Everybody knows that the Sunday paper is always loaded to the brim with tons of money-saving coupons. Believe it or not, coupons aren’t the only way to save money with your local paper. The classifieds section of the Sunday paper is a great way to save on a variety of new and used items; from cars, to furniture, to televisions and anything else you could ever think of. However, knowing how to spot a bargain and negotiate a good deal can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
But don’t fear, we here at CouponSurfer are ready to dispense some more priceless knowledge that will set you straight. Here are our top tips:
1. Know where to look. While your local town or area paper is a great start, it’s good to check the papers of the neighboring towns in your area and see what they have to offer. If you’re not in the mood to leave your house, most papers offer an online version of their classifieds. Also, Craigslist is a great online-only classified site that covers most local areas across the United States. And don’t forget about eBay!
2. Ask the right questions. Before you arrange to see an item, make sure you know what to ask so you don’t waste your time driving out to see it. Make sure you inquire about the condition of the item, and any possible flaws for starters.
3. Don’t sound too eager. When you contact a potential seller or meet them in person, be sure not to get too excited (even if it is a really great deal). Once they know that you are interested, they will be less likely to budge on the price.
4. Bring cash. A lot of times when people sell things in the classifieds, it’s because they really need some dough. If you flash around a big wad of bills when you try to negotiate, the seller may accept a much lower bid if you offer to pay them all in cash on the spot.
5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price. Unless the price is “firm”, most sellers are willing to negotiate. Just be sure not to make any unreasonable offers, as this will often insult the seller and turn them off to making any negotiations with you.
6. Buyer beware! Make sure you thoroughly inspect and test any merchandise, as most items in the classifieds are sold “as is” and you won’t be able to return them.
7. The best deals go fast! We know some people who just found a great pickup truck for under $3000 and they arranged to see it only one day after it was posted in the local paper. Somebody beat them to the punch and showed up with cash the night before. Also, we recently bought a motorcycle for $200 from an ad only one hour after it was posted online. The seller informed us that he got over a dozen calls for the bike while we were on our way down to see it. Lucky us.
Did we miss any good tips? Post any questions or more tips here, we’d love to here from you!