Allan Sanders Computer Internet Work eBay

Ask the Reader – Buying on Craigslist?

Dollar Flipper Ask the Reader, eBay Tips, Inventory Sourcing 9 Comments

Reader marriannad had some great questions, and it lined up with a draft I had in the works! She was wondering if I use Craigslist as an avenue to buy. (Don’t talk about selling, that’ll be next week’s question!)

I’ve rarely bought on Craigslist to re-sell on eBay. I did get a deal for some free books, but that was more of a whim. I’m not as good about checking my RSS feeds as I used to be either.

I do use Craigslist as a wonderful tool for finding garage sales, and I’ve recently made another contact who’s an eBay seller.

I don’t know what she sells on eBay, but she had some awesome boxes for sale on Craigslist at a really great price. They’re 16″x10″x8″, and she wanted $5 for 30 of these boxes. Comparables from Amazon are over $1 a box!

They have tape and some other markings that I end up covering with a marker, but otherwise they were only used once and are SUPER sturdy.

Craigslist Boxes Double Walled

I’m lucky I have one of those huge permanent markers.

I’d like to set up some sort of meetup to talk with her. It’s always neat to find another seller and get some perspective from them. I’m sure they know a lot about an unfamiliar category. Maybe it’s antiques or glassware.

I’m always on the lookout for something new and neat to keep an eye out for. Clothes are easy, but they’re definitely a bread and butter item instead of a gold mine. Well, most of the time. I’ll let you all know if I ever find that Ralph Lauren Bear Sweater.

Craigslist takes a lot of work

I have looked at Craigslist as an opportunity before, but there’s a reason I don’t like it. You have to constantly be on there. And I don’t like being connected all the time.

The nice thing about buying at garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets is that you can plan around them since they’re at specific times.

“I’m going to go buy for a few hours this morning.”

If you’re trying to get video games off of Craigslist, you’re going to have to be on there ALL THE TIME. People snatch up the good deals quickly.


Allan Sanders Computer Internet Work eBay

I’m sure I’m the only person who feels like this at work…

Instead, I try to get off of my computer and live life a bit.

If I had the cash…

The thing that does interest me is a huge wholesale lot. Like when you see a store is closing and they’re liquidating everything. The hard part is that this seems like more of an FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) type situation instead of an eBay one. I don’t think my wife would be thrilled if I had a few pallets in my work area. The garage already has too much stuff!

The issue here, other than the capital involved (on the order of $10,000+) and the space, is the system.

For me, I’d have to do a lot more work since I don’t even have an FBA process. I’d be going in blind. When you’re trying to set up your business process, EVERYTHING takes a lot more time than you’d expect. My eBay process is still being refined to this day.

So, for me, Craigslist is going to remain a tool for finding sales and maybe some random items or a once in a while RSS feed deal.

This way, I don’t need to be on there all the time, but I’ll take advantage of a deal if I happen to check it out.

I just find that for someone who works 9-5 it’s too hard to take advantage of these deals since you’re working instead of scouring Craigslist.

Do you buy on Craigslist often?

Image Credit: Allan Sanders

Comments 9

  1. I have never bought on craigslist to resell. I buy things for myself occasionally. I love Facebook Swap sites though that are local to me. I recently paid $200 for 50 Budweiser beer steins, and my profit so far is $225, with a little more to go. I recently bought a Harley Davidson part for $30 and I currently have it on Ebay for $250. I once bought an Apocalypse-style 30 day food supply for $40 and resold it for $180 in just a few weeks. Sorry if I went off topic a bit!

    1. Post

      I love tangents!

      Facebook worries me a bit because it’s so personal! I feel like I’d be less willing to haggle or look for a deal. I’ve heard of others who don’t like re-sellers on Facebook, but I’m glad it’s working for you. It’s nice to know there are other viable options!

      1. I have a psuedo facebook – only my mom and sisters know it is me. I also never say I am a reseller – I made up a story about buying the beer steins as a gift for my father-in-law since he asked. If they don’t ask, I don’t say anything.

        1. Post

          That’s the best way to handle it.
          If they know you’re a reseller they won’t want to give you a good deal.

  2. I never buy on Craigslist because of all the negative publicity it has received due to crazy people hurting others that answer their ads. But like you, I do use Craigslist for scouting out yard sales/estate sales and find it very helpful.

    1. Post

      I always wonder if those are true though! I’m betting it’s pretty rare and you’re more likely to get hurt driving to the meetup than having an issue with the buying! I also think it depends on the types of items. Something like expensive phones/electronics are going to have more issues than antiques. I hope at least!

  3. Pingback: Ask the Reader: Do you sell on Craigslist? - Flipping A Dollar

  4. I love selling on Craigslist (and finding garage and estate sales). I just moved out of my retail studio and sold tons of stuff on Craigslist, including furniture. You might not bring in what you might on Ebay..but when you’ve got stuff you’re trying to get rid of fairly quickly, there’s no better place.

    1. Post

      Furniture is a great thing to sell on Craigslist. I’m going to help my neighbor sell a bed set.

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