Do you shop often on Craigslist? My step-mother is a Craigslist pro, constantly selling and buying, find bargains left and right. How does she do it? Well, I asked her and I could not believe some of these tips.
Save time by searching the correct terms and in the most effective way, which also saves you money because time = money.
Top Tips for Finding Deals on Craigslist
1. Use the filters. By narrowing down your price window, you’ll get rid of all of the service providers and spam. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a bicycle for Susie, oh… around $25. Enter your search terms for $10 – $25 to narrow it down and find what you’re looking for quicker. You may find one for just $10!
2. View by gallery. Instead of viewing by list format, make sure “gallery” is checked. Skimming through the photos is a lot faster than reading each description (and that table in the middle sure is CUTE!).
3. Use an alternate email account. Instead of using your everyday email account, we strongly recommend using your deals/coupons/rebates email for posting and buying on Craigslist. Keep it separate that way, but make sure that you are also checking your spam and junk folders either way.
4. If you are feeling wary of making or receiving telephone calls regarding an item up for sale, why not check out Google Voice? This is basically a cloaking service that uses your actual phone number behind a “fake” phone number. Pretty neat, and not just for Craiglist!
My Craigslist name is Jenny, 867-5309. (if only that were available!)
5. Definitely aim to meet in a public place when dropping off or picking up your goods. There have been way too many horror stories of muggings, abductions etc. when meeting strangers in, well, strange places. If you’re an avid Craigslist seller (or striving to be), scope out your desired location to make sure there are surveillance cameras as well, in case the buyer does do something shady, chances are it will be on camera.
If your item is a couch or a large table etc, make sure you are not home alone when the other party comes to check it out. Always play it safe.
6. Know when to shop. If you’re looking for used furniture (and you’re not too picky) check at the end of the school year, especially if you live in a college town. Students are coming and going, moving here and there, and they may be looking to get rid of furniture – and cheap.
7. If you’re selling on Craigslist, make sure you have photos. GOOD photos. No one wants to be surprised with a couch that wasn’t up the specifications on your listing, and even fewer will give your listing a passing glance without photos at all.
Do yourself a favor and take well-lit, inviting photos. Use natural lighting if possible, and avoid the flash.
Last but definitely not least…
8. Exclude items from search results. To exclude an item from showing up in search results, put a hyphen after the search term. For example, if I am looking for a new bicycle for my 7-year-old son, I could search the term “bicycle -girls” to exclude all girls bicycles from the results. This one trick alone can narrow down your results quite a bit!
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*19 Things to ALWAYS Look for at a Garage Sale
and check out our Frugal Living section for more tips and tricks!
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