Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Finding Money

I have money hidden all over my house. In the basement. In the garage. In the laundry room, bedroom, kids' room, playroom. Everywhere.

Lest you think me one of those crazies who stuffs money in box springs and behind loose boards, let me explain myself. See, I have found that there is an untold amount of unused stuff in my house. And, on weeks when I want to buy something frivolous like groceries, diapers, or gas (Note the sarcasm.) I find these things and list them on Craigslist.

You can sell almost anything on there. From exciting things like electronics to decidedly unglamorous things like used baby clothes, you can find a local buyer for just about anything you have to sell.

Here's why I love it. First (and most importantly) it's free. You can list anything you want with no listing fees or commissions. Second, it's so easy. You list it. You get emails from interested people. You meet them and deliver the goods. You get cash. Does it get any better than that?

I've had a couple yard sales and found them to be a ton of work and kind of hit or miss as far as success is concerned. However, with CL I've always had great success. In fact, two Christmas' ago I paid for our entire Christmas (and a very good Christmas at that) just by selling stuff we weren't using. It was awesome.

To be fair, selling on Craigslist isn't perfect. So, I'll give you the downsides just so you go into this thing informed.

First, you have to run around and meet people to transfer the goods for the money. You could always have them come to your house if you feel comfortable, but I've always been pretty funny about that so I tend to find local places in my area to meet them. I always make them come my way to buy it 'cause it's not worth selling something if you have to spend too much gas running around.

And since I'm a mom I couldn't live with myself if I didn't say this, please make sure you meet people in daylight hours and public places. Just like you wouldn't hold a yard sale in a back alley at night, you shouldn't meet buyers in places that seem sketchy to you. If you're smart and careful, there is no reason meeting a buyer from CL won't be as safe as anything else you do.

Second, you have to be willing to sell things for just slightly above Yard Sale prices. You definitely won't get the same amount for an item on CL as you would on Ebay, but you aren't paying the commission like at Ebay and Paypal either so I think it's a pretty fair trade.

Lastly, you do have to be careful who you sell to/how you accept payment. The most important rule on CL is this: CASH, CASH, CASH. Never accept checks, cashier's checks (even for cars) or any other form of payment. And only agree to local buyers. Chances are the nice lady from across the country is some scammer looking to involve you in a check fraud scam. Only deal with people you are going to meet face to face.

Basically, if you follow those few simple rules you'll find that you're discovering money in places you never even realized you had. I look at it like an extra source of income on weeks when your bank balance dips dangerously low before Tuesday.

That's what is working for me this week. To see other tips from some amazing moms visit Shannon's Dryer!


The Apron Queen said...

I'll have to give Craig's List a try. Think there's a market for big screen TVs? Oh, I forgot to mention, there's a big crack in he screen. Courtesty of my kids throwing stuff in the house. :D

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen, the home of Vintage Thingies Thursdays.

Domestic Spaz said...

I've totally been meaning to do this. I'm so silly, though, I didn't think of actually MEETING them somewhere and thought they'd have to come to my house which made me feel weird. Thanks for turning on my lightbulb!

Kelsey Smith said...

I have actually not bought or sold anything on craigslist before maybe I should try!

Tara said...

I love Craigs list.. My husband and I have used it for a number of things. I love the FREE category..I was able to give two sets of mattresses away LOL But you are right about the downside.. I really dislike having to meet people, and wait while they decide if your "product" is worth it ... (even when you give them something FREE) lol

Jendeis said...

Never thought about using Craigslist before for this purpose. What a good idea! Thank you also for posting those safety tips - hope that people will follow them.

reprehriestless warillever said...

I have used Craig's List to *buy* items (cross-country skis, downhill skis...), but hadn't thought of it as a way to get rid of stuff.

Thank you for the eye-opener.

Kate said...

Great idea! I've only looked on craigslist for maybe 2 items...never thought of selling stuff. Thanks for sharing, Happy Selling and Making Money!!! :D

marigold said...

We have bought and sold lots of things on CL! So far, it has worked out great for us, too!

Julie Stiles Mills said...

Totally agree about meeting people somewhere rather than come to your house. However, we sold bunkbeds, so coming to the house was a given. I didn't allow anyone to come over unless my husband was home and I added very clear and bright photos of the furniture to the listing to avoid wasting time showing people something they didn't really want. I also used my "junkmail" email account for craigslist instead of my "real" account.

GREAT tips!

Crazy Daisy said...

We have used craigslist several times! Usually, it is for small items, so we meet the person in the local mall parking lot to avoid them knowing where we live!

Nash deVille said...

I love Craigslist. We are moving and I got rid of a lot stuff in one 2 hour period. Fabulous!

Mari said...

I love buying stuff on Craig's List too-easy and cheap!

Lalena said...

I have money all over the house too. Clearing Clutter and making money...woohoo!