It can be a virtual furniture store when the time comes to redecorate the living room, a sporting goods store for those needing a new mountain bike or treadmill, and an appliance store for someone seeking a gently used range.
Craigslist has grown to be a popular online marketplace to buy and sell all sorts of items.
When I first started using Craigslist, it was mainly to inexpensively furnish my first apartments. But several years later I have learned a thing or two about how to best use it to find amazing deals on so much more!
Here are the top 10 items to shop for on Craigslist:
Ticket scalpers can be risky because buyers often overpay or can even unknowingly purchase phony tickets. For the most part, I've found the people selling tickets on Craigslist are not trying to make a profit. They can't attend for some reason and are just trying to make their money back. For sporting events, it is possible to find seats from a season ticket holder who can't make a game.
Tip: The prices are likely to drop as showtime (and game time) gets closer. A few hours before the event could be the best time to find tickets at next-to-nothing for those willing to wait.
New or gently used small appliances
Wishing for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer but can't afford a $350 splurge? There's likely someone who has that exact item gathering dust in their cupboard. From mixers to food processors to bread makers and more, there are plenty of small appliances for sale on Craigslist listed far below retail price (many are brand new). Even if the appliances are gently used or need a replacement part, it could be less expensive to repair it than to buy one brand new.
Tip: Always test an appliance before buying. If it is a battery operated device, bring batteries in case the seller does not have any available.
Wedding decorations and supplies
It IS possible to plan a wedding on a budget! Since most of the items used to create wedding centerpieces, displays, and decorations are only used once, many budget-conscious brides will sell these supplies on Craigslist once the honeymoon is over. Some brides will sell an entire collection of wedding decor for a fixed price.
Tip: Customize searches by looking for specific items such as "artificial flowers," "green vase," or "mason jars." It can be easier to search when there is a specific theme or color palette in mind.
Last month's smartphone
A brand new iPhone or Android phone hits the market every few months. There are plenty of people who absolutely must have every new tech gadget, even if the next model is not much more of an upgrade from their current phone. People offset the cost of a new phone by selling an older model.
Tip: Ask if the seller has a receipt to verify the purchase date, be sure to closely inspect the phone for any chips and cracks, and turn it on to make sure it works and holds a charge. And don't forget to get the charger!
Dishes and serving pieces
Turn to Craigslist when disposable dinnerware won't cut it for a large holiday meal or dinner party or when it’s time to upgrade. Dishes are so heavy, highly breakable, and difficult to pack, so many postings are from people selling unwanted dish sets they don't have the energy to move.
Tip: When searching on Craigslist, try different variations such as "dishes," "plates," "dinnerware," and "serving pieces." Since it is possible to purchase a set that has been sitting unused in an old cardboard box, it's also a good idea to bring new boxes and packing material.
For those who live close to an IKEA, Craigslist is often a better place to shop for their furniture than the store itself! The already inexpensive furniture is even more affordable because of people who are clearing out when moving or upgrading. Since it's difficult to disassemble most IKEA items, many people are more likely to get rid of old pieces.
Tip: Since every piece of IKEA furniture has a very unique name, it is not difficult to search for a specific item. Just remember to remove the accents in the search because the seller may not know how to type them! For example, search for the POANG chair instead of the POÄNG chair.
Out of season equipment
Just like retail stores and grocery stores, Craigslist has "sale" cycles. When shopping offseason, there's less competition with other buyers. Shop for bikes, grills, and patio furniture in the fall and winter, and look for ice skates, skis, or snow pants in the spring and summer. This can be especially helpful for finding different sizes of children's sporting equipment.
Tip: Shopping the offseason can also be an opportunity to "flip" a purchase and re-sell (at a higher price) when it's in-season! Check out this previous KCL article on how to flip items on Craigslist.
Other items to look for:
- Musical Instruments
- Workout equipment