Outsmart Craigslist: How to Buy and Sell


It never occurred to me that people could really be getting used on Craigslist until a co-worker came to me for my "expert" CL advice since I'm a CL frequenter. Whether it be buying goods for more than they should be, or selling goods for way less than they could get, a person can really get "taken" on Craigslist if you aren't careful.

Note: I don't consider myself an expert, but these are the things that have worked for me in the past. Many of these things I've learned from experience with buying and selling on CL.

-If you're willing to wait it out, you can make more money --- I posted a stereo multiple times and people offered pennies compared to what I was asking. I just kept re-posting it and one day a guy offers full price if I would meet him within 15 minutes. SOLD!

-If your goal is to just declutter and get rid of the item, low ball the price --- This has worked for numerous items for me.  It will get rid of the goods quick. SOLD!

-Post the price higher than what you'd like to get --- With all bargain shoppers, they're exactly that, bargain shoppers. Everyone is looking for a good deal. I've posted things $50 or more above the price I'd like to get (for a big/expensive item) just to give myself some wiggle room with negotiations. SOLD!

-Do your homework -- Make sure you aren't posting at ridiculously high prices. Check out the value on eBay or other sites to see what it's typically sold for today. Most things aren't worth what you originally paid. Hardly ever actually. SOLD!

-Don't be afraid of negotiations --- Most people will try to talk you down even once you've agreed on a price. Stand firm on what you've agreed on, if you're adamant about getting that price.  SOLD!

-Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate --- Don't hesitate to negotiate with others. Many people post things higher because they're expecting you to counter offer back. CHEAP!

-Set Your Standards --- I recently purchased a dresser with a very long, picky list of wants, one of those to spend less than $50. It may have taken longer, but I got exactly what I wanted. CHEAP!

-Again, do your homework --- Don't be afraid to look up prices online before buying. Many people don't research the actual value before posting and will ask what they want to get out of it. It's much harder for them to argue with you if you can show them a printout from eBay with the current value.  CHEAP!

-Be willing to walk away --- If you can't get it for the price you want, the product isn't what you expected, or are uncomfortable with the transaction walk away.  CHEAP!

Additional Buying/Selling Smarts
-Last but not least, when buying or selling play it smart --- When possible, meet in a well populated area during the day if you can. Also never go alone.

-When having people come to your house, always have another person home --- Many times my husband will also walk people around to the garage or basement so they don't walk through our house looking for items to steal (hey, you never know!)

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