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The Easiest Way to Make Money Online for Free

Written by Trent Brownrigg  · November 26, 2007

Guest Post by Trent Brownrigg

Important Update:
It appears that this method of making money with ebay might be against the Terms of Service of eBay’s affiliate program. From, what I recall you are not supposed to use spam to promote affiliates in the CB TOS and this process could be considered spamming. The post was also written several years ago so the method may be outdated by now and no longer work.

I am about to show you an incredibly simple way to make money online. Ok I admit that it might not be the absolute “easiest” way to make money online as the title suggests, but it is pretty darn easy. And it’s completely free!

This is actually part of a chapter out of my “Craigslist Profits Guide” that I wrote earlier this year. It has sold hundreds of copies and I’ve gotten many rave reviews from it, so you can be sure this is something that does work.

Before you can use this method, there are a couple quick steps you need to take…

1) The first thing you need to do is sign up for the eBay Affiliate Program if you are not already an affiliate. It’s very easy to do and it’s free.

2) The eBay affiliate program is run through Commission Junction, so after you sign up you will be sent an email from them. It will contain your log-in information and there will also be a form attached to the email that you MUST mail or fax to them. DO NOT forget this part because it is required. More details will be in the email.

You will also be sent an email welcoming you to eBay. Save that email because it gives you some links and information you will find useful.

Once you have done the two steps above, here is how you can easily make some extra money…

Go to and find the “wanted” ads. They are under the “for sale” section in the middle of the page. You can do this in your area or any other city/state you want.

Once you are in the wanted section you will see all sorts of different ads that people have put up looking for various items. Just about all of the items people are looking for can be found on eBay.

So all you have to do is go to eBay and use their search function to find the item. Then reply to the Craigslist ads telling them you have found the item they are looking for and give them your affiliate link to the listing on eBay.

Are you confused yet? Don’t be, it’s easy! And I’ll make it even easier for you…

Here are the step-by-step instructions for doing this:

1) If you have done what I said above, you are now in the Craigslist “wanted” section and are looking at a bunch of ads that people have put up wanting various items.

2) Click on and ad that you think would be easy to find on eBay and can be shipped easily. For example, the ad title might be, “Wanted – Apple iPod” and when you click on it the ad says that person wants an iPod with at least 20 GB storage and they might list some other minimum requirements.

3) Go to eBay and use the search feature to find the item they want. Or if you know what category the item would be in, you can just go directly to it.

4) If the item is something like an iPod that can be shipped easily then you can use listings from anywhere. But if it’s an item that can’t easily be shipped (such as a car) then you will want to narrow the listings to the area the person who placed the ad is in.

To do this just look on the left column of the eBay listings. You will see some “search options” and under it them is “location”. You can then narrow the search to items within a certain number of miles of their location.

5) You will now see all the eBay listings for the item you just searched for.

6) Create your affiliate link. Open a new window in your browser and go to eBay’s Flexible Destination Tool. Follow their simple instructions to create your link to the search listings you found in step five.

7) Go back to the Craigslist ad from step two and reply to it. Send them a fairly short email letting them know you found X number of the items they are looking for and they are all within X amount of miles of their location (if applicable). Be sure to include your affiliate link to the eBay listings so you get credit if they buy one.

That’s it! You’re done. How easy is that?

I’ve used this money making method quite a few times and it works very well. I’ve also had a lot of positive feedback from others who have tried it. Of course, most people will not buy but some of them do and that’s where you make money.

I haven’t ever had anyone complain about me emailing them either. They are usually more than happy to get your email because you are doing nothing but helping them find something they have already said they are looking for.

Remember you can do this in any city because you aren’t actually putting up a listing. It’s not something that has to be limited to your own area, so you can find a virtually unlimited number of wanted ads.

There you have it. A very easy way to make money online without spending a single penny. You won’t get rich doing this but you can definitely earn some extra cash.

Dedicated to your success,
Trent Brownrigg
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33 Responses to “The Easiest Way to Make Money Online for Free”

  1. Graham on November 26th, 2007 12:07 pm

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for this wonderful piece of information. It was just yesterday that I was looking into eBay affiliate programs, and was completely coincidental that I stumbled upon this article. I do have one quick question I have about this entire process however. Just how profitable is this method? I know that through the eBay affiliate program, you get a percentage (a fairly large percentage) of eBay’s actual PROFIT from the sale. At a glance, this just didn’t seem like that much actual gain to me.

    Thanks Again,

  2. Trent Brownrigg on November 26th, 2007 1:33 pm


    You are very welcome for the information. I am glad you liked it and happy it has helped you.

    You are correct, the profit margin isn’t very high. Don’t expect to get rich using this method. But it is free and very easy to do, so it can be a good way to make some extra money.

    Also, if the person you send to the listings isn’t already a member of ebay you get a pretty good commission if they register and buy. Right now I can’t remember what the exact payment is but I think it’s $22. That’s not too bad.

    Hope that answers your questions.


  3. DayJobNuker (Bruce) on November 26th, 2007 9:22 pm
  4. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 9:44 am


    This really isn’t a unique idea. Doing a quick search the second site I came across had an article about this same technique that is dated a month earlier than your article:

    Also, I read something similar to this over a year ago using other affiliate programs.

    All the best,

  5. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 9:46 am

    Since, Trent wrote the article I would be interested in learning how he came across this idea. Trent???

    PS. There are very few things (practically none, except in paid products) that I read on blogs that are new techniques.

  6. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 10:14 am

    Here is another similar article from last year:

    I am sure I could find a ton of similar articles, if you like?

    It’s very rare to find unique ideas like this, except in brand new info products. Eventually the information in the info products gets spread on the web…

  7. Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 10:42 am

    I took the post out of an ebook I wrote at the beginning of this year called “The Craigslist Profits Guide” at

    I made a few changes to it but it’s almost directly out of my ebook. I assure you Bruce I have never seen your article until you posted the link above.

    There are a bunch of techniques in my ebook for making money using craigslist and this is just one of them.

    Originally I got the idea from the Warrior forum way back before I wrote the ebook.

    Also, I offered the ebook on the Warrior forum as a WSO three different times before I put it up for sale to the general public. And each time I allowed a certain number of people to buy PLR rights to it. Therefore, there are a bunch of copies of it all over the internet being sold and/or given away under other people’s names. Many of them have even dissected it into articles and posted them various places.

    However, I am the original author and owner. But since I gave full rights to many people they are free to do as they please with the information. I do have a record of those who have rights to the book but a lot of PLR rights got re-sold without permission, so I have no idea how many people are out there right now claiming to be the author.

    I know at least one other person tried reselling it as a WSO but one of the moderators knew it was my original work so they deleted the post.

    Anyway this is getting long so I will wrap it up with direct answers to your questions…

    @Bruce – No I did not take it from your site.

    @George – You are correct it is not a unique idea and it has been written about before. A lot more since my book came out.

    @George again – Like I said, I originally got the idea from the Warrior forum.

    Hope that clears some things up.


  8. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 10:47 am


    Thanks for the clarification!

  9. Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 11:01 am

    One more thing that’s off topic…

    @Bruce – I’ve been reading around your blog for a few minutes now and I love it! Your writing style is superb.


  10. DayJobNuker on November 27th, 2007 12:53 pm

    Sorry. It just seemed so close to mine. Thats all.

  11. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 1:05 pm


    No problem, it happens alot in this industry, because the same techniques for making money are talked about in SO many places it’s not funny.

    That’s one of the problems with the “make money online” niche. You either have to be very unique or (like in my case) you had to start many years back before it became popular to blog about making money online in order to stand out.

  12. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 1:14 pm


    I agree with Trent, your writing is very good. I will have to your feed to my bloglines reader…

  13. Make Money Online - Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 1:53 pm

    I’m glad we are all on the same page now!

    You are right George, there aren’t many secrets to making money online anymore. If one person knows it there are most likely many others that know it too.

    Oh and Bruce I got your reply about the blogroll. I’ll get to that ASAP.


  14. Jackson on November 27th, 2007 2:04 pm

    ebay/CJ terms of service prohibit this activity:

    (11) Email Promotion. You agree not to send any emails in Your promotion of the eBay site unless authorized and approved to do so by CJ. Authorization and approval of email marketing includes additional terms and conditions to which you must agree before such promotion begins.

  15. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 2:33 pm


    That is very interesting…

  16. Make Money Online - Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 3:20 pm

    Hmmm that is interesting. I’ve never seen that before. I wonder if that’s a new rule or if I just never knew about it before?

    I’ve never been told by anyone that they have had any problems with this but maybe they have.

    Anyone reading this had any issues?

    Then again, when you read that it sounds like they don’t even want you to send out emails to your own opt-in list. Why would that be a problem?

    Sounds to me like they are just trying to cover their butts in case anyone complains. Very understandable!

    I don’t know, I’m at a loss for words here.

  17. DoC on November 27th, 2007 3:26 pm

    what do you all put in the tax I.D, tax classification, or website? Do I put craigslist? thanks.


    i love the article. Thanks.

  18. Make Money Online - Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 4:24 pm

    Tax ID is either your tax ID (if you have one) or your social security number. For most people it will be your SS#.

    As for the website, if you have a site put it in there. Otherwise you can use a free blog or leave it blank if they allow you to. I don’t really know because I always have a site to put in when asked that question. If they make you put a site just start a free blog on or put up a lens really quick and use that.

    Both will only take a few minutes and both are free.

  19. DayJobNuker on November 27th, 2007 5:19 pm

    Thanks for both of your compliments on my writing.

    As for it being against Ebay’s TOS, someone also posted this on the article I wrote so it might be true. I haven’t tried this method myself in a very long time but maybe you should be carefull if you try it.

  20. George Manty on November 27th, 2007 7:39 pm

    Maybe we should update the post with a note that this might against the TOS of CB? I recall that you aren’t supposed to use spam to promote affiliates in the CB TOS and this could be considered spamming.

  21. Alfred Saforo on November 27th, 2007 10:04 pm

    Good idea. Not very origional but thanks for sharing. I hjave been looking for ways to market stuff for ebay for months now.Only problem is, how many people do you think are using this system already?

  22. Trent Brownrigg on November 27th, 2007 10:31 pm

    @George – Yeah that might be a good idea to put a note in the post.

    @Alfred – I’m sure there are quite a few people using this method but not nearly as many as you might think. And it doesn’t matter anyway. You can do this for almost any item in almost any city. Chances of you and a competitor contacting the same person about their ad are very slim.

  23. Philip-MoneyMakingGift on November 29th, 2007 8:56 am

    It’s great idea for making money online for FREE!

    Something new for me!

  24. Brian Lash on December 28th, 2007 6:38 pm


    I don’t follow your logic. “Spam” refers to unsolicited, impersonal fluff and implies a numbers game of the “bug X number of people, and X% will convert” variety.

    The actions used in the technique Trent describes are solicited by design—after all, Craigslist posters have listed their need in the “Wanted” section. They’re also highly personal.

    When you engage in this kind of behaviour you’re providing a service by making the marketplace more efficient. And the money you make is the economic reward you reap for that effort.

    No spam. No TOS violation.


  25. George Manty on December 29th, 2007 5:05 pm


    You make an interesting point… I will have to think about it. I think that it may still be a gray area…

  26. Peter Benders on April 7th, 2008 12:07 pm

    I am quite late to read this. I got it here when I was searching my competitors back links.
    It is very useful information, Trent – Thanks a lot


  27. Denenmis Tarifler on March 12th, 2009 3:40 am

    I have a new blog and i like your posts but i can not produce quality posts like yours.Do you have any blogging secrets : ) ?

  28. Polly Pocket Cruise Ship on March 24th, 2009 12:19 am

    As a UK-based Polly Pocket collector, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other doll posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  29. Lindsey on June 22nd, 2009 9:41 am

    I really appreciate the information…and am responding to your question of if anyone had issues. The issue I had is that I do not have a website or business, and giving them just some random personal blog would most likely cause them to reject me. I understand why Ebay wants Affiliates with businesses, but for this method it seems pretty pointless for it to be required. I just think you should let people know that if they are not part of a business, they can’t use this method.

  30. Amanda on September 25th, 2009 8:52 pm

    I took a quick glance at the Ebay thing, and like Lindsey, I have reservations. The thing is, I actually already have a website—but it’s not a blog or anything. I’m a professional golfer playing the mini tours (which is why I’m on sites like this cause it doesn’t pay that well) and therefore have a website my fans can go to. Is it safe or wise to involve my fans website in something like this or should I create a whole new website which is more like a blog type?

  31. George Manty on October 16th, 2009 6:10 am


    If you have the time a blog would be great. However, I would focus on your golf game as much as possible. If you focus on being great at one thing you are much more likely to succeed. If golf’s not your passion, then you might want to look at other options.

  32. Glen Jon on January 14th, 2011 3:33 am

    I’m inclined to believe that answering a request for service is not spam.
    If some one is placing an ad and wants help, how else do they expect to receive help besides being contacted with directions. Would they expect the “Fairy God Linker,” from out of space to answer them in a dream or would they receive a legitimate answer from their “advertisement for products/services wanted.” I’ll look into this further, because you seem to have a perfectly valid hustle. People take the word spam out of context sometimes. Thank you for the information.

  33. Danny Madison on October 13th, 2011 10:51 am

    O.k so if this does work how will i get paid? will i need a paypal account or something? or will they send me a check in mail?...