Use Craigslist to save money, too


Craigslist can save you money by not having to pay for things, too. Image: Flickr / crobj / CC-BY

Craigslist is where most people go to buy everything from a house to a ton of bricks. You can actually use Craigslist to save money, too, and not by getting a screaming deal.

Bartering can be best

If you want to get something new, you may not actually need to spend money. Instead, you can use the Craigslist “barter” section to trade things you already have and no longer use or want for the new things that you do want. When you are bartering, you want to have in mind how you value your items, and keep in mind all of the safety advice that generally comes with a Craigslist transaction. For larger items, such as vehicles or homes, it is worth getting the advice of a lawyer if you are uncertain of how the deal may work. Keep in mind, too, that you may still need to pay taxes on any items that you barter for, depending on which state you live in.

List before you pay

Before you pay for services such as hauling, destruction or sod digging, list your stuff on the Craigslist “free” section. If you are hoping to get that tree out of your yard, that wall torn down, that shed ripped out, or even those bricks cleaned off, there are a lot of people willing to put “sweat equity” in for the things you may not want anymore. Just list “free for the taking, you do the work” and you will be surprised at who may be willing to come do it.

[Taking a personal loan to pay for labor may be necessary if you need professional services.]

Rent, don’t buy

There are times you may need tool, an appliance or something else only for a short period of time. Try listing your need on Craigslist, and offer to rent that thing for the period of time for a fair market rate. Rather than trying to buy something brand-new, these rentals can make use of the same theory of services as ZipCar; there is no reason to pay for something that you will only use once or twice. As with all Craigslist transactions, you want to be sure to cover yourself; do not agree to transactions with individuals if you are not protected or not comfortable with the person you are dealing with.


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