Person-to-Person Online Selling
Looking for the widest range of technology deals? The following sources can provide you with some of the most amazing deals, but if you’re buying from private parties, let the buyer (that’s you) beware!
You can find virtually anything on eBay by browsing or searching, and thanks to eBay’s tight integration with PayPal, you have more customer protection today than formerly if you pay for purchases with PayPal. Other eBay features to help you buy smart include thousands of eBay and user-written buyers’ guides, two favorites of mine include “How to Detect Flaws in Used Camera Lenses on eBay” and “Comprehensive Computer Electronics eBaying Guide.” If you’re new to eBay, be sure to check out eBay’s Help pages to learn more about user feedback, payment options, and user-to-user features such as eBay forums.
While eBay provides a global marketplace for technology deals, Craigslist offers free classified ads for many US and international locations. To find deals on technology, click a city (or click a state then select a city) and select the category (computers, electronics, photo+video are some of the best places to find tech deals) in the For Sale portion of the page (there’s also a Free category).
Craigslist is designed to enable face-to-face meetings to buy/sell products, and the home page provides suggestions for avoiding scams. You won’t find easy search tools, but you can find some good deals – if you know what you’re doing. Since listings are often short on details, use the contact information in a particular listing to learn more about a product and to arrange a meeting place.
Freecycle and Cheapcycle
When you’re looking for a technology bargain, the two best words are “free” and “cheap.” Freecycle is a collection of over 4,800 groups and over 7.8 million members whose goal is to keep usable items of all types, from trees to TVs, out of landfills. Local Freecycle message boards are hosted on Yahoo! Groups. While you’re not likely to find late-model stuff on Freecycle, it can be a great place to track down older electronics devices or parts – and after all, they’re free! You can also use Freecycle to get rid of any technology museum pieces you’d like to part with.
Cheapcycle groups are also hosted on Yahoo! Groups, and provide a way to buy and sell items for up to $100.
While local Freecycle and Cheapcycle groups are both free to join, your memberships must be approved by the group’s moderator before you can see or claim/buy offered items. While Freecycle members post when items are taken, Cheapcycle item listings might stay up long after an item has been sold.