Craigslist has become a hotspot for finding great deals right in your own neighborhood.
On this site, you can find everything from used furniture to job opportunities to housing. And the best part, it’s based in your own community. You may even know someone selling something on there.
Craigslist can act like a large online garage sale made up of interactions between buyers and sellers. There’s so much you can find. And often, the process of buying and selling is simple, easy and quick.
Whether you’re looking for a good deal on a rare item or a way to save on something common, Craigslist is a great source for those looking to get some cash back in your pocket.
Yes, using Craigslist can help you save money. But did you know there are ways to get the most savings out of your Craigslist experience? There seems to be almost an art form to being able to get the best deal, and it’s important to know the tips and tricks in order to get that deal you want.
So how do you get the most from buying used items on Craigslist? Here, we share four important ways that you can save money and find great deals on Craigslist.
Become a Better Buyer
As a buyer on Craigslist, you have an important role to play in getting that deal you want. While purchasing something off Craigslist isn’t all that complicated, there are helpful things you can know in thriving in your role as buyer.
An article from Everything Finance shares some great ways that you can ease into those purchasing decisions that make it easier for everyone.
One thing you can do to be a better buyer is to be respectful of the seller’s asking price. On Craigslist, there is a strong sense of bartering or haggling to get a better deal on what you want to purchase. Most sellers are open to some back and forth in negotiating a price for the proposed item.
Ashley Eneriz from Everything Finance suggests to be willing to go back and forth on a price that both you as the buyer and whoever is selling the item can agree on. She also advises to be aware of sellers who are offering several products. In such cases, you may be able to discover a better deal if you purchase multiple items from the same seller.
Do the Work
While Craigslist is centered around your particular community in which you live, that may sometimes require travelling distances to pick up the item you’ve got your eye on. In such case, you as the buyer should be willing to make whatever trip necessary to retrieve your purchased item, suggests Eneriz. Being willing to do the work of transporting whatever item you’ve selected, whether large or small, will cut down on shipping costs – allowing you to save even more on your Craigslist deal.
One of the best ways to ensure a smooth and efficient experience on Craigslist is to be professional and thorough in your communication with the seller of the item you want to buy. Being effective in your communication involves being clear on the details of the item, if desired. If you want to know the condition, age and other related information about the item, be sure to ask and get clarification.
If you see an item you’d like to buy, Eneriz says to be clear and upfront about your goals. Tell them, usually via email, that you’d like to purchase the item, at what price you’d like to buy it at and other details about getting you the item. When you’re straight up about what you’d like, it tells the seller that you’re serious about this purchase and can be trusted to follow through on your request.
When you’ve acquired the skills of being a buyer who is respectful and thorough in your communication and interaction, you are far more likely to get a great deal.
Do Your Research
Another way that you can save money and find great deals with Craigslist is to be well-informed as you make purchasing decisions. Before you contact a seller or click “buy” you want to be sure that what you’re purchasing is at the best price you can find.
Zachary Norris from Dollars University says that doing proper research before making buying decisions gives you the confidence in knowing that what you’re buying is what you’re going to get. When you communicate to the seller your confidence and knowledge of the particular item in question, you’re far less likely to fall into a scam or unsavory situation in which you lose out on a deal.
There’s a lot you can find on Craigslist. And unfortunately, there are some ways that you can fall into some traps in paying for something you didn’t intend. Doing your research and knowing the product type ensures you’ll get what you asked for. A perusal through the seller’s page will also provide you insight into the trustworthiness of the seller. Be aware of any red flags that may raise concerns about the legitimacy of the seller.
After you’ve done your research, you’ll probably discover a price that you’re willing to pay for the item. Norris suggests that with that knowledge in mind, bring only that limited amount with you when you go to purchase your item. Having only the amount of money you’re willing to spend with you will prevent you from overspending or paying too much for an item that you weren’t originally planning on.
Barter for Food
Craigslist isn’t just for used furniture and apartment listings. Did you know there’s also a way you can get some weekly groceries through the site?
An article from The Penny Hoarder shares how with just a simple coat, Laura Hamilton was able to feed her family healthy produce for a fraction of what it would cost in-store. There’s a practice on Craigslist of bartering, or trading what you have for something else. You provide someone with what they need while you get something that you need in return.
It may be worth a shot to post something to sell in the “free” category and ask that in return for this item you’ve posted, you ask for healthy produce to feed your family with. The results may just surprise you. In Hamilton’s case, she received an overwhelming number of responses of extra fruits and vegetables that people were willing to trade in exchange for a coat she had posted.
If you have something cheap that you can’t sell at a higher price and want to exchange for something else, give bartering a chance. You may just have a fridge full of groceries by the end.
Be on the Lookout for Deals
One of the great perks of using Craigslist is that there always seems to be new deals and items up for sale, at any time you look at the site. While it’s nice that there are a plethora of items for sale, that also means that popular items at great prices can also disappear quickly. You may have your eye on something only to realize a few minutes later that another buyer has already purchased the item.
If you’re an avid shopper on Craigslist, there are some quick and easy tips you can use to make sure that you know when new deals come in. Thankfully, Kevin Downey from Komando.com shares some great advice so that you never miss a great deal.
Follow an RSS Feed
Downey suggests to track with an RSS feed in order to get automatic notifications of when a new deal pops up that you might be interested in. Using Feedly, you can easily transfer your popular searches into your RSS feed reader so you can track with the best deals.
Check the Price
When you see a new deal on Craigslist, you may want to start the purchasing process right away. However, Downey suggests to do some digging before finalizing on a price. To get the best deal through Craigslist, he suggests to track common prices of the item you’re interested in. Knowing if you’re paying too much for an item will help inform your decision and help you settle on a price between you and the seller.
Be Smart on Craigslist
With so many opportunities for savings, Craigslist remains a top spot for getting great deals on common and rare items you’re on the lookout for. But with such opportunities for savings, it’s important to remember to be smart while on your digital shopping trips. Follow safe practices in meeting up with sellers and don’t give out any personal information to someone you don’t know.
In addition to personal safety, being smart on Craigslist involves being sure you find the best deals, too. These four quick and easy tips can help you discover that great deal and give you confidence that the price you pay is the right price. With these tips and mind, check out what savings opportunities you can find on Craigslist today.