Savvy Use of Craigslist

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Years ago my kid sister told me about the great deals she had found on Craigslist. 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 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 to find out that the true mileage on the vehicle was actually 150,000 miles. Yeah.


But, it’s not craigslist‘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 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 for a quick reminder.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Stephanie says

    I have sold and purchased a lot of items on Craigslist also. Unfortunately all of the bad things that happen do taint the process. When we sold our refrigerator the buyers were conviced we were out to scam them, and wouldn't you know when they moved it something came undone so when they went to set it up it really didn't work. It was awful they were so mad at us! But it was still under warranty and the reparimen assured them it was a great fridge and he fixed it at not cost!

  2. Lou @ says

    I have sold my bed set on Craigslist before with no problems but I always made sure someone was with me during the sale. Now this was 3 years ago…today I will not sale or buy on Craigslist because of all the scammers that are on there.

  3. Another great online resource I've used is There are local chapters you subscribe to and people post "OFFERS" and "WANTEDS" all for free! We've managed declutter our home, passing along things to those who needed them and have also scored some great finds: a smoothie machine, picture frames, bedroom set(old fashioned but perfect) and best of all beautiful playhouse for our daughter:

  4. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    I am FRIGHTFULLY sorry about the triple posting of my link!! I refreshed several times over about an hour and it didn't show up – with all the Mr. Linky issues, I wanted to make sure it was there before I left the house this morning. UGH! If the powers that be would delete the duplicates, I'd surely appreciate it. Again, my apologies!

  5. Mandy says

    I love Craiglist! We have used it many, many times to sell all sorts of stuff around our house! And I love to find bargains on just about anything you can imagine as well! Very true, though, you do have to use caution and beware of spammers…but totally worth it, if you're careful!

  6. Michele says

    Gosh, I am a Craigslist junkie as well. I have sold and bought hundreds of items. And to be honest, I've had very few bad transactions. And even those weren't horrible – just a few no shows or people changing their mind. I mostly buy and sell kids things, which is nice because I mostly deal with moms! 🙂

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

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