Craigslist Buying Do’s and Don’t’s

I thought I would write a quick article about buying do’s and don’t's of craigslist.com. These are my opinions. I have been buying on craigslist for a LONG time. I know what works and what doesn’t. Use these guidelines and you will have no problem buying things on craigslist. I will also be talking about safety. It’s important to be cautious and vigilant when meeting strangers from the internet.

1. Look for thorough written ads. This is important because a well written ad will give you an insight on how well someone took care of the item. If it’s thorough you could be sure the person took care of it.

2. Well lit pictures. You don’t want to be surprised when you arrive and the item is dirty, broken, scratched, etc. If you really want the item, I would ask the seller to send you a well lit detailed picture. There’s usually a reason why pictures are dark and blurry. Don’t fall for it.

3. Safety. Staying safe when buying on craigslist is a big topic. There are lots of potencial dangers when meeting someone from the internet especially craigslist. Here are some of the rules I tend to follow. Meet in a public place. You don’t want to walk into a stranger’s apartment. It’s not safe. You could ask the seller to meet you outside of their home or meet you at a busy coffee shop, bar, restaurant, intersection, etc. Use your brain. If something seems off about the ad and the person, I would just plain avoid it. For example, if the price of the item is well below market value. Say like an iPhone 5 for $50. That’s a huge red flag. It’s either stolen or something else is wrong. If the person who is selling the item is strange and vague about the item or just doesn’t seem to have time to answer all your questions, that’s another huge red flag. If they’re very insistent about meeting at their apartment, I would be careful. Especially for high cost items. There have been known cases where people would list high cost items for cheap and then rob the person of the money. Meeting in seedy neighborhoods is also not a good thing. Avoid it. Saving $30 for a used item is not worth your life. Just run away. AVOID!

4. Research. This is an easy one. If you really want an item, spend 15 to 20 minutes researching it. Find out if there are multiple models of the same item. If there are, look up the cost of each. I’ve had someone try to sell me an HDTV once that was a different model than they led me to believe. The different models look identical. The model number was in the back of the TV. I looked and I knew it was the cheaper version. I already researched the price before arriving so I knew what to offer for the TV. Find out how the item should look and function. This is valuable so you could test the item thoroughly before purchasing.

Alright guys. There are more to my rules but I will write more on it later. Happy shopping and stay SAFE!

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