I’ve been doing some cleaning and purging lately and found a way to get rid of some items I’m no longer using.  Craiglist.  I know Justin has written about the online classifieds and how you can find some interesting stuff cheap and/or even free!   But did you ever think about using Craigslist to find a new home for your things?  The dining chairs that had been sitting in the attic found a good home this weekend.  And so did the exercise walker I posted for sale.

I love seeing the buyers’ faces, happy with their new purchases and the low prices.  And it’s nice to make a little money from stuff that truly was just collecting dust.  Why not put stuff to good use instead of letting it waste away in an attic, basement, or garage?

If you’re a little nervous about doing an online transaction, let me share with you some tips I follow.

Be as specific as you can in your description.  Include measurements, colors, and be honest about the condition.   If there are some nicks, chipped paint, or wobbly legs, take photos.  There’s likely a handy crafty type person out there who would be happy to take it on as a new project.

Set up your Craigslist account so people can get in touch with you by your preferred method.  You can provide your phone number or e-mail, or use the relay method so people can write you using a craigslist address, without seeing your personal e-mail.  Be aware though that when you reply to an e-mail, your regular e-mail address will appear.  If you're still leery, you could create a Google Voice account and use that phone number exclusively for these types of transactions.

If you’re new to online classifieds, I’d suggest you first deal with smaller items so you can meet the buyer in a public space, like a parking lot with other people around.  If you're a newbie, you probably don’t want strangers coming to your house to look at a big piece of furniture.

Specify that you accept only cash and be clear on the price.  There are some scammers out there who will offer to pay by check.  Decline those offers and make sure you get cash on the spot.

I'm happy to say I have a great track record of buying and selling on craigslist so I hope you found those suggestions helpful.  If you have any questions, let me know.

Have you done any business through online classifieds?  Any success stories or warnings you want to share with other Ocean County residents?