Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Resell.

Craigslist is one of the greatest sites EVER for a cheapo like me. I’m okay with used furniture and other things that can be sanitized. You can find just about anything on Craigslist. Even things you probably think you won’t/shouldn’t be able to find. Cars, furniture, clothes, shoes, appliances, jobs, even a date for tonight! (I’d avoid the date, by the way.)

I’ve sold so much stuff on CL.  Cameras, guitars, photo gear, concert tickets (hehe), golf clubs, floor mats, appliances, etc. And I’m not kidding, but there is always someone who wants your old junk. I sold my previous car in less than 24 hours. I had responses within an hour of posting.  Family and friends even give me items to sell and they give me a cut of it. It’s nice to get a little cash for the old stuff you don’t want anymore.

It’s also awesome to pay just a little cash for the things you need or want. A friend is having a baby and our little tag team shopping has saved her a huge chunk of money on the ridiculously expensive gear that her tot is only going to use for a few months. Our best score: A $250 crib for $35. It’s in great condition and I bought it in an expensive neighborhood. The lady just wanted to get it out of her garage quickly so she listed it insanely low.  I snatched it right up.

My Tips for Craigslist Buyers & Sellers

  • NEVER EVER EVER MEET ALONE. Take someone with you. An adult. A quick reflexed, strong, sharp-eyed adult. Not your 2 year old.
  • Meet in a VERY public place.  A busy Starbucks near a freeway is my go-to.  If the other person is trying to get you to an obscure location or their home, they’re going to rob you… or worse. (This can’t be avoided when buying furniture or major appliances. In that case, best wishes and let a few people know the address where you’re going and forward any contact you’ve had to a third party, in the event of your disappearance.)
  • Don’t bring your wallet with you. If you’re going to rob me, you’re only getting the amount we agreed on or the item I’m selling.

My Tips for Craigslist Buyers

  • Don’t EVER ask for a gas credit because “I’m going to have to drive really far to pick it up”. Sorry dude. Don’t be looking for items that you think are too far away. Stick to your own hood. I usually don’t even reply to those requests.
  • Don’t completely low ball me. I usually inflate my listing price a bit, knowing someone’s going to bargain with me. I also research the going rate or at least the ballpark rate for what I’m listing. I don’t reply to ridiculous offers.
  • Don’t try to barter. I’m trying to sell my junk, not exchange it for yours.
  • Don’t try to bargain once you’ve arrived at to the meeting place. I had a man agree to pay $120 for a WII in our e-mail/phone correspondence.  He brought his little 4 year old with him to pick it up. He also tried to say he only had $100 on him . “Can you just take that?”. No. I can’t and I didn’t. If you want to bargain, do it before you agree to meet.  His crying kid left without the WII, because his dad is a fool. (He did try to call me later that day to say he got the additional $20. I did not reply. I sold it to someone else the next day, for $100, the amount we had agreed on prior to meeting.)
  • Have cash, have the exact amount, and don’t have any bills higher than a $20. I am not your bank and I do not give change. I am also not stupid. I will be using my counterfeit detector pen on all of the bills you give me.
  • Be on time. The said prospective WII buyer was also about 30 minutes late. $120 was worth my time. $100 was an extra punch in the gut because I had been waiting for 30 minutes. I usually give a 15 minute window and then leave. Someone else will buy it.

My Tips for Craigslist Sellers

  • Post good, clear pictures. I don’t even look at the ads that don’t include a picture. I want to see what I’m buying.
  • Buy yourself a counterfeit detector pen and USE IT. It’s going to suck going to the bank and having them seize your fake $100s. Plus you gave that fool change!!!
  • Tell your buyer that they must have exact cash and they must not have anything higher than a $20. You don’t want to have to pull out your wallet and you also don’t want any fakes.
  • If you’re selling a car, meet at the local police station and get the potential buyer’s license and insurance card and leave it with a third party while you go with them on the test drive.  Maybe even have someone follow you.  This is a creepy situation, no matter how safe you try to be. Also, make sure that you print and fill out the required DMV transfer forms and send them in yourself. Do not leave it for the buyer to do. You’re liable for that car, and anything it hits, until that form gets to the DMV. Also, accompany the buyer to the bank where they’re having the cashier’s check issued and watch the teller issue it. Take it to your bank immediately. (This is the only time that cash isn’t practical)
  • Be on time. Tardiness is just plain rude.
  • Clean your items. I know it’s used, but I don’t want to see your food spills or grime. Just give it a quick wipe down.
  • List everything that’s included and list any part that is broken or missing. It’s a waste of my time (and yours) if I show up and then you tell me it’s missing a piece. Now I don’t want it. Maybe I would have been okay with the missing piece, had I known about it before I drove here.
  • Be realistic. You may have paid $50,000 for this car 20 years ago, but it’s an old piece of junk now. Yeah, you’ve kept it clean and it still runs, but it’s not worth $45,000. Do your research (eBay & craigslist are both great indicators) and price your item correctly if you actually want to make some money. Also, if you’ve had no inquiries in 7 days, you need to lower your price.
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My mama told me, you better shop around

I’m kinda addicted to shopping. I like to buy new things. I’m also cheap, so I’m a sucker for a deal. I do have my standards though.

I don’t really consider something a deal until it’s at least 30% off. That’s my threshold. I don’t fall for that “buy one get one half off” nonsense. Do the math. It’s only 25% off if you buy two of the same priced items. Not worth it, unless it’s something you truly need and were going to buy anyway.

I’m a super smart shopper. I do my research if I’m making a “big” purchase. For me, any single item over $75 is a big purchase. For some reason, I have to really debate anything over that amount and I will research it heavily before I buy it. I know I’m going to find it cheaper.

Once I know what I want, I will check several websites and sites like RetailMeNot to find coupon codes for those sites. I’m kind of maniacal about it. I will also check in several stores. I have a terrible memory, but I can remember prices like a champ. This usually pays off.

A lot of times I will find the item in-store for considerably less than on a website. I’m not against buying a floor model (Except for shoes. Don’t EVER buy the display pair!!) if it’s in decent condition, returnable, and hygienic. I also know right where to find the clearance section in my favorite stores. It’s usually the first place I go.

Go shawty! It’s ya birthday!

My birthday was last week and because I’m cheap and I like free things, I enjoy pulling the birthday card at restaurants. Who doesn’t want a free dessert?!?!  I’m signed up with all of the loyalty clubs & mobile apps at the local and chain restaurants that I frequent.  They love to send you a freebie for your big day.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been enjoying for the last couple weeks (maybe even multiple times…)

  • Baja Fresh – Coupon for a free burrito
  • Rubios – Free meal (up to $7)
  • Corner Bakery – Free baked good of my choice (I chose the blueberry hand pie. Sooooo good)
  • McCormick & Schmick/Landry’s – $25 account credit towards food purchase (alcohol is excluded) (Side note: You pay $25 to “join” this club, but you are issued a $25 “Reward” once the card is registered. Totally worth it)
  • PinkBerry – A free small yogurt with toppings
  • Benihana – $30 birthday certificate (Has some time & day restrictions and an additional adult meal must be purchased. But still a great deal.)
  • ZPizza – A free small pizza with purchase of equal or greater value.
  • Pasta Pomodoro – One free entree
  • Starbucks – ANY free drink on my birthday.
  • Daphne’s Greek – Free meal (Up to $5)

These are places I go to fairly regularly. I appreciate the kind birthday wishes.  Even Virgin Airlines is in on the birthday gifting. They sent me a promo code for 10% off a flight. Too bad I’m not planning any trips.

 

What are you waiting for? Come back and shop!

I’ve been comparing/price checking certain things on the Target website a lot lately. Thanks to the cookies on my computer Target knows that I want to buy something, but I’m putting it off. I just received an email from Target asking” Still Thinking About This Item?” with a picture of one of the many items I was looking at and an offer for $5 off of my next order of $50 or more! I’m pretty sure I can also use my RedCard for an additional 5% off and free shipping.

I’ve received the same kind of “Come Back & Shop” offer from Macy’s, Bath & Body Works, and Bed Bath, & Beyond in the past. So, if you’re looking for a deal on something, look for it online. Add it to your cart or just click on it for more information. Make sure your cookies are turned on and always log into your account so the store knows who you are and what you want. They may be willing to give you a discount just for dragging your feet.

TGT

Holiday Weekend = Big Sales!

This weekend is a holiday weekend and you know what that means…sales!!!

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve seen so far:

  • Gymboree – Additional 50% of clearance  in stores or additional 40% off clearance online. If you can find a 20% off coupon in one of those family magazines (FamilyFun has one), they’ll let you stack for even more savings.
  • Express – 40% off EVERYTHING
  • Macys – 20% off on clothing & shoes (Pretty standard for Macys. I only purchase if the item is already on sale and I can stack a 20% on, too.)
  • Banana Republic – 30% off full-priced items when you use your BR/Gap/Old Navy card. (35% off with any credit card, if you shop online only – Code: BRVDAY35 (Ends 2/14/2014)
  • Old Navy – 30% off the ENTIRE store. Use your BR/Gap/Old Navy card and save an extra 5%.

I know there’s a ton more out there. I’ll find out when I hit the mall or when I check my email.

Cheapotle

I love Mexican food and all things pretending to be Mexican food. I also (usually) try to eat healthy. I LOVE Chipotle. I can buy a veggie bowl at lunch for $6.25 and make it into lunch AND dinner. Their portions are huge.

Chipotle has a whole “secret menu” where you can substitute items or ask for extras, at no charge. As far as I know, they only charge extra for extra meat.

  • Substitute chips for rice in a burrito bowl to make loaded nachos at no extra charge
  • Ask for both of the varieties of beans instead of one at no extra charge
  • Ask for more than one salsa at no extra charge
  • Ask for the fajita veggies with your entree at no extra charge
  • Ask for the included guacamole on the side if you’re ordering a meatless entree. (Chipotle’s guacamole is #1 on my list. I’ve never had a nasty tasting bite of guac there. Ever.)

PlumDistrict

PlumDistrict is a great discount site for all women. It’s definitely geared towards moms and kids, but we childless folk can enjoy the deals, too.

We are a community of moms connecting other moms to products and inspiration to make our lives easier. We’re here to spark the sort of connections that make mom’s day by offering great values for her and her family.

PlumDistrict is free to join and they offer national and local deals. If you’re taking a vacation, check out the offers in your destination area. My favorite Bay Area nail salon chain (Pinkies) comes up often and I get my mani/pedis at a super discount. They also have a lot of offers for personalized gear, toys, maternity nutrition, kid’s sports camps, fitness gear, magazine subscriptions, kid’s clothes, etc. It’s a site for anyone.

PlumDistrict also offers some great referral bonuses for their members! When you invite or refer a new member, you earn 5 Plum Dollars to use on your next purchase.  They also offer the “Three for Free” deal. If you purchase a deal and share it with friends (via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail) and three of them purchase the same deal, you get yours free!