How to Use Craigslist and eBay to Save More Money

How to use Craigslist and eBay to save more money

We like to keep our eyes out for cool new tools to help you save more of your money. While we are looking for exciting technology like Digit and Honey, we also realize you can still save good money by using the older services we often forget about. I’m talking about Craigslist and eBay. They are still very active and excellent sources for money saving products and services (should you need them). The problem is too many aren’t focused on using these, but we’re here to change that.

Today, Josh is going to share with you how to use Craigslist and eBay to save even more money on your purchases. While not every purchase will result in an awesome deal, these two sites are a great place to start.

Craigslist and eBay are two e-commerce websites have remained in existence longer than most internet service providers for a good reason. They have helped many people save money on their favorite internet purchases. Here are some ways you can maximize your shopping power and potentially save thousands of dollars by using Craigslist and eBay.

Craigslist

While there are times when you have to buy new (be sure to use a cash back portal when you do), many times you can find the same items you are looking for on Craigslist.

The only two requirements are that the item will be used and you might have to wait several months for somebody to sell what you are looking for.

Craigslist is a great option for large items that are too expensive or bulky to ship from sites like Amazon or eBay. Personally, buying building materials on Craigslist saved me & my wife over $4,000 when we built our house in 2015. Not to mention that we have bought furniture, cars, and lightly used household appliances at really low prices.

Craigslist is Safe

One concern about buying or selling on Craigslist is personal security. There are some unfortunate incidents, but, a little common sense can go a long ways. Pick a public place to meet and try to talk on the phone with the seller before meeting to help establish a level of trust. If you can sell a car on Craiglist, then you should be able to sell anything!

Tips to Buying on Craigslist for the Lowest Price

My wife & I buy and sell on Craigslist periodically during the year. Here are some tips to help you save money when you want to buy an item.

  • Know the Retail Price

Knowing how much the regular price of a brand new or similar used condition will help you determine if it’s a good deal. If the price is still too high & the seller won’t buckle, you can either wait for the next listing or spend the few extra dollars and buy it new.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions like asking for more pictures or additional information about the product condition.

  • Be Willing to Negotiate

When you go to Wal-Mart or Lowe’s you will pay the advertised price unless you have a coupon or the item is on clearance. With Craigslist, you have the option to haggle for a slightly lower price or potentially trade belongings (i.e. trading a motorcycle for a sports car).

You might not be able to haggle for “garage sale prices” where the seller is willing to practically give away the item for nothing because they have been sitting outside in the sun all day with little foot traffic. People sell on Craigslist because they expect to get a decent selling price. If they wanted to give it away for free, they would have made a donation to Goodwill to begin with.

Remember, negotiating for a better price takes work. Some consider it an art. Here are some tips for negotiating your way to a better price.

  • Be Courteous

Remaining professional and courteous can also help you get the lower price you are asking to pay. At the end of the day, the seller can still make the final decision on the selling price. Being respectful helps build an element of trust and they will be more willing to negotiate and settle for less.

  • Act quickly

Finally, you need to be able to act quickly. Some sellers will sell on a “first come, first serve” basis. If it’s the really good deal that you have been waiting months for, you will need to have the necessary cash & vehicle to bring back your haul.

eBay

Craigslist is great for buying items sold locally that are too expensive to ship. You can literally buy almost anything on eBay and it’s no longer just the online auction site that made it popular, to begin with.

You can still bid for auction sales & be able to score some good deals, but, their “Buy It Now” listings are a savings treasure trove. Many online retailers have opened up 3rd-party marketplaces after seeing the success Amazon had when you just want to buy a single item but aren’t spending at least $35 to get free shipping.

eBay is a great place to look for little things like generic printer ink, unlocked cellphones, even car tires that are shipped directly to a local installer, to save you hundreds of dollars a year by buying brand new items at discount prices.

What you will notice is that you can buy many products on eBay that are also listed by the same sellers on Amazon and the Wal-Mart marketplace. You might be able to sweep up some additional savings in free shipping and not having to pay sales tax. And, using a cash back portal like Ebates or Giving Assistant will give you 1% cash back (a few pennies soon turns into a small fortune!)

In my recent eBay shopping experiences, I’ve even noticed that some of my orders have been fulfilled by Amazon where the same seller priced the product for a slightly higher price due to Amazon’s higher selling fees.

Tips to Save Money on eBay

This is how you can save money on your future eBay purchases.

  • Know the retail price

Not every eBay product listing is a good deal. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy from other online retailers like Amazon, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, etc.

  • Set a Spending Limit

If you want to buy an item on auction, set a spending limit. Also, include any shipping costs in this figure as those aren’t included in the bid price. Buying that cordless drill for $60 might be good, until, you realize the shipping costs are $30 when you could have purchased it at a local hardware store for $80.

  • Make an Offer

Some sellers allow you to make a counter offer allowing you to shave a couple dollars off the asking price. Once again, you probably won’t buy it for free with a “low ball” offer, but, you should be able to save a few dollars if the seller accepts your offer.

  • Shop “Fast ‘n Free”

Plenty of sellers offer free shipping, but, volume sellers qualify for “Fast ‘n Free” shipping that is supposed to rival the 2-day shipping that many leading retailers have started offering. This allows you to buy items you want at the lowest online price and not get hit with hidden shipping prices. And, you’ll get it quick.

Start Saving on Craigslist and eBay Today

You might have thought that Craigslist was just for buying used cars and eBay for antiques. That’s anything but the case. The next time you want to make a purchase, check to see if either site has the product you are looking for. You be surprised at the bargains you can find for new or “like new” products can be found on everyday items.

Online auctions and classifieds are still alive and kicking and can be an excellent way to save you more money on items you want (or need) to purchase!

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About the Author Josh Patoka

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