Looking for a Great Deal? Follow These Tips to Get There First

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

5 min read

While you can just browse the listings, there are better ways to find deals on Craigslist. Learn more about using search and alerts.

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Everyone loves a good deal. There’s nothing like the rush of getting the lowest price to save money or being able to upgrade within your budget. Now with most companies selling online, it’s easier than ever to compare prices and find the best deal.

It’s no different on Craigslist, the popular online marketplace that allows regular people to buy and sell their items.

There are many benefits to shopping on Craigslist, including:

  • Access to a wide range of items - Shop everything from brand-new products to gently-used items in just about any category.
  • Competitive prices - Since individual sellers go up against each other, prices tend to be more competitive than brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Convenience - You don't have to leave the house to find the best deals. You can easily search and shop from the convenience of your home.

Here we provide tips on how to successfully find deals on Craigslist, including tips for searching for deals on Craigslist, setting alerts for deals, negotiating with sellers, and completing transactions safely and successfully.

Let's get started!

1. How to Use the Search Tool

The most effective way to find deals on Craigslist is through its search function. Craigslist’s search function allows you to search for the items you’re looking for by keywords, category, location, and other criteria.

Follow these tips for searching on Craigslist to find the best deals:

Use Specific Keywords. The quickest way to find deals on what you’re shopping for is to search by keywords. If you’re shopping for a couch, just type in “used couch” to see listings for used couches in your area. Then you can easily scroll through the listings and compare items and prices.

Use Advanced Search Options. Craigslist’s advanced search function allows you to narrow your search criteria to find more specific deals. For example, you can search for items in a specific location, price range, or category. You can also use Boolean operators, such as AND, OR, and NOT, to find more specific deals.

Search by Categories & Subcategories. Craigslist has a wide range of categories and subcategories to help you easily find and compare deals. For example, if you’re looking for a refrigerator, you can search for deals within the appliances category and the dishwasher subcategory.

2. Set Up Deal Alerts

Let the deals come to you with alerts! By setting up alerts on Craigslist or through a third-party app, you can stay up-to-date on the latest deals and make sure you don’t miss any great offers on Craigslist.

Craigslist Alerts. Now you can set up alerts directly on Craigslist to be notified of new deals. To set up an alert, search for your items and select “Save Search” on the right hand side of the search bar.

Whenever a new listing is posted that matches your alert criteria, you will receive a notification. You can then manage your “Searches” in your “Account”.

Third-Party Alerts. You can also use a third-party tools to track deals on Craigslist. These tools typically have more advanced features, such as the ability to have multiple alerts, track prices change, and receive notifications directly on your phone.

Some popular third-party tools include IFTTT (If This Then That) and Google Alerts.

3. Negotiate with Craigslist Sellers

Since prices are set by the seller, you can always try to negotiate a better price. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do this. Follow these tips to do it right and have a successful transaction.

Research the item. To make sure the seller is asking for the right price, research the item and its value. This allows you to present a valid argument for a reduced price. For example, if the seller is pricing a used item at the same price as a new item, you can provide this information to the seller to see if they would be willing to sell at a lower price.

Make an offer. You can always ask the seller if they’d be willing to sell it to you for a specific lower price. If they’re selling a bike for $100, see if they’d be willing to take $75. Most sellers have a “lowest price” of the lowest amount they’ll take for their item so see if you can find it without lowballing them or blantantly asking, “What’s the lowest you’ll take?”).

Work with the seller. It’s important to leave some wiggle room in your counter-offer. Some sellers may be adamant in their price and you. Negotiating is only truly successful when both parties reach a middle ground and walk away happy. See our blog post, How to Negotiate with Buyers to Get the Best Offers, for more information on the sellers mindset when negotiating prices.

Finding a great deal on Craigslist doesn’t have to be hard. You can access a wide range of items at already-competitive prices from the convenience of your couch.

You can find deals by using the search function and advanced search techniques to find deals on specific items, set search alerts to get notified of new listings and good deals, and negotiate with sellers to reach an acceptable price.

By following these tips, you can successfully find deals on Craigslist and save money on the items you need.


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