Be Your Own Boss (Craigslist Style)

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I have a friend that started tinkering with Craigslist when he owed $ 1000 to his college and it was due in one month. He had no time to get a job, but he did have the opportunity to ask his parents for the money. Yet, instead of taking the easy path, he decided to make a step for himself and set a goal to make $ 1000 in one month, he accomplished his goal in 19 days. Not spectacular, but impressive to consider that most people would have given up after the fourth attempted deal fell through.

For those of you who do not know what Craigslist is: it is a buyer to seller bartering site, where individuals can sell their items through an anonymous context. If they manage to get a buyer, then they will meet up (preferably at a public venue) and perform the transaction. I have personally made most of business through Craigslist and a bit through eBay. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Craigslist is nice because of the speed you can set up a deal. I will typically spend an hour a day looking through the ads for something that intrigues me. I might find an Xbox seller trying to get rid of his Xbox for very cheap when he could easily make a quadruple that asking price. In this case, it's a simple buy and sell. Yet, you need to get on this ASAP! It's very hard to find an amazing deal and keep the buyer / seller's interest. The person with the quickest money will take the cake.

1.) Find an intriguing ad. Typically any type of listing that is selling an item for a cheap price, or if you think you can fix the item. Beware! Some items have been victimized by an attempted fix, and are no longer repairable. Check for signs of permanent damage and research the issue before buying.

2.) Respond to the ad as quickly as possible. I've let very profitable deals slip through my fingers because I decided to contact the buyer later in the day. Setup a primary email for just Craigslist as you will witness a bunch of spam.

3.) Check eBay for the value of the item. I use eBay to find the average price an item is worth. Xbox 360s will go from $ 80-150 depending on the model and even less for the condition or damage. Go to eBay and search for a product. When you search for an item, click advanced search. This will give you numerous options but you want to click 'display only completed listings.' Completed listing are the items that were either bought or ran out of time. This will give you an idea for how much people will pay for the item.

4.) Ask the seller if there are any problems with the item. I like to start by asking for the problems. Once he / she names them, I will say what other people typically pay for the type of item and lowball as much as possible without being too outrageous. Once an agreed price is set, you will ask where the person is located and stress the fact that they live a decent distance away and your car does not get good amazing gas mileage. (My signature lowball). Then ask if they would not mind taking a small amount to cover the gas. This move has amazing results; I have about an 95% success rate with it. The worst that could happen is for them to refuse! "There is no failure except in no longer trying."

So the two tactics can be used for buying or selling items. a.) Give an approximate value of what other people are paying for it, but put it closer to your favor. b.) Use the gas pitch. Explain that they live a little ways away and asking if they will pay extra / drop the price to cover your expense. You are not limited to these two though! Think of some more or look some up

5.) If the price is set, make an arrangement. I NEVER let people come over. In some cases it may be required, but you never know who is out there on Craigslist. Better to be safe than sorry. I always go with a buddy, and meet in a public area. If you are going to buy a game system then bring a monitor with the correct cords to test it out in a public place. Do not be tricked into buying a broken item.

6.) Make another lowball! Bring the correct amount of cash and no extra. Pull out your cash and before you pay, exaggerate any problem, and you can very well walk away saving money. Once people get to this stage, they do not want to walk away empty handed and are often mesmerized by the sight of the cash. Use this to your advantage.

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