All of us are looking for a good bargain, no matter where we can find it. Of course, there are going to be sales through retail stores where we can save some money here and there but are you truly getting the maximum deal? Believe it or not, the cheapest way to get what you need most of the time can come through classified ads, especially if an item you want has been used before.
If you’re looking through the classifieds and want to get the best deal on anything, there are a few rules that you should follow. Thankfully, you won’t have to search high and low to find ways to save money, as we have five of the best tips to get bargains using classified ads, potentially saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars throughout the year.
If you try to go to a place like Walmart or Best Buy and try to get a lower price from the cashier than what’s listed on the price tag, you’re probably going to be met with a blank stare. The beauty of buying something through a classified ad is that haggling is almost always an option. Sure, there are going to be some postings where the seller says that they are firm on the price, but many are willing to knock down the price a little.
This is especially true if they haven’t received any offers anywhere close to what they were originally asking. The seller will simply want the item out of their hands and will be willing to take the best offer. With that in mind, you don’t want to come in with an insultingly low offer as the seller might not want to deal with you, but ask if they can lower the price.
Don’t Stick to One Site
Some people get too used to one particular website that has classified ads that they forget to shop around the internet for what they want. Craigslist isn’t the only website in which classifieds can be posted, as websites that include OfferUp, LetGo, and the Facebook Marketplace all have great classified ads, some of which may be more reliable.
For instance, Facebook allows you to see who exactly is selling an item, and having that veil of anonymity removed can help put you more at peace with the transaction. There isn’t really a bad site for doing some classified shopping, but you certainly don’t want to constrain yourself to just one website.
Look in All Categories
Most classified ad websites have a long list of categories from which to choose, and they can get very specific. If you want to find some true hidden gems, try to check out the general ‘for sale’ section on these websites and use the CTRL+F feature or search tab to find what you want.
For instance, let’s say that you want a retro video game. Instead of going into the ‘video game’ section of the ‘for sale’ area, try to search for the exact game that you want in the homepage’s search bar and go from there. Not everyone does this, and you might be able to find something for cheap where the seller has yet to be contacted.
Search For The Item’s Price
What might seem like a great deal on paper could end up only being a very small discount, or could be above the listed price at a retail store. Remember that when you’re buying something online, your chances of getting your money back if it isn’t working or up to par are minimal. If you’re only getting about 5 percent below MSRP, it makes more sense just to buy it from a store where you get peace of mind.
With that said, always check the price on retailer websites to see how much they’re selling the same product for. If you aren’t getting a massive discount compared to the store, it probably isn’t going to be worth your time to buy from that particular classifieds seller. It’s also important to shop locally so you’re saving money on gas while also getting a safer transaction.
Browse the ‘Free’ Section
Pretty much all of the top classified ad websites have a section where items are listed for free. When this happens, it usually has a first-come, first-served basis. You have to act quickly when items are free, so make sure to check the site frequently.
There are some really great items that will come up in the ‘free’ section, too. From lawnmowers to video game consoles, there are some things that you can really get great use out of without paying a dime.