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Frugal Friday: Savvy Use of Craigslist

Posted By Jessica Fisher On August 7, 2009 @ 2:28 am In Budget Living,Frugal Friday | 9 Comments

Years ago my kid sister told me about the great deals she had found on Craigslist [5]. And as usual, I was a skeptic. It just didn’t sound right to me. Free listing? Great deals? Sounds too good to be true.

And after we made a couple appliance purchases for our rental house that turned out to be rotten lemons – both of them – I felt a little justified in my initial skepticism. It seemed that Craigslist [5] was the place for scam artists to hang out.

And in some ways that is true. There have been plenty of horror stories of swindles and worse being generated from a craigslist sale. Our own most recent outrage was when a couple advertised their 2004 Suburban with 15K miles for $8,000. Sound too good to be true? Well, you never know. Hubs checked it out and the odometer really did show 15,000. Thankfully, he came home and logged on to Carfax [6] to find out that the true mileage on the vehicle was actually 150,000 miles. Yeah.


But, it’s not craigslist [5]‘s fault that people are liars and worse. In actuality, we’ve found some great deals which have far outweighed and outnumbered our bad experiences. I guess that’s why we go back when we’re in the market to buy something.

Proof positive:

17 used, sturdy wood chairs for $180 from a pizza parlor that was upgrading their seats. They threw in free dinner.)
two Padres tickets and a parking pass. Normal retail would have been $82, hubs nabbed the set for 40 bucks from someone who had season seats they weren’t going to use.
a brand new Holland Grill, still in the box for $100. Price new would have been close to $700.
an Alvarez steel-string guitar in a hard Gator case for $100, $300 new.

– plus, we sold lawn furniture and Little Tikes toys before our last move for very fair prices without having to host a garage sale.

Craigslist [5] has been a blessing to our budget over the last couple years. I definitely recommend it as a way to save money on purchases and to find great deals.

Just make sure that you use caution. Check out these safety tips [8] for a quick reminder.

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[5] Craigslist: http://craigslist.org/

[6] Carfax: http://carfax.com/

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[8] these safety tips: http://www.craigslist.org/about/safety

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