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Craigslist versus EBay

Updated on March 12, 2010

I like selling stuff on my local Craigslist, Craigslist ads are free (except job postings). No EBay listing fees, commissions or shipping fees - people come and pick the stuff up. And pay you cash. What's not to like?

This week I sold an Oxbow snowboard for $50 and a pair of 180 Head Supra Skis for $40. $90 in my pocket for 20 minutes listing the items and a few emails. If I had sold the times on EBay I'd have to spend time wrapping a snowboard/skis to ensure they didn't get damaged, arrange shipping and pick-up. And then I'd need to wait for payment.

EBay uses PayPal (it bought the company) to process payments. I haven't had any problem with PayPal, but i have heard stories about issues with buyers claiming items never arrived. or being damaged or not the same as described in the auction.

With Craigslist the buyer comes over and confirm the item ok before committing to the purchase and hands over the cash. Beside I like dealing face-to-face with local people. Mark who bought my snowboard had the same size feet as me, so I was able to throw in my snowboard boots as well. I gave Chris the downhill skier. a pair of Scott poles.

Craigslist does have some weaknesses. As a buyer it can be a little creepy visiting houses and apartments of people you've never met. I'd recommend bringing a friend along or meeting at a convenient bus stop or public place. Another frustration is trying to contact people who have already sold an item but didn't remove their listing. Other sellers list an item but don't give a picture or price unless you email them.

As a seller the most common issue is people not showing or calling at the last minute and wanting you to hold an item for another day when you have 12 other potential buyers. Other people will try to barter you down on price even after you've agree on a firm price ahead of time. Count your money carefully. It's easy for the buyer to say,"Alright, $90." and hand you a wad of bills. After the customer leaves, you realize he's shorted you $10 or $20.

Overall I'd highly recommend Craigslist. I have made a little extra money and met some wonderful people in the process of selling and buying, 


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