How to find under the table jobs on Craigslist?
If you’re asking that question, you’re probably trying to earn extra money as quickly as possible.
You may have discovered that cutting expenses didn’t always make you enough money quickly enough.
Getting a second job seems like a good way to make a little extra cash to make ends meet or help with bills.
But a second job would require too much commitment and paperwork.
What if you could work on a job that earns cash today, not next week or two weeks from now?
As you can imagine, having access to 100% of your earnings up front will give you so much flexibility.
In such a case, low commitment, one-time jobs that pay cash immediately fit this profile.
If you don’t mind doing low key, unusual, even manual labor gigs, finding under the table jobs that pay cash only on Craigslist can be the answer.
You don’t need a full-time job to make a living as long as you are creative, hardworking and committed.
So in today’s post, I am going to show you how to find these cash-only paying jobs on Craigslist.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents
What Are Under the Table Jobs? Are They Legal?
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what under the table jobs are about.
Under the table jobs, sometimes called off the books jobs, are jobs that typically pay in cash.
Working under the table for cash is commonly associated with jobs such as yard work, bartending, babysitting or helping to run events.
Other businesses that usually pay cash are gas stations, liquor stores and so on.
Self-employed makeup artists, electricians, plumbers etc offer the best opportunities for getting paid in cash.
As you can see, these jobs aren’t necessarily illegal. In fact, they are as legit as jobs that pay by check or through direct deposit.
Problems arise when the intent for both an employer and the employee is to avoid paying taxes. Paying cash under the table for the purpose of tax evasion is illegal.
Besides, if you make less than $30,000 a year as an individual, you probably won’t pay much in taxes anyway.
Regardless of your motivation to work for cash, there are numerous under the table jobs at your disposal if you know where to look.
Why Use Craigslist to Find Under the Table Jobs?
Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 as an email distribution list to share news of local events with friends.
As the subscriber base grew, users started to use the list for non-event postings, mostly to fill technical job openings. This lead to the addition of a category for “jobs”
Craigslist went online in 1996 and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, it’s the 25th most visited website in the U.S. according to Alexa.
Craigslist is a good place to find part-time jobs, Craigslist one day jobs or side jobs on craigslist that pay cash for the following reasons:
- Gig listing is free for both employers to post and for you to browse and apply.
- No need to spend on advertising, business cards or promotion.
- It’s easy to find gigs remotely and locally.
- Since so many people use Craigslist, the job listing is always up-to-date.
- You can email potential employers directly which means fewer forms to fill.
- If you can’t find jobs that you like, you can post your resume or place an ad under the “Resumes” or “Services Offered” section for free.
Create a New Craigslist Account
First, you need to register a free Craigslist account.
- Visit https://accounts.craigslist.org/signup
- Enter your email address and press “Create account”. I suggest you set up a new email address using one of the free email services from Gmail or Yahoo Mail just for this.
- Next, you’ll see a message instructing you to check your inbox for a confirmation email from Craigslist.
- Login to your inbox, locate the Craigslist confirmation email and click the button/link that says “Confirm your account”.
That’s it – you have your brand new, free Craigslist account!
How to Find Under the Table Jobs on Craigslist
When you go to Craigslist, you’ll be taken directly to your city’s page.
If not, you can go directly to the list of Craigslist – Cities. If you don’t find your city, use the state site.
Craigslist has two sections for job hunters: the “jobs” section and the “gigs” section.
The “jobs” section is for people looking for full-time employment or contract jobs while the “gigs” category is meant primarily for freelance, low-cost, internships, part-time work, even unpaid jobs.
Employers sometimes use both sections interchangeably.
Check the Craigslist Gigs Categories
The “gigs” section is the one you want to check for miscellaneous jobs that pay cash you can do in your spare time.
It’s located in the lower right corner of the screen as shown below.
As you browse, you may discover gigs that pay more but demand more commitment and require more time to complete.
Others could pay less but maybe easy, mindless and one-off. That means you can do more of those jobs to earn more money.
Some jobs won’t list a pay rate so you may have to provide your ballpark figure and negotiate fair compensation with the poster.
To start browsing, you can either click the “gigs” link at the top to view all gigs in your area or click on any of the eight broad categories. They are:
- Computer gigs: Find computer-related jobs such as programming, PC repair, social media manager, graphic and web design etc. Some jobs can be done from home.
- Creative gigs: For job seekers who have skills in photography, makeup, hairstyling, music, sculpting etc. You will likely work on location.
- Crew gigs: For people looking to be part of a film/photography crew, a studio audience, a scare actor for a haunted house, etc.
- Domestic gigs: Find household-related gigs including babysitting, dog walking, housekeeping, personal trainer etc. If those are your kind of gigs, you can find many opportunities here.
- Event gigs: Offer help at events including weddings, festivals, fundraising, fashion shows, concerts, etc. for the weekends or longer. It’s pretty common to find some crew gigs overlap with event jobs.
- Labor gigs: Find various manual labor jobs for handymen, painters, drivers, cleaners, movers, yard workers, etc. If you don’t mind doing physical labor for cash, this category can be a goldmine.
- Talent gigs: For talented actors, dancers, musicians and models. You’ll most likely be working at public events, on photo shoots or on film sets.
- Writing gigs: In addition to the various writing jobs, you can find proofreading/editing, translation, interpreter, blogging, screenwriting jobs and more. You can do most of these from home.
How to Apply for Under the Table Jobs on Craigslist
Gigs are posted in reverse chronological order from most recent to older listings. Each page holds 100 listings.
The heading shows the type of job to be filled and it usually includes the general location of the job.
Eg. Handyman (prefer with a car), part-time in Brooklyn/Canarsie (Brooklyn).
Once you find a gig that piques your interest and it’s within whatever the travelling distance you’re comfortable with, just click on the heading for more information.
Remember, Craigslist does not verify the accuracy of any information included in an ad so if something sounds too good to be true (i.e. “make $300 in one day from home”) it probably is.
You can apply for the gig by clicking on the reply button above the listing. You’ll be able to contact the poster via a blind-box email or phone depending on the poster’s preference.
When you click on your preferred email client to reply, it opens a new email message with the “To” and “Subject” lines filled in. A link to the gig posting is also included in the email body as well.
To send a message from scratch, just copy the blind-box email address, eg: email@example.com, and paste it into your email.
If the poster supplies the company email address, use that instead of the anonymous email address provided by Craigslist.
Don’t forget to fill in the “Subject of the message” and keep it simple and to the point.
In the body, include details requested by the poster. If the ad tells you to send a sample of your work, do it.
However, be careful when an ad asks for personal financial information upfront.
All you can do next is wait for a reply from the poster. You’ll only know if you can accept the gig by communicating directly with the gig poster.
There’s also no way to tell if a job has been filled other than the original post being removed.
If you live in a big metro area, be sure to look beyond the first 100 listings as the later ones could have fewer applicants.
In any case, many employers receive hundreds of responses so try to get your application in as soon as you can.
How Much Can You Make From Cash Only Jobs on Craigslist?
The pay rate from one Craigslist cash gig to another can vary widely depending on the job and location. Some gigs don’t even have a pay rate listed.
It would be useful to read about other people’s real-life experience doing under the table jobs on Craigslist.
For that, I came across a post by Jeff from JasonCouponKing.com who spent a whole month experimenting with Craigslist.
He made over $655 doing one-off gigs on Craigslist that did not require any long-term commitment.
He worked about 35 hours, which comes out to around $18 an hour, more than double the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.
The extra money increased his weekly income by $164 which pays for groceries and gas.
Another one is from VICE’s Will Tilghman who tried to make his monthly rent of $995 by working weird jobs posted on the gigs section of New York Craigslist.
He tried staging a photo shoot for a restaurant, screening a bad horror movie, trying a new deodorant, writing a bio for a nice mom, handing out newspapers, doing a timely impersonation of Lord Varys from “Game of Thrones”, and more.
His biggest challenge was he couldn’t get many responses from people on Craigslist. Perhaps if he didn’t limit his search to weird jobs, would he had more success?
Regardless of the answer, check out his interesting and insightful YouTube video below.
Finding Jobs That Pay Cash on Craigslist Tips & Tricks
To distinguish yourself from fellow job seekers, here are a few tips to help you quickly find jobs that pay cash on Craigslist.
Create a New Email
Before starting your job search, create a new email account using the free account on Gmail or Yahoo.
Job hunters often find themselves getting spam, scam emails and emails from recruiters offering jobs that they may or may not be interested in.
You don’t want these messages filling up your main email inbox.
Search Using Relevant Keywords
Whether you do a general search or a category-specific one, use relevant keywords to narrow the list of job openings to the ones you want.
You can search by job title, job type, industry, skills you’d like to use and so on.
Also, try searching for “cash” or “cash jobs”. This will weed out the jobs that don’t necessarily pay cash.
Remember that you have to meet the poster face to face in order for him/her to pay in cash.
Consider What You Already Have
When offering a service, try to be creative and consider what you already have that you can use to benefit other people.
For example, if you have a flatbed truck, use it to help people move or clean up their junk.
Post Your Resume
If you can’t find anything that piques your interest, you can always post an ad under “resumes” to let potential employers find you.
There’s no need to post a full resume here. Just keep it short and to the point. Tell them what you’re good at and your previous working experience if any.
For this approach, your ad stays up for seven days so you’ll need to repost once they expired. Remember to use a catchy title to attract the attention of potential employers.
Once posted, be ready to get spam or scam emails along with legitimate responses. Again your new email account will come handy.
More Under the Table Jobs Tips
Jeff from Jason Coupon King has several tips to share for securing gigs that pay cash.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for more money – highlight your education, work ethics and skills you have that set you apart in your introduction email. Know what you’re worth.
- Discuss and agree upon money upfront – some people may try to low ball you or they may not fulfill their end of the deal. To avoid that, consistently reaffirm what the compensation is. You don’t want to waste time applying for jobs that do not align with your end goals.
- Ask the right questions – when assessing a gig, ask how long will it take, how difficult is the gig or does the gig requires more than one person.
- Have a clear understanding of the gig – gigs that lack in details but promise big paydays are often a scam. Be sure to ask where is the work, how much work is there and when you can start working etc.
When you find temporary gigs via Craigslist Gigs, it’s up to you to make sure you are paid for your work. Insist on getting paid in cash.
How Safe Is Craigslist For Job Seekers?
While you can find legit jobs on Craigslist, they often get mixed in with get-rich-quick, multilevel marketing and identity theft scams.
You’ll need to be very careful since employers can post jobs anonymously, you don’t know who is doing the hiring.
When replying to these jobs postings, ask about the company name and a business phone number before arranging any meeting.
Whatever you do, do not share your personal information until you are sure that the person or company is legit.
When meeting a potential employer, arrange to meet at public places or at their well-marked corporate location. You might want to bring a friend along just to be safe.
Remember that once you hit the Send button to reply to a gig listing, you’ll be responsible for your own actions. Any oversight from Craigslist essentially ends there.
Sure there’s weird stuff and scam on Craigslist, but if you can wade through, there are tons of legit opportunities too.
Once you understand the benefits and pitfalls of the site, finding the right jobs that pay cash only should become easier.
Watch Out for Scams
You can find a list of common scams on Craigslist and how to avoid them. For a quick reference, I’ve included them below. You can read more about it on their website.
Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
- Do not provide payment to anyone you have not met in person.
- Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.
- Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
- Don’t accept cashier/certified checks or money orders – banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
- Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”.
- Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, Paypal account, etc).
- Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.
- Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
- “craigslist voicemails” – Any message asking you to access or check “craigslist voicemails” or “craigslist voice messages” is fraudulent – no such service exists.
Also, check out the subreddit dedicated to Craigslist for more tips, how to spot scams and other interesting/funny Craigslist postings.
If you are unsure whether a gig listing is a scam or not, you can start a thread on Reddit and ask for other people’s opinion about it.
Jobs that Pay Under the Table on Craigslist
To give you some ideas of the kind of jobs that pay under the table on Craigslist, I’ve listed a few examples below.
You’ll end up with more solid ideas if you can be creative and consider what skills or equipment you already have that you can use to solve problems for others.
Money is likely your top priority so in most cases, you can ignore jobs that only offer “great experience” or exposure.
If you can find several similar jobs that you are interested in doing, you can get some idea of the going rate for that type of job.
People always need help in cleaning their house, office, apartment, storage area, storefront and so on.
For example, you can find one-time cleaning job when someone is moving out of their home or a recurring job for a family that requires the cleaner to come once per week.
If you are comfortable cleaning for someone, there are a ton of jobs for you.
People are looking for a weekend nanny, live-in nanny or just one-off nanny gigs.
However many parents are quite hesitant when using Craiglist, no thanks to their sketchy reputation sometimes.
If you’re considering this, keep in mind that sometimes you may need to work odd hours in the evenings, weekends or in the afternoon when the parents are at work.
Also, consider taking a babysitting class to prepare yourself for babysitting which can improve your chances of securing a gig.
Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
You can provide services for dogs, cats, birds, fish, exotic pets and other animals.
However, most listings are looking for a dog walker or cat sitter with a variable schedule.
Apparently, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season is some of the busiest time of year for this service.
While this can be highly competitive, there’s still a lot of room for you to earn extra money with this.
Junk Removal Laborer/Mover/Clean-up
If you don’t mind doing pure grunt work which usually involves moving stuff and/or heaving lifting, this could be for you.
You may take junk away from people’s homes or commercial properties. Some jobs may require long hours and a valid driver’s license.
If you are lucky, you may find gig postings from people who need help with moving a piece of furniture for a few minutes of work.
This is a pretty popular gig because it’s easy to do allowing you to maximize your earnings with minimum effort.
Also, consider listing your service in the rideshare category. You can specify your rate, your availability and the areas you can offer your service at.
Got a good camera? Know how to take good photos?
The occasions are endless for taking pictures, from weddings to sporting events, from family gatherings to vacations, you name it.
You can also take home interior photos, people’s pets, fashion, portraiture and anything in between.
To stand out, you’ll need to have a good portfolio showcasing your past work.
If you are new, you may have to take low paying jobs to build your portfolio and get the word out.
You can mow the lawn, pull weeds, rake leaves, shovel snow, water garden, plant flowers and more.
While some jobs can be seasonal depending on where you live, people are always looking for some yard work help and often pay cash.
Most people’s lawns require regular maintenance. As long as you can do a good job at a reasonable price, you may be able to get some repeat business.
People are always looking to get tutored in various subjects or those trying to learn new skills.
Many kids and college students require tutors to help them better understand certain subjects.
A quick search for tutor returned listings from people looking to get tutored in Fortnite tutor(a computer game), Microsoft Excel, day trading, Chemistry, Maths, English and more.
Often it’s possible to work online from home via video chatting via Skype with someone or with a group of students.
Tutoring can be a great side gig on Craigslist because you can set your own hours, even work from anywhere.
Artisan or Crafter
A talented artist and skilled craftsperson can use Craigslist to market their work on the side to earn some extra cash.
Whether you sculpt, paint, draw, potter or engage in any other artistic pursuit, you can connect with other artisans or find potential customers to sell to.
People are also using Craigslist to hire skilled artists and crafters for their projects.
This is often one of the jobs that pay under the table on Craigslist.
Handyman often needs tools such as a drill, screwdrivers, wrench set, and drill bit set, along with a tarp or blanket.
If you are new, you may not have the money to buy all the tools you need at one time.
What you can do instead is to stick to jobs that you have the tools already.
Using a local tool hire firm or simply do jobs that will make money quickly without the need for a lot of tools is a good option.
You can offer to:
- Paint windows, fences or doors
- Repair under sink, kitchen, bathroom
- Power washing driveways and sidewalks
- Wash windows and cars
- Clean gutter
- Install smoke detectors
- Organize and clean garage
- Hang wallpaper
- And others
Posting an ad in the resumes section offering your services would help in attracting clients.
As a personal assistant you run errands, do research, reply to emails, help with demanding tasks or business, do grocery shopping, perform odd jobs, stand in line or do anything that saves the employer’s time.
It is not just the wealthy that need assistants. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, moderately successful artists, etc. are always on the lookout for an assistant to help them.
To give you an idea of what people are offering as a personal assistant, here’s an ad I found on Craigslist.
You can find more jobs that pay under the table here.
If you ever search for “jobs that pay cash under the table near me”, you know how hard it is to get a job, especially with limited knowledge and experience.
However, if you have some skills, there are numerous opportunities for you to make some money.
Even if you can’t offer any skills, Craigslist gigs still offer one of the quickest ways to turn your financial life around as long as you are willing to hustle.
Under the table jobs will always be there on Craigslist for you to take advantage of and won’t suddenly go away.
Whatever it is that you want to do, keep your options open. You’ll never know unless you try.
Now it’s your turn.
Have you had any luck finding under the table jobs on Craigslist?
We’d love to hear your experience and best strategies for landing a new gig on Craigslist in the comments.
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