Feb 17, 2012

How to Use Listia efficiently - it is not a scam

When you hear you can get stuff for free, sometimes it seems too good to be true. In the case of Listia, an online site to "sell" your unwanted items to get credits and "buy" other items on the site that you may like using credits, it might seem like a complicated method and almost even like a scam. But it is not. It is essentially a "barter site", you get to give away your items or item to different people and get back goods in return. (To read tips on How to use Listia smartly, jump down two paragraphs)

I say that because, some people are against the practice of listia also selling credits for people to top up their account before they go on buying spree. Now, I don't think that makes it a scam. Airlines "sell" miles all the time nowadays and also make you pay surcharges in many cases or take additional fees for so called "free" airline tickets. Have we been able to do anything about it? Not really, except for even more careful planning and using premium airline credit cards etc to avoid fees.

Which brings me to the point here: You can use listia and get stuff free, but remember that this is similar to an ebay site but with lesser protection and no direct payment portal/or shipment confirmations - unilke amazon or ebay. 

How to Use Listia Smartly:
  • If you are a seller, always charge for shipping (more on this below).
    • For safety, use a PO box or other safe address, not ur home address (unless u live in a fort!)
    • If you offer local pickup (do not ever give out your address) meet during safe hours at safe locations to give away your item (this goes for both buyers and sellers).
  • Communicate with your winning bidders or even other bidders at least within 24 hours.
  • Be smart and pick exact price shipping if you want to be on the safe side. Then you can charge for exact shipping and any small handling charges.
  • Sometimes shipping first class may be cheaper than the "flat shipping rates" on the webpage. You can make small profits here.
  • Other cases, your shipping cost (+going to post office etc) add up to more than the flat shipping, so be careful here.
  • You can receive your shipping costs via Paypal etc.. but seriously, Paypal charges a ton of commission if you want to take ur money out. So, instead I recommend using (as of Feb 16, 2012) Amazon Payments. It is free to sign up and use, and free to withdraw money once you cross a $10 threshold. ps: Sometimes you can also use to make payments using your credit cards and earn points or miles in the process! This is mentioned only for people who manage their credit well.



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