Alternatives to Craigslist for buying/selling stuff

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Spring is on the way and you will probably soon be cleaning out your home.

Once you have performed this rite of purification, you may end up with lots of stuff to sell.

thGiven recent news reports of Craigslist crimes, you may be hesitant to use the free listing service. Anytime you buy or sell directly from another individual, there is a risk, but there are also some precautions you can take  to make sure those types of transactions are as safe as possible.

If you want to avoid Craigslist altogether, consider these alternatives for buying/selling items such as clothing, furniture, cars and much more:

Auctions: Depending on what you wish to sell, you can hire a local auctioneer. Typical items that go up for auction include furniture, artwork, jewelry, memorabilia from an estate sale, downsizing or moving. Search online for a reputable company and get referrals. Buyers can see a catalog of what is available in upcoming auctions.

Consignment: If you don’t have auction worthy items, try a consignment store. This works well for furniture, clothing and accessories and more. It also makes the selling process painless, since you are working through a third-party. Yes, you only get a percentage of the sale, but this is would be true even if you sell through a site like eBay (see below). Buyers get to shop in a retail environment and at the best stores can be certain the items are authentic.

eBay: This is the most obvious way to sell a range of items. What makes it safer than Craigslist? eBay encourages use of PayPal or credit cards for payment. They also have extensive protections in place for certain types of transactions including the selling of cars. Sellers on eBay are rated so you will know if the individual has a good track record. In addition, unlike Craigslist, anyone selling on eBay is paying fees to list and sell their items and I doubt there are many criminals who want to pay to commit their crimes. eBay has its share of scams, but they are probably less likely to be life-threatening.

Flea Market: The Starlight Swap Meet is still going strong every Sat. and Sun. from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m at 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta. Sellers rent a space for $17 (up to four spaces per vendor) and buyers pay 25 cents to enter (parking is free). There are some restrictions on what you can sell — no cars, no guns or ammo, no narcotics, etc.

Nextdoor: This private social network for neighborhoods also serves as a place to list items for sale or curbside giveaways. I’ve seen clothing, furniture, and more for sale. While these listings are not regulated, membership is to some extent. Nextdoor requires new members to verify their claimed address by a penny transaction on a credit card tied to the address or by being verified by an existing member. A map shows you which neighbors are also members so you would generally know where there person you are interacting with lives.

Swap sites: Selling for cash is what most people think of when unloading unwanted items, but eliminate the money and you reduce the incentive for crime. Sites like Listia.com use credits instead of dollars when you sell. In turn, you can use credits to purchase something else. Freecycle.org  offers local listings for items that are on offer or desired. Some items are available for porch pick-up. There are dozens of other such sites offering everything from services to books on a barter system or free of charge.

Yard Sale: If you have the energy for it, coordinate a yard sale. Better yet, hook up with one or more neighbors and host one together. You will have more merchandise to offer, the protection of other people around you and more muscle to move all that stuff around.

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Have a favorite strategy for selling your stuff? Leave a comment!


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