Use CraigsList.org to Find a Good Used Car Value

by Don Elliott on June 28, 2011

Craigslist (craigslist.org) is one of the busiest sites on the Internet. It is a collection of random stuff, ideas, scams, wackiness, and occasionally a good deal on a used car or truck. For the most part, http://craigslist.org/ is a free site that is an open format and pretty much unregulated. For that reason, always be on the alert for misleading information or potential scams.

It takes some work to set up your vehicle search. You can locate vehicles anywhere in the world, but you can narrow your search to a local city. Under the heading “for sale”, click on the “cars+trucks” link. Separate links are available for auto parts, motorcycles, RVs, and boats for sale. Choose “By Owner Only,” “By Dealer Only,” or “All Cars & Trucks” to narrow your search results. Some smaller dealers represent their cars as “By Owner Only” rather than “By Dealer Only.” Don’t be surprised if there is limited information describing the vehicles offered for sale. This is the site for anyone shopping for a good used car value deal, but it is not a very sophisticated process or easy way to shop.

Vehicles are listed by the date of the posting. On a past Sunday afternoon, there were 555 new postings of used cars and trucks for sale that day. You can narrow your search by year, make, model, price, available title, or available pictures. Most vehicles are inexpensive on this site, but there are some listings that are higher than $90,000. Sellers who post their used cars for $1 are generally interested in trading for something else.

Craigslist allows you to communicate with the seller in several ways. The seller can choose an anonymous listing. Craigslist will assign anonymous sellers an address for potential buyers to reply. Sellers can also choose to include their phone number or email address. Many of the Craigslist sellers prefer text messages for quick and easy questions. Some posters include only an address or location where the car can be seen. This makes it more difficult to pre-shop for a car that interests you.

Craigslist is only a posting site. There are no links, guarantees, assistance, or other information to secure the transaction. In fact, there are fraud alerts and warnings on every page. Despite the possibility of fraud, there are still good used car values on Craigslist that might not be available on other sites.

While you are in the Craigslist website, check out Best of Craigslist on the home page. There will be postings that will help you to understand the diversity of Craigslist—and why you have to visit this site with an open mind.

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