What NOT to buy on Craigslist

Financially Fit Videos

Craigslist may be popular (It gets more than 50 billion page views and 60 millions new classified ads each month.), and widely used as an everyday go-to resource for everything from housing to jobs and used items (Click here for items that sell well on Craigslist ), but there are some items you should think twice about buying on it:

Car seats and cribs
Be especially careful when buying car seats.  They could be missing original parts needed for safety. With cribs, over 11 million were recalled in the past 5 years.  And even though the transaction is illegal, many recalled products, as such, are resold in the secondary market—with only 20% making it back to the manufacturer.

Savvy Spender Tip: Before considering any secondhand baby products, visit saferproducts.gov.

Trying not to be scammed takes a lot of work (Here are 9 notorious car-buying scams).  To buy-or sell-a car, you need the following:
*Test drive
*Correct title and registration

Savvy Spender Tip: For more guidance through the process, search through verified, free listings on AutoTrader and Kelley Blue Book. 

Retail prices for jewelry may have you searching for deals online, but buyer, beware: on Craigslist, most sellers don’t bother with appraisals because they often feel their pieces are priceless.

Savvy Spender Tip: Request an appraisal by a certified expert (This helped us weed out half the sellers!), and insist on the right of refusal if it isn’t worth the asking price.

With electronics, you need proof that the product you’re buying actually works! When buying a cell phone, for example, ask the seller to send you a photo of the ESN # and make sure it’s a phone that can be activated by calling the provider directly. Items like laptops need costly updates and time-consuming reformatting. It could also be stolen and you would never know since you can’t look up the seller’s reputation like you can on other sites.

Savvy Spender Tip: Consider a trade-in program that turns your unwanted electronics into cash.  Many big retail chains offer them!

Event tickets
Fraud is on the rise because there are so many ways to get scammed! Your safest bet is to go to sites like stubhub.com or seatgeek.com that can secure your purchase.

Savvy Spender Tip: Check up on the seller by going to sites like ripoffreport.com.  And be sure to check public records, too.

Remember, nothing is guaranteed on Craigslist.  Craigslist is not involved in any part of the transaction.  So if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

What are your experiences buying and selling on Craigslist?

Connect with me on Twitter (@veragibbons), and use the hash tag #finfit.  Or, post your comments below!

View Comments (0)