17 Things You Should Always Buy on Craigslist
Your favorite classifieds site is full of steals.
Like any online marketplace, Craigslist has its fair share of pros and cons. The site is great for finding deals and discounts, but you’re not careful about what you’re buying and from whom, then you might just end up getting scammed.
Though there are certain hard-and-fast rules that will always help you score the best savings and avoid scams on Craigslist—like always meeting in person and never paying with a credit card—it’s also important to stick to only buying certain items on the site, at least if you want your purchases to be legitimate.
Herein, we’ve rounded up a list of items you can—and should—always buy on Craigslist. So read on, and happy bargain hunting!
So long as you don’t mind slightly used hardcovers, you can actually save a pretty penny by satisfying all of your reading needs on Craigslist. Of course, specific titles are going to prove more difficult to locate in your area, but if you’re open to exploring new books and genres, then Craigslist can help you stock your bookshelves without breaking the bank.
If you are—for whatever reason—in the market for DVDs, then there are plenty of sellers on Craigslist who are more than willing to bargain with you to get rid of theirs. Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, the DVD marketplace is very much a buyer’s market—and on a used marketplace especially, you can easily score some classic flicks for just a fraction of what they were once worth.
CDs and Vinyls
Half of the fun of record shopping is sifting through vinyls at the store and coming across hidden gems you didn’t even know you wanted in the first place. However, if you don’t have the time or energy to make a trip to the music store, then Craigslist has an equally good selection of old records.
Craigslist is the ideal collectibles marketplace for buyers and sellers alike. Sellers prefer Craigslist over other sites like eBay because the forum doesn’t take a percentage of the profits (and because sellers don’t have to upcharge to compensate for fees, buyers prefer shopping on the site, too).
“One of the best ways to sell your bike is on Craigslist,” writes Joe Goodwill Average Joe Cyclist. “It’s free, it’s popular, and it works. I have sold many bikes on Craigslist.”
For bike buyers, it’s great, because you can often buy recent models of high-performance bikes at bargain prices. And if you’re just looking for an old bike for getting around, you’ll find several rock-bottom prices on bikes that only need minor maintenance to get back into perfect condition.
Craigslist is such a great site for procuring cheap furniture that even chic lifestyle brands like MyDomaine recommend looking doing your shopping there.
“The best part is the thrill of the hunt,” one writer noted. “You never know what you’re going to stumble upon, and it’s not all secondhand either. We found a brand-new Tuft & Needle king-size mattress for $350 (it retails for $750) from someone who accidentally bought two, a stunning square granite coffee table, and a set of retro Bose Beovox RL6000 speakers from the ’90s.”
It would be an understatement to say that there’s a big market for appliances on Craigslist. Refrigerators, laundry machines, and the like are high in demand—so much so, in fact, that some people are even able to earn a living just by buying and selling used appliances on the marketplace.
“As long as appliances are needed in people’s homes, and there are people that would like to save money, there should be high demand for used appliances,” writes Ryan Finlay, full-time seller and owner of ReCraigslist.
Though buying slightly used electronics on Craigslist is a great way to save money, you still have to be careful about what you buy and whom you buy from.
According to the tech experts at Gizmodo, “dealing in person, locally, face-to-face, is enough to avoid 99 percent of scams.” So long as you’re not buying something like a $20,000 speaker with no return policy, you should be able to score some superb savings on the site without encountering any problems. (Just make sure to read through Craigslist’s safety guidelines before meeting anyone in person.)
There’s no reason why you should be allocating absurd amounts of money to brand new yard equipment when used tools can get the job done just as well. Whether you need a lawnmower, a leaf-blower, or a tractor, the Craigslist farm & garden page is always overwhelmed with bargain listings.
Craigslist isn’t the sketchy sales site that people make it out to be—and believe it or not, the marketplace is actually rather reputable when it comes to buying and selling cars.
Even when purchasing an automobile through Craigslist, you can use the car’s vehicle identification number to run a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and learn about every accident it’s been involved in. Buying something that expensive online is always a risk, though, so make sure to read CARFAX’s tips and tricks before going through with a transaction.
You should always test out any power tools before buying them from a Craigslist seller. But once you know that they’re in working order, feel free to skip the trip to Home Depot and save money by buying pre-owned instead.
Though buying a used computer requires a lot of research and reconnaissance, it is possible to pick up a pre-loved laptop online without getting ripped off. Before you settle on a specific model and buyer, just make sure you’re asking questions like “How much will any potential upgrades cost?” and “Can I get the same computer for a better price elsewhere?”
Amazon isn’t the only online retailer with good deals on new and used textbooks. At the end of the school year especially, the Craigslist books & magazine section is usually overflowing with $200 textbooks selling for just $20. (The schoolbooks on Craigslist are so famously cheap, in fact, that some people scour the site for the books only to sell them on Amazon for a hefty profit.)
No, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to find one-of-a-kind Picassos hidden amongst the cheap canvas listings of Craigslist. What it does mean, however, is that you can use Craigslist to your advantage to decorate your walls and surfaces with fun wall art, pottery, and sculptures—both handmade and store-bought.
As mentioned before, Craigslist is touted as being a great place to buy reasonably priced furniture—and yes, that extends to the antique kind, as well. If you don’t believe us, then let one antique enthusiast’s story about finding the perfect mirror from the 19th century on Craigslist change your mind.
Cell phones are expensive, but they don’t have to be. If you don’t mind buying a used version of an older model, then there are actually plenty of people selling their old phones on Craigslist who, quite frankly, just want to get rid of the things and are more than willing to negotiate. Before you finalize your phone purchase on Craigslist, just make sure to confirm that the cell you’re interested in isn’t listed as stolen by going through the steps outlined here.
That IKEA light fixture might be cheap, but you can find it for even cheaper on Craigslist. People host moving sales on the site all the time—and more often than not, those sales include many a lamp and light for the price of an iced coffee.