Money Saving Monday Tip #9 – Use Craigslist
I like to sell things online. Garage sales are great, they are an easy way to get rid of a lot of stuff. The problem is you get nothing for it. Everybody wants something for 10 or 20 cents. Instead, by selling on-line using eBay, Amazon auctions, Yahoo auctions, or Craigslist you can make more money on your goods. Out of all of these, I like using Craigslist the most.
For those that may not have heard of Craigslist, here’s the definition from the site itself:
provides local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale,
personals, services, local community, and events.
Craigslist offers regional web-sites where you can search for items in your area only.
The things I like about Craigslist are:
- It’s free
- Items are picked up by the buyer, so there are no shipping costs involved
- You can purchase large items (i.e. some items just aren’t easy or cheap to ship)
Craigslist offers much more than just buying an selling particular items, they have classifieds for advertising, personals for “hooking up”, job forums,and event announcements. I even advertise Gather Little By Little on Craigslist.
Since Craigslist isn’t an auction, you may not get as high of a price for you item, but by the time you factor in shipping, time spent on the auction, and packaging you get very close. You have to utilize negotiation though, and if negotiating isn’t something you enjoy or you are good at Craigslist might not be your best option.
Here’s a few tips for selling our items on Craigslist:
- Use a picture. The old saying is that pictures are worth a thousand words. On Craigslist this is equally true. Adding a real picture of your item in the listing will significantly increase your ability to sell, and ask more for it.
- Correctly categorize your item. Craigslist has many options for listing your items, and picking the right category can mean the difference of people finding your item or not. I’d recommend searching for similar items and see which categories they are listed under and use that as a guide.
- Include a clear an concise description of the item in your listing. Include why you are selling, dimensions, weight, color, features, options, etc. If there is any damage to the item, make sure you are open and honest about. Nothing will make a person more upset than to agree to purchase your item, drive to your house, only to find their was damage you didn’t disclose.
- Don’t place your personal information in the posting. Craigslist has an anonymous communication mechanism that you can use. Placing your personal information just opens you up to being called by telemarketers or emailed by spammers. The only time I would put anything personal is maybe a cell phone number I would only recommend this if you away from your computer or don’t have access to email for long periods during the day.
Here’s a few tips for purchasing items on Craigslist:
- Don’t purchase an item without seeing one or more pictures. If the item you are interested is has no picture, contact the seller and ask them to send you one. If you can’t get one, don’t buy the item.
- Remember everything is negotiable. Make the seller an offer, use other similar items as bargaining tools on price and play the sellers against each other. I got a $250 50-gallon salt water aquarium stand and all for $100 by doing this.
- Use Different Variations when Searching. When searching, make sure you try different names, and maybe even some misspelled or common typo versions. This can be a great way to get an item that nobody else has found.
We seldom use eBay anymore, as Craigslist is just an easier and cheaper option. items can be listed quickly, the seller comes to get them, and you trade items for cash. No risk of not getting paid. We recently sold our RV trailer. I listed the item on RVTrader, in the local paper, and on Craigslist. I received one call from the paper, a few emails from RVTrader, and about 20 contacts from Craigslist. The people that purchased it found it on Craigslist.
Do you use Craigslist? Do you have any additional tips? Have you had a negative experience on Craigslist? Please add your thoughts and comments!