Creating Ways To Earn Money

Proof That You Can Sell Anything On Craigslist

craigslist, selling items online, selling items on Craigslist

You know the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The phrase never rung more true than the day I helped load a metal monstrosity weighing several hundred pounds into the back of a pickup truck.

I discovered my love for grilling immediately after I graduated from college and got my first apartment. My passion for grilling evolved over the years into smoking meats. A few years ago I decided to build my own smoker. What was supposed to be an inexpensive and fun project turned into a massive smoker made out of two 65 gallon drums By the time I got tired of working on it, I had sunk close to $300 and countless hours of time into it.

It sort of worked, but not very well. It took a long time, and a lot of fuel to get it to a decent cooking temperature. Once I got it there, it required constant attention and adding of fuel to maintain the temperature. It had leaks everywhere, and it would take significant effort to tighten it up and make it more efficient.

It also didn’t fit my needs. What I wanted was a smoker to cook for my family and maybe a few friends and to use charcoal. It’s size was really meant to cook for large groups of people, and I found out that the design was really meant to burn whole logs of wood.

My gigantic homemade smoker sat on my back patio for a couple of years. The paint eventually starting chipping off from being left out in the elements. Every so often my wife would ask me what I planned to do with it. I really didn’t know what to say. I knew I really only had two choices:

  1. Dismantle it as much as possible, take it to the waste disposal center, and pay to get rid of it.
  2. Try to sell it, or give it away.

It made me kind of sad to think about destroying it and paying to remove the traces of a several hundred dollar mistake. So I took a chance and listed it on Craigslist. I didn’t expect any interest. But by the end of the day, I had two emails inquiring about it.

The next afternoon I was helping a gentleman load my metal monstrosity into the back of his truck. He was getting married the next weekend and was holding the reception at his acreage outside of town. He didn’t care how inefficient it was, he had plenty of wood. He just needed something with a lot of surface area to cook for a lot of people.

He handed me the agreed upon price of $50, and the smile on his face that showed he was as happy about finding the smoker, as I was about getting rid of it.

He found his treasure, and I got rid of my trash.

Have you ever sold anything you never thought anyone else would want?

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • This is encouraging. I often look at stuff I don’t want anymore and think “no one will want/buy this.” Making that assumption is clearly a mistake! Kudos on offloading something that’s been taking up space for the last couple years. 🙂

  • Ha! No, but I’ve TRIED to sell things that I was sure somebody would want, and turns out no one did.
    What I am good at on Craigslist is buying things, using them and then selling them for exactly what I paid, or a little more. I LOVE that!
    Good job getting rid of your smoker. And even better for the Groom!

  • @Daisy – it actually looked kind of nice when I put a slick coat of high heat black paint on it….but the pic included is much closer to what it looked like when I sold it. I am glad that I found a home for it…as you said, much better than sitting in a landfill!

  • @Kendal – It never hurts to try, right? That’s what I figured when I listed it…it only took me a few minutes, and I had nothing to lose. I’m really glad I did!!

  • @Cathie- That’s the weird thing about CraigsList. Sometimes you list something, and renew it several times and you get nothing. I’ve had it happen to. Then I take it down, and relist it a few months later and BAM sells right away. It all depends upon who’s looking when you post it.

  • @moneyahoy – True story, I thought maybe there would be someone out there that would want it. I mean, people who love to smoke meat are everywhere, there HAD to be someone that either wanted it the way it was or saw it as a project with a lot of work already done for them. Thanks for stopping by!

  • @Stefanie – I caught your post today on your ebay adventures, sounds like you could mix it up a bit and try craigslist. If at first you don’t succeed and all that, right? Thanks for reading!

  • After a lot of reflection, I don’t take on projects if I don’t have the time and money to complete them before I start. Def not jumping on you at all. More just my approach to projects these days.

    The Warrior

  • We had a 3 burner grill, where the middle burner had a huge corrosion hole in it and the screw that held it in place was completely stripped. I listed it on Craigslist for $50 (mentioning all the defects) and some guy came out to look at it and bought it within a couple days.

    I’ve also had a TON of luck giving away stuff. We had a huge pile of dirt (clay dirt, really) from putting in a stone patio. I listed it in the free section on Craigslist as “Fill dirt, you shovel and haul” and had a bunch of responses! Saved me a ton of time and money.

  • Well, yes.
    I sold an old trading card for $50 and I didn’t even know what it was that I owned. It was a Pokemon card, and apparently there is a huge demand for a thin piece of paper with a picture on it.
    I don’t understand what the world has come to!!!
    Great story!

  • @TheWarrior – I know exactly what you mean…I usually am very careful with projects I take on. This one spun out of control quickly and ended up being much larger than I had anticipated. thanks for stopping by!

  • @Tom – You’ve definitely had great success! I think it’s important to emphasize that you gave stuff away too…sometimes just getting it out of your house (or off your property) without payment is good enough!

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