Where’s The Best Place To Buy And Sell Stuff Online?

Said honestly it’s amazing that if you ask someone, "Where’s the best place to buy or sell stuff online?", the the typical answer is "eBay".

I disagree with this. The best place is Craigslist (abbreviated commonly as just "CL").

First, a few facts about CL:

  • It’s been around just as long as eBay has (since 1995).
  • It’s far easier to use than eBay overall.
  • It loads way faster than eBay does.
  • You can place ads for free.

I don’t know about other countries, but in the United States people genuinely appreciate being able to conduct business on a local level. eBay has never really been able to accomplish that, but with CL you can quite easily.

For example, my local is tampa.craigslist.org and chances are your local is listed here somewhere.

My reasons for preferring CL over eBay when buying and selling items are as follows:

Staying local works

As noted above, with eBay it’s a challenge at best to go local and stay local. Sure, you can set options on your item when selling it to keep it regionalized – but why bother forking over cash just to post an auction when all you want is a quick local sale?

PayPal is annoying

I’m sure there are more than a few readers out there who can say how much PayPal sucks at times. With eBay it’s more or less required to use PayPal just to buy or sell. How many auctions have you seen that state very loudly "PAYPAL ONLY"?

If you use PayPal, you only do so because you have to, not because you want to.

Better for the bargain hunter

Are you cheap? No, seriously.. are you really cheap? You’re in luck because CL has a "free" category for every local. Here’s an example from the Tampa local. You’d be surprised at the stuff people are willing to give away.

Some quick Q and A

Can you get scammed on CL?

You can get scammed anywhere, be it online or in person and CL is no exception. You know the old saying "let the buyer beware". If you think something sounds like a scam, it most likely is.

CL states very clearly to deal locally with people you can meet with in person, never wire funds, don’t do checks or money orders, don’t give out any of your personal fiscal information, avoid deals involving shipping or escrow and so on.

Even if you decide not to use CL, you should go to that link anyway just to get educated on how to spot scam stuff. It’s a good read.

Can you meet "scary" people from CL?

Of course. But CL has tips on that also.

Can I really post an ad for free and sell using straight cash in person?


Can I get everything I want from CL?

Possibly – but I don’t know what you want to buy or sell. CL is free to use so you have nothing to lose by checking it out.

Are you doing your holiday season shopping now?

If you are you should definitely check CL out for yourself whether you’re buying or selling.


  1. Yes CL is good, but it does have its limitations. I would recommend http://www.bonanzle.com . No listing fees, up to 4 pictures free, easy to list, you can accept any payment mode you prefer, pay pal , google checkout, check, money order, cash. AND the customers can chat with you in real time when you are onsite! Ask and answer questions immediately! I invite anyone to check out this site…it IS the best place to buy and sell!

  2. Oh, I failed to mention that you and search for sellers listed that live near you..up to a 50 mile radius! So you can either buy local or across the country!

  3. I agree that CL is far better than e-bay. I do not want to pay money to try to sell my stuff. I just moved to Chicago and had to get rid of my lawn tools, and my washer and dryer. It was down to 3 days before the movers got to my house. I put all the stuff on craigs list and within an hour had it sold. Most people will try and haggle with you. If you want to get rid of it fast then haggle. If you want a certain price than just tell people that is the price you want.

    CL is also great for personals, auto, and housing. They have property listed for rent and for sale. If you are going to a major city you can look at housingmaps.com. CL is by far better than e-bay due to its simplicity in buying, selling, or just browsing.

  4. Yeah Craiglist is better than eBay in the local way, but we have to be careful because a lot of spam is been posted under craiglist. About eBay well I don’t think Craiglist is completely better than eBay, if the rating is because CL has the ability to post locally then it is ok.

    But eBay is more easier to search for things, in craiglist you have to go the the local seller and scroll all away down until you find what you’re looking for.

    I agree eBay practically force the buyers to pay using Paypal and let me tell you this it’s very bad, also Paypal can freeze your account with out warning and that’s not good. Overall both are good, if you want to search for a product fast I prefer eBay, if I want to search for a product locally I could check on CL.

    • DOS_equis says:

      I think the reason that ebay makes the paypal thing manditory is because in the near future the IRS is going to monitor all e-commerce traffic for tax purposes to close up tax-free loopholes and such. I thought I remember it happening around 2010. The paper ( checks, money order ) type payments throw a wrench in the works for them to track it fully. I dunno if this is conspiracy theorist stuff or for real but at the very least ebay is making double fees on the sellers since they own paypal and charge listing fees on ebay and transaction fees through paypal. A lot of the old, big time sellers have pulled out of ebay due to this stuff.

  5. Ebay&C/L is Partners. Just Saying

    • eBay owns about 25% stock in Craigslist. They’re not partners by will. eBay sued Craigslist in 2008. 🙂

  6. Patrick Harkins says:

    Here in Ontario, we have Kijiji, also free (owned by eBay), and people seem to be crazy about it! I have talked to a few people who got their dogs via Kijiji, for example!

  7. Another ebay alternative, which is totally free and you can buy and sell both locally and across the country (so it’s kind of a cross between ebay and craigslist) is The Exclaim – http://www.theexclaim.com

  8. Sell your stuff on that New Site they just started out. 6 Months Free then $9.95 a month. Be sure to drop drown the memebership box when signing up to get your site Free at Kabibbles.

  9. Sell on Kabibbles.com for only $9.95 a month. No Commissions, No Listing fee.

  10. InventBuy.com – Buying And Selling Just Anything Online

    Available in English and in Spanish, http://www.InventBuy.com is a new marketplace that aims to let people purchase whatever they want, right when they need it and at the best possible price. Those who use the site are

    asked to fill out a short form detailing the products that they want to purchase, and that information is then forwarded to all the vendors who are registered on the site.
    If any of these vendors has that item on stock, then he will get in touch with the user. They will be able to start negotiating the price, and if an agreement is reached then they will have a deal.

    And if more than one vendor can provide the user with the item in question, then a bidding process will ensue. But at no point will any vendor know the exact price being offered by the others.

    The site can be joined and used for free, both by buyers and by vendors. The former will actually be able to individualize as many items as they fancy when asked what they are looking for, and vendors will

    be allowed to have their own customized storefronts.

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