How to buy off of Craigslist

If you’re looking on craigslist, you’re either broke or very very desperate. Not saying that we aren’t either of those (or both) at some point in our lives, of course; but if you can, you should try to avoid craigslist, just as a rule of thumb, unless you’re a professional bargain hunter.

In case you aren’t sure what Craigslist is, or you have never bought anything or sold anything using this platform, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Craigslist is a place where you can buy or sell anything from toys, books, bikes, or ‘other’ things. You can also advertise your resume if you’re looking for a job, or find a job through it.

The listings on this online platform are basically like an online flea market; you can find free junk, almost free junk, garage sales, and other stuff at dirt-cheap prices. You’ll be sifting through a lot of crap, but if you’re broke and in need of a new air conditioner, that won’t matter to you whatsoever. Just expect a lot of great deals, and more importantly, rip-offs.

1. Stick to Craigslist.
If you get in contact with a seller and they immediately are trying to route you off of Craigslist to their own email or website, be careful. What they’re actually trying to do is get you away from the place you found them before you or the local authorities discover the fraud.

2. Verify who it is you’re talking to.
If you get to the point where you both agree and are serious about making a transaction, make sure to check who they are. If your previous conversations have all been either through the website, email or texting, a phone call might just be in order.

3. Try to widen your search.
Lifehacker recommends a software tool that widens your search to local cities, called ‘Searchalljunk.com’. If a seller is serious about selling something, then they will most likely try to put their item up for pickup, sale or trade in multiple cities. Especially if they’re close by, but they will also try to get their ads and listings into other local towns and municipalities.

4. Meet in a safe and busy location.
This is probably the most important tip that we have here. Under no circumstances whatsoever should you agree to meet at night, or in an area with a lot of private closed buildings, or any shady area. Choose a public and busy area during the morning, daytime or evening while there is still plenty of light out. If you are purchasing something cumbersome and large, like a TV, fridge, couch (, etc.), then you may want to recruit a friend to give you a hand.

5. Try to get some form of receipt.
If you are buying anything at all above $100 that is valuable or expensive, try to obtain some the receipt from the seller. This is extremely important because it would be your only form of legal documentation stating that you and another individual had a transaction. It is imperative because if anything went wrong, you would need some transaction history for any court proceedings that could occur.

6. Don’t wire or send money in the mail to anyone!
This sounds simple, but believe it or not, there are people all around the U.S that fall for this archaic type of skyping every day. If the item is located out of state and it needs to be shipped, try to perform the transaction through a website like Amazon, Ebay, or a similar service.

There you have it! If you need more safety tips, check out the below video or go to the Craigslist website, they have their own set of advice on how to perform a safe and legal transaction on their website. Good luck!

Buying the Right Camera

Are you thinking about purchasing a new camera, either for yourself or for someone you know, but don’t know where to start? Well, that’s why here. On this article, you’ll find the proper information and tips that you need to correctly choose your next camera.

First, let’s cut directly to the chase with some recommendations.
– For general use, cheap DSLR, go with the Nikon D3300.
– For a general purpose but still very compact camera, go with the Panasonic Lumix ZS100.
– For a bridged camera with superzoom functionality, grab the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
– For a high end, advanced camera with lots of features, go for the Panasonic Lumix LX100
– For a professional enthusiast camera, go with the Nikon D750
– For the absolute best, most professional high spec camera, consider getting the Sony A7R II.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s go over some common general tips.

1. Specifications alone won’t tell you what the best camera is.
Not to mention few specs can even be taken at face value, as they certainly don’t tell you the whole story.
2. The MP (megapixels) or resolution of the camera’s mirror doesn’t matter either.
Unless, of course, you are a professional who knows exactly what he’s doing with all of the technical specs. However, if you’re of the more clean-cut common folk, the things that will matter more than the MP would be the sensor size, the image-stabilization, and the autofocus system.
3. Don’t worry about trying to buy the ‘best’ camera out there. You don’t need it!
The truth is, one particular camera would never in a million years meet every single criteria and requirement to be classified as the ‘best camera.’ Those four conditions being performance, photo quality, design, and features.
4. Make sure to try it before you buy it.
Make sure it’s not so large and cumbersome that you’d rather leave it at home, and ensure that you have a good grip on it that fits your hands comfortably if the camera itself is too big or too small. It should also provide easy access to the most widely known and commonly used features, such as ISO and shutter speed; you should not need to jump through hoops just to find those settings that you need to take the perfect shot.

However, this is not all. Let’s take a look at some of the more technical and more important considerations, as opposed to the simple basic ones. Remember, a camera is more than just a device that snaps a quick shot; every picture tells a story, and you can tell that story a whole lot better if you know what you are doing. That’s why we focused on the more gritty nitty nitpicking details for this next set of tips.

1. Do you need an interchangeable lens or a fixed one?
Well, this one depends on what kind of pictures you plan on taking. If you want a quick, small, cheap, light and easily portable and convenient camera that you can take pictures of birthday parties with, you can ignore this whole section and just get a straightforward and compact digital camera with a fixed lens.

If you’re a professional who takes nature or other kinds of genre pictures, or someone who is looking to get into the professional community, you’ll want a camera that can interchange lenses.

2. Make sure you know what kind of camera you need. If you plan on purchasing a professional camera for nature work, don’t buy a compact mirrorless camera; and the list goes on.

Buying cameras can be somewhat tricky business especially if you are just getting into photography. Not having done proper research before purchasing a camera would be detrimental to the quality of your photos.

You should read as much as you can about cameras, the way they work, and all of the technical aspects before making your final decision on a purchase. Good luck!

How to Buy a Used Laptop

With the advancement of the technology in laptops, good computers have become cheaper, and cheap computers have become better. With this, the market for refurbished and used laptops have grown as well. If you want a very high end but still a portable laptop, they can reach the $2,000 range for a fully loaded gaming laptop.

A price point this high for a high-end laptop isn’t exactly an amount of cash most people would be willing to fork out, especially considering the value-per-dollar loss. Building a desktop PC with the same parts, or better, including the same monitor (with the same screen resolution) could net you $800 extra, at least.

With this in mind, if you want a good machine that is still portable and retains a lot of nice (or some extra) features but you don’t feel like paying that enormous price tag, we have a fix. While it is true that buying used laptops can sometimes be a little bit risky, there is almost no question about the value and working guarantee that comes with a refurbished laptop.

In case you didn’t know, refurbished and used items are leagues apart; a used item is something that has been used and owned by a previous owner, leading to some parts not working (depending on the item) or scratches, dents, etc. A refurbished item is something that either came defective and was returned by the consumer, or they opened it and decided they didn’t want it.

If the item were defective, however, would have then be sent back to the manufacturer, and there would have been repaired and classified as refurbished. Any items that carry the ‘refurbished’ price tag are in perfect working order.

Here, we’re dedicated to helping you save money in any way possible, on any product. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you buy the right used or refurbished laptop.

1. Buy a refurbished device instead of a used one
As previously stated, refurbished devices are not only in the same general price range as a used device, but they offer a better value since they aren’t nicked or damaged in any way.

2. Purchase from a high-rated reputable dealer
One of the things that you don’t want to do is buy from a shady dealer. This depends on whether or not you’re buying your laptop online or in person, say through your local computer store or off of a craigslist add.

3. Inspect the item for any damage before purchasing
This is the real kicker here, and we aren’t talking about cosmetic blemishes, either. A couple of scratches and scuffs on the outside of your laptop won’t affect the performance of the item whatsoever. However, make sure to check if it has the original battery if it’s OS (Operating system) has been reset to factory settings, and if the screen is damaged whatsoever.

4. Be sure to check the used laptop’s battery life
When purchasing a used laptop, it’s battery life should be one of the least important things you should be considering. You already know, going into the transaction, that you probably won’t get more than a year’s worth of life out of the laptop, because it’s used. However, knowing where the battery is at in its lifecycle can help you decide how soon you want to replace it.

5. Check what software comes bundled with the item
In most cases, the software on the laptop is reverted to its original factory settings before it’s sold. If the product is advertised with some additional kind of work or security software, make sure it comes with it.

There is so much more information out there regarding this topic, at any rate, buying used laptops, either offline or online, can always be somewhat risky but can still have a significant payoff. If you decide to follow the tips we’ve laid out for you, you will undoubtedly find yourself in possession of a wallet-friendly good laptop. For some pointers on buying a used laptop from a person, check out: