|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1527 - April 30, 2007 - ISSN 1539-5065 2 of 5|
Online sellers buy inventory on Craigslist to resell on eBay and other sites, but I've found that people seem to want to talk as much about what they sold on "CL," as it's affectionately known for short, as what they bought.
Craigslist.org, if you haven't heard, is the community and classifieds site where it is free to list (except job postings) and is available in many cities in the US and around the world. eBay acquired a 25 percent stake in Craigslist in 2004. According to Wikipedia.org, it gets over 5 billion page views and 10 million unique visitors per month, making it 34th place overall among web sites worldwide, and 8th place among U.S. web sites in the United States (per Alexa.com on December 29, 2006). "With over 10 million new classified ads each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium," reports Wikipedia.
As Craigslist has become for many the first go-to place for checking out yard sales, estate sales, and classifieds-type listings of individual items, people are also finding things via this venue to re-sell on eBay and other auction sites. Often the items come from garage sales rather than listings in the individual categories, such as clothes and accessories ("clothes+acc" in craigslist's minimalist lingo), books or collectibles.
One eBayer boasted of finding, among other items, a rare valuable book - "A Pair of Little Patent Leather Boots," by Edith Stotesbury Hutchinson - at a warehouse sale he saw advertised on CL. "I Abebooked it, and the cheapest copy is listed at $250.00, with two others going up to $365.00," this seller wrote on the eBay Booksellers board.
Another find was a "white Chanel cambon" tote, which a Dallas craigslister bought. She was trying to figure out if the tote was real. ("It has the even diamond shape that matches up even on the back pocket, the black interlocking CC's look great, but I am not completely sure about the inside") - something that highlights one of Craigslist's downsides; it doesn't have the many protections that eBay does (even if those protections are not infallible). Another eBayer cautions that Craigslist is "FULL of counterfeit clothing, and "suppliers" of such." But some say you just have to be careful and use your best judgment, as with buying via other venues.
Lou, who I interviewed for an ebook about CL, got some great scores via an estate sale ad he saw listed on the Washington, DC Craigslist site. "I went to the house and picked up several items in the basement underneath the stairway tucked away, including a first edition Booker T. Washington book, one by (famous freed slave) Frederick Douglass, and other books by well-known Harlem Renaissance writers. I also found several 1950s jazz programs signed by all the well known jazz artists of the time including Dizzie Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Stan Krupa and many others."
He sold all these items for over $1500 on eBay. "I still have some photos I picked up which I will be selling later," he says. "I also picked up some great garden furniture and some 50s decorative items which I kept. The garden furniture is worth about $300."
People are finding inventory on Craigslist, but many are also using it as an alternate selling venue. Tickets are a great thing to both buy and sell on Craigslist. In fact, CL has a reputation as a good place to get face-value price tickets, although of course some tickets do get scalped. Kim wound up selling two tickets to "Momix - Lunar Sea" for her buying price of $44 via CL. She said that the purchaser was, "of course, afraid of getting taken, as was I," said Kim. "We met at a Starbucks, and I gave her the tickets and she gave me the cash. It was funny when we met, because we felt like we might have been doing a drug deal where she hands me the money in a plain envelope, so we had a bit of a laugh over that."
One eBayer says she sold her husband's old jeans and a half mannequin on Craigslist; "love it!" she said. Many folks particularly look to CL as a place to unload those bigger items. "LOVE it," echoes Kate, who says she sells bigger things (toys and harder to ship type items) on CL, and has bought quite a few things for her foster babies.
"I adore craigslist and check it several times a day," says another eBayer. "The best part is the immediate gratification of selling an item you want to get RID of. I've bought furniture, hired a housekeeper, found summer jobs for my kids, check out garage sales, found a summer rental in California and am always cruising clothing and accessories, though have never purchased any of those on craigslist." She's also selling her car on Craigslist. "It's the greatest!" she says. "Plus it's FREE!"
So keep Craigslist in mind as a place to not only buy inventory, but to unload your own.
About the author:
Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.
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