When you want to buy or sell something used online, your first thought might be to use Craigslist. After all, it's the site that brought the newspaper classifieds into the digital world.
Of course, using Craigslist does cause some concerns. You might deal with a buyer or seller who tries to cheat you with bad payment or an item that's different than what was listed. Learn more about how scammers use Craigslist to trick you.
There are many stories of people meeting a buyer or seller to complete transactions and getting robbed or worse. That's why it's essential to meet in a public place and let someone know where you're going - or bring them along.
Craigslist also isn't always the easiest site to use. That's why third-party selling apps like SellSimple exist to make it easier.
Fortunately, Craigslist isn't the only game in town. Here are places that are better than Craigslist for buying and selling.
If safety is your concern, then OfferUp is where you should start. It created the TruYou system to verify the identity of buyers and sellers.
The TruYou system works with the site's app for Android and Apple gadgets. It lets you scan in your ID, so the website can verify your identity for other users on the site. Items sold by TruYou verified sellers will be highlighted in blue.
There's also a rating system, so buyers and sellers can let the rest of the community know what they thought about a transaction. Was your item described accurately? Was the other person friendly? This is the place to let everyone know what to expect.
Buying is really easy with OfferUp. If you like something, just click on it to be taken to the item page. From there, you can make an offer.
You'll see the price the owner is asking for next to the item, but you might be able to talk them down. If the seller accepts your offer, you can set up a time and place to meet up and get your stuff.
Selling is simple, too. Using the app, you can take a picture of the item you want to sell, add details like your asking price and upload it. The whole process is done in no time.
Used clothes aren't something you'd normally want to buy online, especially from Craigslist. You never know where they've been or what condition they're really in.
ThredUp aims to change that. The site has a strict set of Quality Standards for all clothes it accepts. It employs a team of fashion experts to go through all the clothes and approve them for sale.
Clothing's not all you can save money on, though. You can also find all sorts of shoes, purses and handbags on the site. That's where you can really save the big bucks. Imagine getting a like-new Coach bag for a huge discount. You can save money on clothes for your kids and grandkids, too.
If you have nice clothes you want to get rid of before updating your wardrobe, you can sell them on the site, too. ThredUp depends on people like you to collect its inventory. It's easy to send in your old stuff to make a little extra cash.
One of the best places to get used items is garage sales. Not only can you physically examine the item, you can do some haggling to get a better price.
You just need to find a good garage sale, and that's where GSALR.com comes in. Just enter your location in the search box to see garage sales going on in your area on a Google Map. Then click on the red location flags for more details like time and location of the sale, or scroll through the listings on the right side of the page.
If you don't care about travel distance, you can browse the listings or sift through photos by clicking "List" or "Photos" at the top of the page.
Need to narrow your search and filter your results? Click on "Search Filters," located at the top left of the page, and enter a new location, the day of a sale, or enter keywords to look for a certain item like furniture or antiques.
Once you've found sales near you, you can add to a favorites list by clicking the favorite button. When you're done adding favorites, click "View Route & Directions" to get directions.
If you're in the mood for selling, you can add your own garage sale to the site.
What do you do if you have used items you can't sell? Don't just throw it in the trash; give them away on Freecycle.
Freecycle is a non-profit organization that lets you post your unwanted items to give away. It's kind of like Craigslist, but only with free stuff.
To get started, create a free account and post the items you want to get rid of. Be sure to include a full description and photos help, too.
On the flip side, if you're in the market for something in particular, you can post a want ad and see if anyone responds. Or, just cruise the site and see what kind of free stuff you can get. I mean, who doesn't love free stuff?
When I looked in my area, there was a range of items, from old television sets and moving boxes to desktop computers, plants and fitness equipment.