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Buying and selling pre-owned & used on Craigslist, Kijiji and other classifieds sites

May 18, 2012 2 comments

Guide to effective buying and selling.

Below are some tips for selling and buying from Craigslist, Kijiji, backpage, oodle,etc.

buying-and-selling-pre-ownedOnline classifies sites are virtual consignment stores where you can get and sell stuff for good prices. Buying and selling used items on classifieds sites is an easy and convenient way to stretch the dollars or simply get rid of a lot of unwanted stuff. You can also get a bargain buying a brand new item that was never used like christmas gifts where the seller received more than one similar gift. This could be a jacket, a cell phone, an ipad, a digital camera, etc.

If you own an ecommerce store or are an ebay online seller of large items that are expensive to ship, local classifieds are a good alternative. Viable option to items that are a hard sell offline, too.

Some people have also make of it a profitable business. For example, Sell on kijiji pre-owned stuff bought from craiglist or somewhere else. Others buy phones, clothing, jewelery, computer parts, etc for cheap and resell them for a profit as a side business activity or to help pay for school expenses.

You may have already noticed some youtube videos where people upload a pre owned vehicle video that is on sale on craigslist and link to their listing. If you are on a tight budget and want to save some money on buying a new  laptop, it may be rewarding to check for pre-owned or refurb laptop bargains on ebay, craiglist and other local classified ads sites before buying a new one. There are some trade secrets that need to be learnt before you market or engage in the purchase of higher-value items like buying and selling used pre-owned cars, vans and trucks on craiglist. Whether the car is for sale by owner or it’s a private sale, you need to know how to buy, deal and conduct such transactions. Most importantly, you need to write effectively attractive classified advertisements. This post will have two sets of tips:

  1. Buying and selling tips for sellers.
  2. Buying and selling tips for buyers.

Buying and selling locally using classified ad websites eliminates shipping hassles. No wasting time wrapping and driving to the post office. Not to mention saving on purchase tax, Auction sites’sales fees and paypal’s exchange rate, especially lower-value items where listing fees cut fair profits. The local pickup method where people come and pay cash will also eliminate online scammers.

Buying and selling tips for buyers.

1- Post on multiple sites.

The more exposure, the more visibility. Some sites may not be as busier or popular but your listing will not be burried down as quickly. If you post stays on front page for a long while, you have more chances of selling it. Remember, if you only have 1 or 2 items to sell, all you need is 2 buyers. Any decent site can afford that level of visitors.

2- Post on the correct category.

Before posting, have a little tour on all the related categories. You will cerainly see most similar suff are sold on a particular category.Don’t post on a section just because it’s busier than others. It’s busier with buyers that are not looking for your stuff. Plus, you ad will get flagged and removed.

3- Create a Catchy headline.

The ad headline/title is the first thing viewers see when their eyes are scanning thru the listings. They only stop to read an advert when it catches their attention. Some sites will display the title with a preview. But don’t dwell on it.
You should make sure the title alone will do the job of attracting clickthroughs. Make your title stand out and screams BARGAIN ! BARGAIN ! BARGAIN ! iNCLUDE AS MUCH IMPORTANT DETAILS AS the space allows.
No need to use punctuation and word fillers like “and”, “find”,”there is” “this”

4- Price it as bargain/deal.

Classified sites are frugality places where people go searhing for a bargain.
They are not their to pay full retail price. It makes a great buying experience when they snatch a deal. so make it so. If you have no idea how to price your item, simply search for similar ones and try to match them. Even better lower the price if you need to sell fast. You can also list the price as “best offer” or “negotiable”. Do not adopt a hoarder attitude by letting your emotional attachement to the item get in the way of your pricing. Pre-owned or not used is still considered second hand.There is always new brands that are cheaper.

5- Offer a package deal.

Instead of selling 5 items indivisually, put them all as a package deal.
No need to put a printer, monitor and a hard drive for sale seperatly.List all in one discounted ad.If you’re selling a jacket, throw some unused purse to to go with it. If you’re selling a service, add extra bonus services.Package deals work best. Walmart has figured it out a long time ago by grouping a lot of items in one gift basket.

6- Provide a detailed description.

Not only you make sure potential buyers get all the details of what they’re getting to, it will also cut on those unecessary emails or phone calls asking for those same details. This also depends on the site where you’re listing. Some sites will make certain fields obligatory to fill out, ensuring your provide the details. Others, don’t. So it’s up to you the seller to make your advert as informative – the working condition of the item, any scratches, dimension, color, shape, age, weight, viewing, delivery & pick up time and location,
location, etc. In short, make the whole experience as hasstle-free as you can.

7- Pictures boost the interest.

A picture worths a thousand word. The extra effort of taking and uploading revealing pictures worths the pay off. The picture quality also matters, so take shots from different angles. More pictures, more filtered buyers.

8 – Provide instant response & early pick up.

Treat your inquirers to an instant gratification. Usually, they will be messaging others with similar offers. Whoever responds first is their seller.Offer an early pick up, people just can’t wait.

9- Provide or ask for a phone number.

If you’re providing your phone number state the time you prefer to be called. For example, during the weekend. Then delete the ad right after it achieved its goal. To cut on time wasters, tire kickers and low baller on craiglist and other online classifieds sites, ask people their phone when they email you.Tell them its to confirm they are still coming. Otherwise, you may be waiting all day.
Some scammers will ask you to ship it online for them. Just so you save space on your inbox, mention in your advert that it is for local pickup only where buyers need to come and pay cash.

10 Reward buyer pick up.

If the buyer is going out of town to pick it up, lower the price down to offset their time and gas. Skip this for a lower-end value item.

11 Tweak and edit your ads.

If your stuff doesn’t sell within a reasonable time, check the description.
Edit and tweak your ad occasionally. An Updated post will also look current.
Stale ads already seen perform less.

Classifieds Buying and selling tips for buyers.

1- Calcualte & Evaluate your deal.

Know the retail price and pay lower (ideally half or less).

2- Make your mind and be decisive.

Act quickly to snatch the deal (hesitation=delay=missing out on the bargain).

3-Take Safety Precautions.

Always bring someone with you or at least let them know where you are going. Follow your instinct. If you need to, suggest to meet up at a public place(Grocery stores, malls, fast food restaurants) or an area with good lighting.Also specify a convenient meet-up time.

4- Double check your purchase.

buy-used-pre-ownedPre-owned purchases are “as is”. They rarely come with a return policy or warranty, so make sure to check you purchase on spot for any damage or flaw and that is in the same working condition as described by the seller. Once you buy that product, you may lose complete contact with the seller so its important to double check the item works before you leave.Sometimes, minor scratches, missing features or faulty programming can go unoticed, so it is completely legit to ask how you can contact them later if you do not figure how to get a certain feature work. If you discontent with their help(or lack of it), say you’re sorry and walk away.

5- Be considerate.

It works both way though. Both seller and buyer want a fair deal out of it. As a buyer, try to strike a balance betweeen a good deal and a low ball offer.Deals do not need be garage sale prices.

Buy and Sell Sites in Canada

Another free online advertising site where to buy and sell used or preowned stuff in Canada is It is an online classified website similar to Craigslist and kijiji where people can list items to sell.But is only open to posters residing in Canada. You can visit the website here:

Hopefully these tips will help you buy, sell and trade effectively on free classifieds sites.

How do you rate your experience selling and buying used stuff off online classifieds sites?