There’s a lot of great deals on Craigslist, but with some negotiating skills, you can score truly amazing deals consistently. There’re countless wonderful things which you can buy on Craigslist, including cars, collectibles, jewelry, electronics, various services, and more, but you have to know your way around it in order to get the best prices, otherwise, you could end up overpaying for things which you could’ve just gotten for a cheaper price at a local mall.
First thing’s first, you’re going to want to check the “Free” section before going and purchasing the thing you want… depending on what it is. There’s often a lot of furniture and other things which people are simply doing away with, so by going to the free section first, you may end up avoiding having to pay for something altogether. Use the search function to see if they have what you want, and if not, no problem, just move on… it only took a second to check after all. But, you’d be surprised how often someone’s just giving away the thing you want, so make sure to have a look.
So, let’s say you’ve gone through the free section, and can’t for the life of you, find what you need. No problem. Just go to the corresponding section or sections where you think you find your item, and put together a list of sellers who’re offering it. This is important, because if you don’t do this, then you may be convinced that someone who’s charging $400 for a new couch is offering a good deal, when in reality, had you checked a few other places, you would’ve seen someone else offering a comparable couch for only $250. So make sure to do your homework… that way you know how much you should be paying, and can identify when someone’s trying to overcharge you. This also puts you in a good frame of mind for negotiating, because you know everything that’s out there.
The next thing you’re going to want to do when you begin the interaction, is to be friendly, but at the same time, make it apparent that you’re not desperate for the item. By communicating that you’re at ease, they’re not going to try to pin you into a sour deal on account of your desperation. Even if you are desperate… don’t let them know it. This will put the ball in your court during the interaction, and give you more bargaining power than you’d have had otherwise.
The next tip, is to ask a lot of questions about the item. Is it a vehicle? Go through it point by point and learn about every maintenance done, every used part, and every crash, so on and so forth. The seller will often try to paint the item as having more value than it does by glossing over its defects… make sure to sniff out these defects, and when you do, use them to your advantage to obtain a lower price for the item. When you find defects, talk about why that defect makes the item less valuable to you, (be polite) and you’ll be able to justify a much lower price.
So, keep these tips in mind when you’re shopping on Craigslist and enjoy some excellent bargain prices.