Bartering has never been a thing of the past

"Never be the one "wanting". You will go over your limit or out of your way. Usually the seller wants to sell which means they will accept less than they really want to make a sale."

If you don't feel comfortable bartering in person you're in luck! Bring out your best negotiating skills through e-mail when buying on Craigs List .I buy and sell on Craigs List all the time and barter every deal. I work down many sellers and save lots of money.

Here are some simple steps to get you the best price.

1) Search how many listings you have as an option.

  • If you are looking to buy for example a bike, see how many different people are selling the bike you want.
2) Look at each listing.
  • Look at condition, asking price, distance of travel needed for pick up and how motivated the seller seems.

  • If you have any further questions on the listing be sure to e-mail and ask them. You want to know exactly what you are making an offer on. The sellers true e-mail is not listed on the post. You will see where it says reply to: and a blue link to e-mail the seller. You can highlight this link and post it in the To: header in you personal e-mail.

The Bartering Process
After your questions have been answered and you decide to e-mail the seller and make an offer the bartering process starts. I don't care if the posting says firm, you have nothing to lose and only money to gain making an offer you feel comfortable with. The worst case the seller says no and you move on or decide to buy.

I will always low ball my first offer, If the seller is upset than I will use a few different excuses:

  • I would put the ball back in their court and say" I apologize, what would you accept if I were to buy today?"

  • "Another seller with the same product had accepted xx$, they live a little further away though. Would you accept the same price?"

  • Or: I would not e-mail back and go to my secondary plan which I will reference.
After I get an agreement I will do 1 of 2 things.
  • One, I take the deal if I feel it is worth it.
  • Two, If I think there is more wiggle room on price I tell the seller I will get back to them and think about it.
  • I will than use my second e-mail created for bartering on craigs list, it's used for nothing else. After a day or two and the item I want is not sold I will e-mail the seller again (on my other e-mail) and offer less than the accepted offer we began with.
  • Most cases I say "I can give $x.xx and pick up today) and the offer is accepted. I wont use my name until I meet in person so the e-mails don't cross paths with having the same name at the bottom.


  1. Anonymous // June 9, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

    other than craigslist, is an amazing bartering site that offers more features to have a great bartering experience.

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