Craigslist Chicago

How to Find Bargains in Chicago Using Craigslist

It seems like everything is so expensive these days. The purchasing power of the dollar continues to fall, both internationally and in the United States. One of the biggest economic strains in this country stems from rising gas prices. This not only forces people to pay more at the pump, but also drives up shipping and freight costs, resulting in higher prices on goods across the country. These effects are magnified in cities, where prices are already higher than in more rural areas. In Chicago, for example, gas prices have topped $3 a gallon in places. Fortunately, there are ways to stretch your dollar farther and combat high prices in Chicago: conserve energy at home, walk or use the L train to save on gas, and search Craigslist for great bargains.

In case you are not familiar, Craigslist is a network of site for communities throughout the United States and around the globe. Initially, it was founded as a resource for the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995. By 2006, there was a Craigslist site representing each of 450 cities worldwide. With a few exceptions, advertising on Craigslist is free, and postings can be placed in myriad sections, all organized into major categories.

Chicago Craigslist ( is a great resource for bargain hunting throughout the Windy City.. In the "for sale" section, you can make contact with people looking to sell their stuff. The section is broken up into smaller categories to make it easy to find what you're looking for. Need a deal on a laptop? Check out the computer board. Looking for some rims for that new ride? Cruise to the auto parts board. You can even find small household items, and if you're really fortunate, you might stumble upon exactly what you're looking for in the "free" category. Sometimes people post coupons they don't need in this category, so it pays to check it out every so often just to see if you can get a discount on something you buy frequently.

There a few caveats about this particular mode of frugality. First, if you have issues about buying used goods, you may want to shy away from buying from Craigslist posters. Most things being sold on CL tend to be items people either don't want or no longer use, so if you are strictly into brand new, steer clear. If you don't mind a gently used toaster, though, CL is perfect for you. Second, be sure to note how you are supposed to actually take possession of your purchase. Some buyers will deliver, some will ship, and some require you to make a pick up. Work this out beforehand. A third warning applies to purchases in general, not just on CL: caveat emptor. Enough said.

In short, Craigslist is the frugal shopper's dream. Buying used goods directly saves on overhead costs, which is great for you, the buyer. In expensive cities like Chicago, saving a few bucks on Craigslist can make all the difference in the world.


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