shipping containers for sale craigslist Everything You Need to Know About Buying Shipping Containers on Craigslist

shipping containers for sale craigslist

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shipping containers for sale craigslist

Are you in the market for a shipping container? Look no further than Craigslist, the popular online marketplace where you can find a wide variety of shipping containers for sale at affordable prices. However, it’s important to approach the purchasing process with caution due to the potential for scams and fraudulent listings. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of buying shipping containers on Craigslist, including the types of containers available, tips for finding the right one, alternatives to Craigslist, and important factors to consider when making your purchase. shipping containers for sale craigslist

Types of Shipping Containers Available on Craigslist

When searching for a shipping container on Craigslist, you’ll come across various types and sizes. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Standard Containers: These are the most common type of shipping containers and come in sizes like 20 feet and 40 feet. They are suitable for general cargo and storage purposes.
  2. High Cube Containers: High cube containers are taller than standard containers, providing additional vertical space. They are ideal for storing taller or bulkier items.
  3. Open Top Containers: Open top containers have a removable top, allowing for easy loading and unloading of goods from the top. They are commonly used for transporting oversized or bulky cargo.
  4. Refrigerated Containers: Refrigerated containers, also known as reefers, are temperature-controlled containers used for transporting perishable goods that require specific temperature conditions.
  5. Flat Rack Containers: Flat rack containers have collapsible sides, making them suitable for transporting oversized cargo that cannot fit inside a standard container.

Pros and Cons of Buying Shipping Containers from Craigslist

Before diving into the process of purchasing a shipping container on Craigslist, it’s important to consider the pros and cons associated with this platform.

Pros of Buying Shipping Containers from Craigslist

  • Affordability: Shipping containers listed on Craigslist are often more affordable compared to buying from new or dedicated suppliers.
  • Wide Variety of Options: Craigslist offers a diverse selection of container sizes, conditions, and modifications.
  • Flexible Negotiations: Direct negotiations with sellers on Craigslist allow for better deals and arrangements.
  • Local Availability: Craigslist allows you to find containers available near your location, reducing transportation costs and time.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Buying used shipping containers from Craigslist promotes recycling and reduces waste.

Cons of Buying Shipping Containers from Craigslist

  • Limited Quality Control: Unlike purchasing from dedicated suppliers, there is no guarantee or quality control for containers listed on Craigslist.
  • Potential for Scams: Craigslist is known for scams and fraudulent listings. Buyers need to be cautious and verify the legitimacy of sellers.
  • No Warranty or Guarantees: When purchasing from Craigslist, there is no warranty or guarantees provided by the seller. Buyers are responsible for any issues or damages.
  • Limited Customer Support: Craigslist does not offer dedicated customer support for resolving disputes or providing refunds.
  • Inaccurate or Incomplete Information: Listings on Craigslist may lack accurate or complete information about the containers, making it important for buyers to ask for additional details and inspect the container thoroughly.

Tips for Finding the Right Shipping Container on Craigslist

Finding the right shipping container on Craigslist requires careful consideration and research. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

  1. Set a Budget: Determine your budget, taking into account the cost of the container, transportation, and potential modifications.
  2. Prioritize Condition: Focus on containers in good condition to minimize repair or maintenance expenses.
  3. Verify Seller Information: Check the seller’s contact details and ask for additional information to establish their credibility.
  4. Request Detailed Photos: Ask the seller for clear, high-resolution photos or videos to assess the container’s condition and features.
  5. Compare Prices: Review multiple listings on Craigslist to understand market prices and avoid overpaying.
  6. Check Delivery Options: Ensure that the seller offers a suitable delivery method or consider arranging your own transport.
  7. Beware of Scams: Be cautious of unusually low prices, unclear information, or pressure to complete transactions quickly.
  8. Inspect Before Purchase: Whenever possible, inspect the container in person or hire a third-party inspector to verify its condition.

By following these tips, you can improve your experience on Craigslist and minimize potential risks when purchasing a shipping container.

Alternatives to Craigslist for Buying Shipping Containers

While Craigslist is a popular platform for buying shipping containers, it’s not the only option available. Here are some alternatives you can consider:

1. Dedicated Shipping Container Suppliers

Dedicated shipping container suppliers specialize in selling new and used containers and provide a higher level of quality control and customer support. They can assist you in finding the right container based on your specific needs and offer warranties or guarantees on their products.

2. Online Marketplaces

Besides Craigslist, there are other online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Alibaba where you can find shipping containers for sale. These platforms often have seller ratings and reviews, providing additional information about the credibility of sellers.

3. Local Container Yards

Check if there are any container yards or depots in your area that sell shipping containers directly. Visiting these yards allows you to inspect the containers in person and negotiate directly with the seller.

4. Container Auctions

Container auctions can be a great way to find shipping containers at competitive prices. These auctions may take place online or in-person, and you can bid on containers based on your budget and requirements.

When exploring these alternatives, make sure to conduct thorough research, compare prices, and consider factors like quality, condition, and customer support before making a final decision.

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Shipping Container

When buying a shipping container, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice. These factors include:

1. Size and Capacity

Determine the size and capacity of the container based on your specific needs. Standard containers are available in sizes like 20 feet and 40 feet, but other sizes are also available depending on your requirements.

2. Condition

Inspect the container thoroughly to assess its condition. Look for signs of damage, rust, or wear that could affect its functionality. Consider whether you need a new or used container, keeping in mind that used containers may have cosmetic imperfections but can still be suitable for storage purposes.

3. Modifications

Consider any modifications you may require for the container. Common modifications include adding windows, doors, ventilation, or insulation. Determine if the container you are considering can be easily modified to meet your specific needs.

4. Delivery and Transport

Check the delivery options offered by the seller. Some sellers may provide delivery services, while others may require you to arrange your own transportation. Consider the logistics and costs associated with transporting the container to your desired location.

5. Local Regulations and Permits

Before purchasing a shipping container, familiarize yourself with local regulations and permits related to container use. Some areas may have restrictions on using containers for residential or commercial purposes, so it’s essential to ensure compliance with local laws.

6. Budget

Set a budget for your container purchase, taking into account the cost of the container, delivery, modifications, and any additional fees. Compare prices from different sellers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.


Buying a shipping container on Craigslist can be a cost-effective way to acquire a storage solution or unique structure. However, it’s crucial to approach the process with caution and follow the tips and guidelines outlined in this guide. By thoroughly researching listings, verifying seller information, and inspecting the container, you can find a suitable shipping container that meets your needs and budget. Remember to consider alternatives to Craigslist and important factors such as container size, condition, modifications, and local regulations before making a final decision. With these considerations in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the process of buying a shipping container on Craigslist.