Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Craigslist tips

It's kind of amazing the sheer volume of things you can find to buy on Craigslist. Almost anything you can think of, you can find someone offering for sale, especially if you live near a major city. In theory, I love the idea of buying used items that need a home for low prices, where the seller gets to free up space and recoup some of their investment, and the buyer gets to help reduce waste by diverting something that might go to a landfill and pick up something they need for little money. However, it can be a hassle to get all the stars to align when buying and selling on Craigslist, so here are some tips.

Tips for buying on Craigslist
  • Never go to meet anyone to buy something by yourself, or at least let someone know the exact address of where you are going and call them when you have finished the transaction.
  • Bring small denominations. You might find you want to negotiate further if the item isn't as you expected it to be.
  • Ask a lot of questions before you drive to see an item. 
  • Don't pursue an item if the seller gives you the creeps. Trust your instincts.
Tips for selling on Craigslist
  • Ask a fair price. Whatever you think the item is worth, it's probably worth at least 25% less.
  • Be careful when giving out your home address. Make sure you don't get a bad vibe from the person, and arrange to have someone be home at the same time you are going to make the transaction.
  • Don't respond to emails that seem like spam or scams, because they probably are. Don't ever accept checks. Cash only.
Sometimes, it just isn't worth it. While there are a lot of people who buy and sell stuff on Craigslist every day, if you've tried to sell something and it's been sitting there for over a week, it probably isn't going to sell. Try offering it for free, use Freecycle or just donate it to your local Goodwill.


  1. When selling, I've started asking people to contact me by text only. That has cut down on the hassle a bit. If details get complicated I can call them to explain.

    Good tips, Lelah!

  2. If you need help finding a fair price for your items, I would recommend signing up for this new startup called Statricks. I’ve always felt that it takes up a lot of time determining the price of used goods (If the goal is to make some sort of profit out of it). Statricks gives you price reports and trends for free, so you basically get the going price for any used item on both Craigslist and eBay, without having to browse through all the classifieds yourself. It's worth checking out!