Great Deals with a Hint of Caution!

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Get what you want for cheaper!

Craigslist and Kijiji are today’s way of getting good deals on electronics, finding jobs and even getting a ‘new’ wardrobe. It is amazing the stuff you can find in these places, and much more amazing the prices available.

There have been people who got their whole dining table set for just about $50 and in very good conditions. I have a friend who got her photography kit (camera, bag, chargers, lens and all of that) for just $250 flat, when the retail price for that same set – at that time – was a little over $500, not counting on the warranty and taxes. Her camera is in a great shape; she has it for a while now and never gave her any problems at all.

If you are looking to purchase a new kitchen table, camera, or whatever it is, you might want to check these spots before putting your money on the first big store in the mall.


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It is expensive being cheap!

Well, I always get my stuff from the big stores like Future Shop, H&M, and all these places that we all know so well and dearly. Despite that, when it comes to electronics, I always end up with the rotten apple! My computers always end up having some kind of problem. My last Samsung net-book has gone back to be fixed 5 times in 2 years and something tells me that in a couple of months the same problem will pop up right when I need it the most– exam/paper season!

I have always been skeptical of buying things from Craigslist and Kijiji, but I am getting a little tired of paying so much for warranties and taxes and the products themselves, when all I get is bad stuff and awful customer service. So I thought I would give it a try.

I did do my little research at first, to see how many people complain versus number of people that are satisfied. Honestly, I do not know anybody (in person that is) that has a complaint from getting stuff from Craigslist. But I have read about a few online.

What I have noticed is that the complaints come usually when dealing with electronics and technical equipment. Again, most of my friends do get their photographic equipment through Craigslist, so I get a bit confused.

I have actually just read a posting on a Canon EOS T2i for $900 flat, with charger and a 16 GB memory card included. I was all happy, until I looked up the current retail price on different local stores and noticed that I can get the same camera with batteries and charger AND lens for $800 CA.

So… as many of you might have learned already (hopefully not the hard way), these places are great but sometimes they are a rip off. As my grandparents like to say, “sometimes it is expensive being cheap!”.


Research
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Take some time – Do your Research!

I get scared away fairly easy and right away I started saying to myself – “this is useless, I’ll have to save up and pay more for better”.

On the other hand, I keep on hearing my friends finding all these great stuff for half of the price. Whenever I ask them they just say they looked it up, set up a meeting and got their stuff, nothing to it – “just take the risk”.

As I mentioned I always get rotten apples on my yard, so I don’t think it is that wise for me to just take the risk with no preparation.

Well, for all of you who share my same bad luck, there are a few things you could do:

1. Research the heck out of it! Go to all local stores (big and small) that carry what you want – check the prices, the warranty options, get a quote from the sales people and all of that. Contrast it to the ad – what do you get, in what conditions for how much?!

2. Get in contact for more information – ask questions about the product being posted and why that person wants to sell it? – are they moving away, upgrading, etc. This gives you a sense of the product's state and the person’s credibility.

Note: also ask about specifics of the product – for how long has it been used, for what purposes. You should always request photos, and if they are serious they would not have a problem in providing them for you.

3. Get a friend that knows the product! For example, if you are trying to get on with your passion for photography and want to get a more “serious set”, you might want to invite a friend or someone that knows photographic equipment well enough to make a good assessment.

Tip: Mention to the person offering to sell, that you are taking a professional/a competent person with you to make an assessment.

4. Set up meeting in public place! – Please do NOT EVER set up to meet with a stranger in private or not so public places! You never know who you will meet.

Warning! If you do meet in a public space like a library, patio café in a busy street, etc. but the person says they forgot something, so you both have to go somewhere to get it – DO NOT MOVE or JUST RUN! Especially if you are alone! This is a trick to get you alone!

5. ‘Test Drive’ – if it is a camera or any kind of electronic device, you should be able to try it. Hold it and give it a try, take a few shots/record something or listen to the sound – depending on the device there are things to look for like image quality, button features, sound check, etc.

Note: Before the meeting, mention that you would like to test it – if they have a problem with it, cancel the whole deal. Also, if you go meet up and the device is out of battery or something – meaning you cannot try it – do not take on the deal!! This can also be a little trick!

Main Lesson: Be prepared!

It is always good to be prepared. My friends have shown me that if you take a little risk you might just get a great deal, but I have learned from my bad luck with electronics that you are never too safe from rotten apples. So do your research, ask lots of questions, and always bring a friend with you that actually knows about the product!

Have a safe deal!

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Comments 10 comments

cydro profile image

cydro 5 years ago from Kentucky

Well written article with some really good points. I feel like people these days don't research, they just head to wal mart.


varonny profile image

varonny 5 years ago from TORONTO Author

Thank you cydro.

I really hope that this article will help people be a little better prepared.

As you said, people don't stop to do their homework anymore. I get like that sometimes too, but I always try to at least browse around before bying anything.


mkiaconis profile image

mkiaconis 5 years ago from wherever it is that I happen to be.

Thank you for emphasizing the research portion of bargain hunting. I've spent years searching for something to be perfect condition. I ended up with a wonderful DSLR for $400 when the retail cost was close to $900. Loved this article!


varonny profile image

varonny 5 years ago from TORONTO Author

thank you mkiaconis!

I would love to get that kind of a deal actually, my birthday is tomorrow and I have about $300 that would like to put into at least a Canon Rebel EOS.. even if it's the Xs I wouldn't mind actually..I've been trying to get an entry level DSLR for a while... anything would be a great upgrade from my Canon PowerShot SD750..

Thanks again!


mkiaconis profile image

mkiaconis 5 years ago from wherever it is that I happen to be.

like you said, keep researching. I can't guarantee you'll get it tomorrow, but I can guarantee that researching will help you find something you enjoy. Good luck! and happy early birthday!


varonny profile image

varonny 5 years ago from TORONTO Author

research is the Key!

Thank you :)


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

good advice and homework well done, varonny


varonny profile image

varonny 5 years ago from TORONTO Author

Thank you Katyzzz, glad to hear that!

:)


peterdros 5 years ago

very nice hub. Well done!!


varonny profile image

varonny 5 years ago from TORONTO Author

thank you peterdros.

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