Sunday, January 10, 2010

Out with the Old, in with the New

Since it's a new year, there's a lot of this going on. New Years resolutions, new starts, new ideas. Well, I'm not talking about any of those things. In the first couple weeks of this year, we have been literally getting the "old" OUT. And we're doing it with the help of Craigslist.

If you're lucky enough to live in a city where Craigslist has established it's online forums, you've probably heard of it. If you haven't, it's a web-based, local classified advertising and discussion forum. And, it's (mostly) free! The only paid advertisements are for job postings, brokered NYC apartments, adult and therapeutic services. Unless you're looking to sell any of those, you won't pay a penny to buy or sell anything you list.

So what can you sell (or buy) on Craigslist? Pretty much anything. Books, bikes, toys, clothing, furniture, electronics... the list goes on. We've advertised our garage sales, bought lawn furniture, sold things the kids have outgrown (bikes are something we're working on right now!), sold a HUGE persian rug, posted "wanted" ads when we were looking for something and couldn't find it, and even given away things we don't need. Yep, there's a FREE section.

If you're in the market for something in particular, you can browse the ads, or put in your own "wanted" posting. I watch the "free" listings for materials we might use for cub scouts, furniture the boys need, and plants (still working on that illusive green thumb!). We still have a too-small boys bike to sell -- with that money we'll buy a new one for my older son.

A couple things to remember with Craigslist -- only do cash sales and purchases with people locally. It's no secret that people will try to take advantage of the fact that it's anonymous. Use a separate email address -- I use a separate gmail address and just have it forwarded to my regular address so I don't have to check two. As long as it's not a free item you're unwilling to have/leave on the porch, set up a neutral, convenient meeting location. Just use common sense and be safe! And, of course, have fun!

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