Tips for Buying on Craigslist

Since I got a lot of response on Tips for Selling on Craigslist, I wanted to give you guys my top tips for buying on Craigslist, and just in time for the weekend!

  1. If you have questions, ask.
    • You can save time this way. For example, I found a great settee on CL. I emailed asking for more pictures, for measurements, and if it was sturdy when you sit down. When they sent the measurements, I realized it wouldn’t fit in my space. Sad, but I did save time not driving to Orange County to pick up a settee that wouldn’t fit in my house.
  2. Contact the OP the way they say they want to be contacted.
    • Some posts say “call only” or “text” or some posts want email only. Do what they say so you’ll get a response.
  3. Be on time.
    • If you say you are going to look at an item at a certain time, be on time. Even if the seller is late, you won’t annoy them (more annoyed= less likely to get a deal.)
  4. Don’t make a ridiculous offer and only bring that much cash.
    • If you’re not willing or able to even pay¬†close¬†to the list price, you may want to consider asking ahead of time. Don’t just bring money for half of the listed price. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
  5. Do your research!
    • Look for similar items online and see what they’re selling for so you know whether you’re getting a good deal or not.
  6. Don’t list the item’s flaws to the seller when asking for a better deal.
    • The seller likely already knows the item’s flaws. They probably don’t want to sell to someone who is “just not that into” their beloved item. Be respectful. Frame it that you really love the item, but it is out of your price range. Don’t nitpick it and expect someone to be happy to give you a discount. You end up sounding like an a-hole.
  7. Bring someone with you!
    • Meeting a strange person in a place you don’t know can be scary! Bring someone with you. They can keep you company on the drive, help you carry your item if you need it, and provide a little extra piece of mind. If you can’t get anyone to come with you, tell a friend or family member the time you’re going, the address of where you’re going, the information for the person you’re meeting, and that you’ll call them when you leave. I may be hyper vigilant, but, hey, better safe than sorry.
  8. Check the free section!
    • When looking for items, I always check the free section. My favorite table and chairs set came from the free section, the girl just needed to get rid of it ASAP. You never know what you’ll find, because as all rehabbers know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
  9. Don’t pay ahead of time or allow someone to ship the item to you.
    • You want to look at the item before you purchase. You want to make sure its in the shape you think it is. You want to be sure its not a scam. Beware of people who say to send the money and they’ll send you the item.

Happy buying!