When I was about ten years old I found out something wonderful. I could find and get all sorts of things without ever stepping in a store. Better yet, it was cheaper. I was soooo excited to figure out about this new kind of shopping. Just like that, I was hooked. Craigslist had caught me, “hook, line, and sinker.”
You’ve heard me say this before. Your teen years are a crucial time to save money for the life that is ahead of you. Here’s a little culture rant. Socially speaking, the world around tells us that your teen years are a time to goof off. They say that until you absolutely have to, “don’t grow up.” As a motivated teen who is looking to getting a step ahead in life, you are denying this social norm. You are saying that you want to take advantage of these years.
One way to enable that kind of living? Craigslist.
Craigslist is an online group kind of like a yard sale. If you use it well, Craigslist is a great money saving tool. You can find everything from used cars to baby goslings. Everything is purchased directly from the seller. If you play your cards right you can end up finding everything you need all in one quick and easy stop.
So here we go, here are five tips to make buying and selling on Craigslist a success:
1. Email With authority.
When you want to purchase something on Craigslist you have to contact the seller. The best way to waste someone’s time is to send an email that says, “Is this item still available?” It is also very annoying when potential buyers email me saying, “Can you give me a call at _____”. Who wants to cold call a stranger? Instead say, “Hi, my name is______ , if_____ item is still available I would like to meet you on ____ date. Here is my email address and phone number, feel free to call or text me.
2. Offer a fair deal.
No one likes to be cheated. That being said, most prices are flexible. It isn’t unreasonable to ask for them to come down from the posted price. Most sellers will be willing to either meet you in the middle or accept your offer.
3. Create a comparison sheet.
The number one rule to shopping is to have a list, otherwise you end up spending money on things you don’t actually need. Take this list one step further. Put the price of the item next to the list item. That way you can compare and see if you are actually getting a deal.
4. You Do the Traveling.
If you see something you like in a different city, be prepared to do most of the legwork. There is nothing wrong with asking to meet at a local Starbucks (close to the seller) if the item is not too large. A little side note, items are always coming and going on Craigslist. Be patient. Items will come up that are closer to you and likely for a better price too.
5. I am sad that I have to say this one, Be safe. It is always good to exercise caution when visiting a stranger’s house (or vice versa.) Especially as a teen. You should always go with someone else when meeting a stranger. Some people recommend always meeting in a public place and that isn’t a bad idea at all. At the very least make sure you take at least one friend with you even if you are meeting in a public place. Also keep in mind that being respectful goes a long way.
Craigslist can be an invaluable tool in helping you save money and find great deals. All you have to do is remember that it is a tool and should be used appropriately.
Craigslist is the pinnacle of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Use it well, and continue to exercise all your money saving tips and tricks. 🙂 Enjoy what’s left of summer.