posts word-for-word the same. This also signals spam. Change up the wording a little in each ad.
  • Don't post ads in very quick concession. Our word of the day is spam.
  • Avoid using spam words altogether. These include phrases such as “free,” “credit card,” or “weight loss.” Also, don't post anything in all capitals, and make sure your contact information is visible.
  • Don't try to look like a big company. Craigslist users prefer a more authentic feel, and if you look like you're from a big corporation, people may trust you less.

2. Look in the “Free” Section

Most people who use Craigslist aren’t interested in putting additional effort into the selling process, even if it means increasing their profit margin. As a result, you can find items in the “free” section (or even cheap items in the other “for sale” sections) that you could sell for a profit if you take nicer pictures or clean the item up a little. You can also use garage sales similarly, finding items at little to no cost and selling them for a little – sometimes even a lot – more than you bought them for.

3. Look for Items on Craigslist that Need to be Spruced Up

This requires a little bit of work on your part, but if you have the time to fix up a ragged old couch or a broken lamp, you could turn it around and make a few hundred dollars.

Look for furniture that needs a fresh coat of paint, or rugs and couches that need to be cleaned – those are the items that will sell for at least a hundred dollars more than what you paid with just an hour or so of effort on your part. And if you don't end up selling them, you'll have saved some money upgrading your home by doing some DIY.

4. Treat Your Craigslist Posts like a Small Business

No one wants to interact with an anonymous seller who uploads creepy pictures, spells words incorrectly, or makes it difficult to contact them. True, Craigslist is a relaxed buying and selling environment.

You'll exponentially increase your profits if you raise your standards of professionalism with each post. Make sure to write a clear, cohesive description of the item you want to sell, take good pictures of it, and be honest about its quality.

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5. Make it Easy and Painless for Your Craigslist Buyers

You should aim to make all exchanges with buyers as painless and enjoyable as possible. Offer free delivery or shipping, and make sure that the buyer can text you to talk about the item. If you’re uncomfortable with giving your phone number to Craigslist, you can use a service that lets you create a disposable number.

It's easy to make a lot of money selling on Craigslist. You just need to have a good strategy and be willing to spend the time to commit to it.