How One Dallas Woman Saves Thousands Using Craigslist

Craigslist Dallas

Craigslist. It’s the one word that can either send chills up someone’s spine because they’re afraid of the thing, or will put a smile on their face because they’ve used the website effectively over the years. While some use it exclusively for house-hunting to find the perfect apartment or get a roommate, others have been known to really put a lot of effort into using it for a number of other things, too. And because it’s a great place to score some amazing deals on a number of different items, I’m here to tell you about one Dallas, Tx. woman named J.D. who saves thousands of dollars each year by basically scouring Craigslist like it’s her full-time job.

Now, you might not become a millionaire over time with all the amount of money you’ll be saving, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t pick up a few tips from J.D. to stash away a few extra dollars each month.

8. Two Different Paths to the Same Place

As you’ll read throughout this piece, J.D. is quick to remind everyone that, while she uses Craigslist a lot, it’s not a full-time job. In fact, it’s just a hobby that she recommends people getting into, like real estate or sports betting. So while it does take some time to start seeing a profit on things, J.D. says that a nice little savings account can be had by using Craigslist. Rather than take chunks of money out of a normal paycheck, spend a couple of hours a day buying and reselling things, instead.

7. Save on Furniture

As someone who recently just moved into a new house, I can openly admit to checking Craigslist like mad to get the small (and, sometimes, big) items that I needed to decorate my place. While J.D. reminds you to stay away from things like bedding and, yes, even couches in most cases, things that can be washed easily like dishes are fair game. And if you’re looking for a new nightstand or end table? You should be able to get one for cheap on Craigslist.

6. Overcome the Fears

As I stated above, Craigslist is often looked at as a somewhat sleazy way for people to buy or sell things. Since it’s on the Internet, there are concerns over what really is legitimate and what’s not, thus, it leads to fear for some from trusting anything they see on there, as if it’s too good to be true. J.D. is quick to denounce these concerns, saying that, while not everything can (or should) be trusted, most items are listed and sold just as they are advertised.

5. Don’t Buy Big Box Items

Although many people think that they can get a deal on TVs or sound systems, the truth is that those items are typically the most overpriced things on Craigslist. J.D. is quick to remind people that new TVs are simply a luxury over anything else, with flat screens from years ago still working fine for people these days. So she suggests looking elsewhere when searching for bigger electronic items, so not to overpay.

4. Buy Your Next Set of Wheels

While J.D. reminds shoppers to stick to clean titles only, I can actually vouch for her recommendation, because my former roommate actually did this exact thing a few years ago. After being in a bind after his car broke down, he set himself a $1,000 budget and took to Craigslist to find a new car. Did he get the newest BMW or Lexus? Of course, not, but he was still able to get a used car that he did a little extra work on himself to make sure it lasts for three to four years. So give up the salesman and start clicking links for your next ride.

3. Stop Buying The Newest Technology First

Want to get yourself an iPhone 6? Of course you probably do; everyone does. But instead of waiting for hours in line to get one for several hundreds, J.D. suggests waiting three to four months and buy it used—or once the demand is less for new—through someone on Craigslist. It’s always nice to brag to your friends about having the latest and greatest, but be patient and save yourself a few hundred dollars.

2. Change the Way You Buy

Much like you would while shopping for a new television or furniture, make sure to do your homework on what it is you really want to buy. Whether that means comparing prices and/or physically going to see what an item looks like, you’ll be better off in the long run by taking a little bit more time in order to get the exact thing you want. If Craigslist fear is a concern of yours, ask a friend to come with you while looking at an item, both for your safety and a second opinion.

1. Buy Low, Sell High

This isn’t new advice, but it’s something that J.D. is quick to remind shoppers when using Craigslist—Buy low, sell high. While J.D. has a full-time job, she understands how the Craigslist game really works, saying that most everything one-time users are seeing are things that are decent items, but not at the best price. For that reason, she sets up alerts to notify her when something she wants is set at a near giveaway price, usually picking up the phone immediately after getting the email. Saying she often looks for electronics and  appliances, J.D. will often buy something for, say, $75, and turn around and sell it for $100. While that may not seem like a whole lot of savings, over time, it does add up.

Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images


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