Craigslist buying tips for newbies

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Craigslist can be a wonderful resource for people looking to buy used stuff in their city without going through the trouble of bidding or hitting yard sales. You can find good deals on virtually anything you might be interested in buying. However, it can be daunting for a new Craigslist user to dive into this world of buying and selling with strangers. If you find the platform intimidating, we have you covered. The following guide can help you have a successful Craigslist transaction.

Buy in your area. When looking for an item, try to restrict your search to areas where you could reasonably travel. If you’re relatively familiar with the area, you’ll be better prepared to carry out the transaction, not to mention save time and money.

Know your product. While it can be fun to peruse the pages of Craigslist looking at random for interesting items to buy, it’s better to use it as a tool for finding specific things. Know what you’re looking for and how much it costs when buying new. Scrutinize the photos on the listing for damage and if you see any, ask the seller about it. If you know the specifics of your desired item, you’ll be better protected against potential scams or other types of bad deals.

Look out for red flags. Scammers adhere to a few general tactics when trying to use Craigslist. Unscrupulous sellers from overseas may use automatic translators for their postings, which often result in lots of typos and poor grammar. They may also post the same listing, word for word, on multiple Craigslist websites across several different cities. So, copy and paste the listing’s text into Google to make sure it’s legitimate before contacting the owner. And, as a general rule, avoid any listings that appear too good to be true or use generic product photos, as these are indications that the posting is not selling a real item.

Ask lots of questions, preferably via email. Buyers are in charge on Craigslist, so don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions about the item. Ideally, you should do this by e-mailing the seller through Craigslist. It also gives the owner a chance to show you more pictures and provide more insight to the item’s history of use. The more you know about the item in question, the better prepared you will be to buy it.

Meet in a safe place. When you finally decide to actually buy an item, meet the owner in person in a public space, or other area deemed a “safe space” for Craigslist transactions. You could meet in the parking lot outside a busy store or on a street that has lots of foot traffic. If the item is larger, like furniture, and you have to go to the seller’s home, bring someone with you. Don’t ever transfer the money beforehand; wait until you can carefully inspect the item in-person to pay the owner. Also, remember that you can back out of the deal if it doesn’t meet your expectations when you see it in person.

How Can I Avoid Getting Screwed Buying on Craigslist? [Lifehacker]

How to Buy and Sell on Craigslist [Apartment Therapy]

Craigslist 101 [Andrea Dekker]

The Safe Way to Buy Things on Craigslist []

  • September 28th, 2016
  • Posted in: AVA