Using Craigslist to Find Cars and Other Used Treasures
I will freely admit that I am one of the cheapest people I know. As such, I often shop for used items on Craigslist (and the like
) when other people would buy new. There are just certain things that are hard to justify the expense of new when they haven't changed in forever and they were made to last in the first place.
At the top of the list of these things are cars and durable goods like appliances and tools.
I've already written several blog posts about buying cars for cheap
. It's hard to imagine that there are cars out there that would not be considered grand theft auto if they were stolen, but they exist.
If I recall correctly I could not find a photo of the best car we ever bought on Craigslist. Well here it is, the 1978 Pontiac Catalina. Three years of service without so much as an oil change all for $800.
I have not bought any major appliances used via the online super classifieds, but I did sell a perfectly decent washer for $50. I upgraded to a newer, better, more efficient front loader
(and scored an awesome deal on that via Sears Outlet
). So I sold the old one for a token sum, just to keep from having to pay someone to haul it away. Since I own a pick-up truck, I even delivered it to them a few miles away for a few dollars more
But the absolute best thing I ever scored on Craigslist is my current lawn mower. When we moved into this house from an apartment in late 2008, of course we had no lawn care tools. After knocking myself out trying to cut the postage stamp-sized front lawn with a fifty year-old Craftsman manual rotary push mower, I went online.
Money was tight (when is it ever not?
), so I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for lawn mowing appliances.
I knew from years of suburban teenager-hood how temperamental gas-powered mowers could be if they weren't maintained. Cordless electrics were the newest thing, but that meant they were not yet on the used market--so that left corded electric.
I found one for less than $50 that is still going strong today.
The good news is that a corded electric mower is about the simplest thing in the world. It's basically an upside down blender on wheels with only one speed. This one was even made by Sunbeam, just like my blender.
Leave it sitting in the garage for months, or years, and it is none the worse for wear when you take it out. Keep the blade sharp and it'll work like new practically forever.
Electric motors have plenty of power and torque too; this one cut a brass spigot off the end of the pipe and still works fine. I'd love to have a rechargeable one, but watching out for the cord versus paying an extra $300 is an easy choice to make. Plus this guy has grown on me over the past three years.
What Craigslist or other used treasures have you scored over the years? Share your frugal finds in the comments!