What To Consider Before Buying Products Or Services From Craigslist
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What To Consider Before Buying Products Or Services From Craigslist

Over 20 million Americans visit Craigslist every month per Quantcast. Many of these people will successfully buy an item. How do you get a good deal and avoid getting scammed? I recommend following the advice of the professionals.

Lifehacker suggests the following tips:

  • Avoid listings with a lot of grammar and spelling errors. These are usually a sign of an overseas scammer. They use translation apps that still make a lot of mistakes. It could also be a sign of a seller that doesn’t care enough to make a good listing.
  • Avoid ads with generic photos. A seller should post photos of their actual item. If they do not, it is a sign they don’t actually own the item. Scammers often use stock photos from manufacturer websites.
  • Ask a lot of detailed questions. A seller should be able to answer all your questions. If the seller avoids your questions or gives vague answers, it could be a scam.
  • Do your homework. Look up information about the item you are buying. If you are buying a Harbor Breeze ceiling fan, search “problems with Harbor Breeze ceiling fans”. If you are buying an antique desk, search “how to spot a fake antique desk”.
  • Know the appropriate pricing. Search for new prices on Amazon. If a used item is almost the same price as a new item, it is not a good deal.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Make an offer of 15-20% off the asking price. Many buyers and sellers expect to haggle over prices.

Apartment Therapy offers the following suggestions:

  • Craigslist is best for buying certain items such as furniture, large fitness equipment, technology, and materials. Stick to buying these items. You will find better selection and prices on clothing, books, and decorative items on other sites such as eBay or Etsy.
  • Search multiple key words. If you want an office chair, don’t just search that term. Try searching for “office chair” and “desk chair”.
  • Make a spreadsheet to compare items. Don’t try to remember details about each item you see. If you want a coffee table, list each one you find. Include the price, size, location, material, etc. This helps you make the best decision.
  • Keep a bookmarked folder of watched items. Check this folder regularly. The item you are watching might not sell for sometime. You might be able to make a lower offer and buy it.

Andrea Dekker recommends these tips:

  • Search daily. Hundreds of items are listed every day on Craigslist Posting Service. If you do not see what you want on your first search, try again the next day.
  • Never pay in advance. Check out the item in person before paying. If a seller asks you to wire money or send a check in advance, it is probably a scam.


Street Talk

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