craigslist has gotten quite a bad rep lately; but if used correctly, it can be quite a savvy tool for a frugal Diva.
The story of the craigslist killer is no new news to us in Boston-- and I certainly don't recommend using this site to advertise or seek out such dodgy "services" as "massaging," or even more legit ones as cleaning, moving, etc. But what I do recommend using this site for is getting rid of excess clutter in your digs, whether it be un-used gift certificates, useless furniture tucked away in corners, and other odds-and-ends that aren't as marketable on sites like EBay. (Note: Items such as "like-new" jewelry and designer clothes can be marketable on EBay. Because I have no experience selling on EBay, I hesitate to give any advice regarding it; however, I can and will, in a few short graphs, give advice on EBay bidding).
Just a few weeks ago, I sold four $25 gift certificates to Red Lobster, which had been laying around my apartment for months. I cut the buyer a break, offering all four for $75 (a $100 value), and they were sold within hours. Here are a few points to keep in mind when posting your item and negotiating a transaction:
1. Don't disclose any personal contact information on the post.
2. When arranging to exchange the item, be sure to bring a friend, meet during daylight hours, and meet in a public place.
3. Trust your gut instinct. If something tells you not to do business with this person, then don't.
4. Make a separate account for craigslist transactions; that way, your personal address, nor identity, is never in jeopardy.
Become a Yurman-ista on Ebay
Although this Diva doesn't sell on EBay, she does bid on-- and often win-- items on the bidding site. I've won two David Yurman bracelets on the web site (one brand new and one just worn several times) and saved close to $600 total. Sure, I may not have gotten the glass of champagne, individual attention, and heaps of David Yurman-branded packaging when purchasing my bracelets, but the money saved was well worth it.
When bidding on EBay, remember:
1. If the bid isn't over for a few more days, mark it as an item that you're "watching," but don't start bidding until time starts running out.
2. Take note of when the bid is going to end (remember to check what time zone it's referring to!) and plan to be near a computer at that time or have your BlackBerry or iPhone close by.
3. A "max bid" doesn't mean you're safe-- they can help you, but you're not in the clear until the bid has ended.
4. Set a limit that you want to spend and don't exceed it-- the same item will most likely be posted by another seller sometime soon.
Good Luck and Be Frugal!