I’ve been an avid Craigslist shopper (and seller) for many years now. Think about a dream item you’ve been wanting, type it in their search engine, than pick it up down the street for about 5 bucks! OK maybe not five bucks..but you get the idea. Anytime is a good time for Craiglist, but right now is the BEST time to find brand new hot items!
The biggest gift giving day is behind us which means a lot of people are looking to unload their unwanted gifts. This is good news for you! Skip the mall for after-Christmas sales and check Craigslist first! The following are my top 10 tips for shopping on Craigslist!
DOWNLOAD a Craigslist notification app like Craigslist for Androids. I have this app and have used it several times. I add an item I’m looking for and as soon as its’ posted I get an instant notification on my phone. Timing is critical on Craigslist, hot items are sold almost as fast as they are listed!
SEPARATE the email you use for Craigslist and your main email. Since you don’t know who you are initially dealing with it’s safer to keep your private email…private.
RESEARCH the going price of the item you’re looking to buy. Check eBay and google shopping for comparison pricing. Make sure to note the condition and model number to be sure it’s exactly the one you are planning to buy. Does it come with the box, extra accessories or warranties? The items should match exactly for the best comparison.
HAGGLE is a standard practice on Craigslist, but don’t low ball! If the best price you’ve seen for a fabulous winter coat is $150 and you find a seller giving the same price, offer $100..but not less. You don’t want to offend the seller and risk having them not counter-offer, especially if it’s a hot item that rarely goes on sale.
DEAL with local sellers only. The value of Craiglist lies in dealing locally. If anyone offers to mail you the item with every guarantee under the sun, run far, far away! Only deal with sellers you are able to meet easily with a quick drive. Meet in a public, busy area, like a parking lot.
EXCHANGE phone numbers and call it a least once to confirm the meeting. Emails can be changed and deleted easily. Another reason dealing locally is so important!
QUESTION the seller about why they are selling the item, especially if it’s a brand new item over a couple hundred dollars. Be friendly, but firm, it’s helpful to hear their reasons. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”
ELECTRONICS have accessories! If you are buying an electronic and everything sounds great, before meeting ask if they have any other related items they are selling. Does the phone have earphones, or the iPAD have a cover? Chances are they do and would be willing to make a good deal on it. It saves them time having to list and meet another buyer!
CASH is king (and queen)! Cash is the main form of payment on Craigslist, and the safest for you also. It keeps your financial information protected and makes the transaction smooth. Show up with exact cash on hand!
EXAMINE the item when you meet. Turn on the phone, try on the jacket! It’s not a done deal just because you are meeting them, you don’t have to say yes..a simple, “No thanks,” works fine!
Do you shop on Craigslist? Any tips you use? What items do you typically buy?