As one of the oldest and most famous classified ad site in the world, Craigslist actually has a quite a few shopping horror stories associated with it. Buying something on Craigslist isn’t the same as shopping on Amazon because you are dealing with strangers and, in most cases, you have no idea who they are until you come to an arrangement and decide to meet them. Having said that, it’s also true that you can find amazing deals on Craigslist that you just can’t find anywhere else on the internet, and that holds particularly true for consumer electronics. So, in order to help you find and buy that slightly old piece of gadget at a killer price, here are a few tips on using Craigslist that should come in very handy.
Use Zoom The List
The first step to finding that slightly used OLED TV or an Xbox One X at a killer price is by searching the site efficiently, and this is precisely where Zoom The List comes in. The presence of keyword searches, categories, location and posting date filters on the site make sure that every user is able to find what they are looking for, much faster than it would otherwise take to go through the overwhelming number of listings on Craigslist.
Meet at a Police Station
It may sound strange at first, but it’s probably the best idea to meet at a police station because that pretty much guarantees your safety. Check this list to see if any police stations near you will allow online transactions to go through at the facility. Feel free to go in and directly ask about it at your nearest police station as well.
Don’t Meet on Private Property
Meeting a stranger on private property is a bad idea, be it at your own home or theirs. Make sure that you meet them at a public place like a mall or a local cafe, provided the nearest police station is not an option for you.
Test It Out
You can’t trust a stranger blindly, irrespective of how convincing or friendly they may seem. Go to your local café and ask them in advance if you can use their electrical outlets if you need to. Most allow that, so you should be able to find a helpful café to test the product in no time. Also, if you are a frequent buyer, you should consider buying a portable UPS for testing out electronic goods outside the house.
Bring People Along
If you are left with no other option but to visit a seller’s home for testing out a particularly large product such as a big-screen TV or a home theater, bring at least one or two other guys with you. Keep in mind that this will reduce the chances of you being scammed or robbed, but there’s no guarantee that they don’t have more people or even weapons with them. The bottom line is that it’s always going to be a bad idea to visit a stranger’s place, but doing it alone is going to be much worse.
As an additional tip, it is suggested that you don’t bring any more cash than you need to. Finally, always remember the most important golden rule of online shopping: if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.