What´s the best way to buy and sell used stuff?

The answer may surprise you!

You know you can save tons of money by buying second-hand goods. Also, that you may have hidden cash at home -in the form of jewelry, electronics, and more. So, what´s the best way to buy or sell unwanted stuff? What’s more convenient, secure, easier and faster?

We decided to compare three popular ways to do it, that run the specter from old-school to modern. These are:

  1. Through Craiglist
  2. Using OfferUp
  3. Through a pawn shop

And as we said, the answers may surprise you.

A. Craiglist

Just four years ago, Craiglist was a force to be reckoned. Its massive user base was a huge advantage, and it had gained great acceptance as the newspaper classifieds alternative. But as the years have gone by, Craiglist has lost popularity among buyers and sellers alike.

Here’s why:

  • You just don’t know who’s going to turn up at your door. It may be a perfectly nice person, an unsavory character, or a dangerous one.
  • Stories of Craiglist murders and crime have not helped, either.
  • The site has become a scam artist magnet, which is annoying at best -and can be disastrous at worst
  • The platform is outdated. The need click on each listing to see pictures is time- consuming.  
  • You must be prepared to answer to emails and manage the resulting appointments.
  • Low-ball offers are the norm. Buyers will show up to pick up an item at your door, and then back out of the agreed-upon selling price.
  • Lack of accountability from the site for the transactions that result from using it.

Bottom Line

Craiglist is a free classified ads website, and like all “free” things, it comes with caveats. Most are so serious that selling or buying through Craiglist is not worth it. Craiglist is especially not recommended for buying or selling high-value items .

B. OfferUp

The mobile app made waves in 2015 because of its huge growth. Fast forward 2017, and while its numbers are still strong, OfferUp users in San Diego have been complaining of lack of results.

These are OfferUp’s pros and cons:

  • Listing an item on OfferUp is very easy if you know how to use your smartphone’s camera, and handle apps reasonably well (that’s right, Millennial friends, not everyone does 😉 Plus you need to have a smartphone.
  • You cannot pull out pictures from your computer, which is bothersome if that’s where you store them
  • “Two years ago, potential buyers started responding to my listings within minutes when I posted an item,” said Sharon R., a San Diego user. “But ever since OfferUp introduced it’s ‘bump’ feature, weeks go by, and I get no inquiries -none, nada.”
  • That’s right. While downloading the app is free, OfferUp now charges $4.00 to San Diego user’s to “bump” the item up to the top of the feed. And not being “up there” really hurts your chances.
  • OfferUp allows users to rate sellers and buyers, which enhances confidence. However, safety concerns still abound.
  • The prices of second-hand goods listed on OfferUp are consistently higher than those found at pawn shops.
  • Lowball offers are commonplace, as are people who set up appointments and don’t show.
  • Time-consuming. While creating a listing is fast, you must then answer to text messages at all times and handle appointments.
  • As with Craiglist, the site is not accountable for anything that may go wrong during the transaction.

Bottom Line:

OfferUp may be easier to use for mobile-friendly users. But even with its “safety features,” you still need to set up a meeting with the other person and take every precaution on the book.


This old-school way of buying and selling stuff has stood the test of times. Pawn shops are heavily regulated businesses, which means they are accountable for their transactions -by law.

These are the advantages and disadvantages buying and selling stuff for money at a pawn shop:

  • You get options. You can sell your items, but you could also pawn them for a loan, which is great if you need the money but don’t want to get rid of your stuff.
  • If you choose to sell, can just leave the item and forget about it. You´ll walk away with money in your pocket. No need to meet sketchy characters, deal with dubious clients or compromise your safety.
  • There´s no need to set up appointments with buyers or sellers at your home. The pawn shop offers a safe haven for transactions.
  • The need to physically take the items to the store may seem time-consuming at first, but at the end of the day, it’s faster than answering to emails and text messages or handling appointments.
  • The pawn shop will make a serious offer for your stuff, which you can then accept or try to negotiate.
  • Pawn shops go through a million hoops that ensure that they don’t trade with stolen items. This means you as a buyer will not get in trouble by buying valuable items at a pawn shop.
  • If you are a seller, your item will get a fair evaluation and offer for your item, be it a power tool, musical instrument, gold or jewelry.
  • Loyalty programs and rewards. At CashCo you get points for selling, pawning and buying items, which you can then turn into prizes.

Bottom Line:

Even in this age of tech, brick-and-mortar pawn shops are the go-to option if you want to make money by buying and selling. your stuff. They offer a professional setting and you´ll deal with trained employees, not random people. Reputable pawn shops such as CashCo Pawn Shops in San Diego, are your best bet for buying and selling jewelry, gold, tools and electronics. If you need the money but don´t want to get rid of your items, you can also choose to pawn them.

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Looking to get a quote on any item to pawn or sell?

Let´s get started!

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CashCo Pawn Shop and any third parties or individuals appearing in this article are not specifically recommending any particular financial product or service. The information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as financial, legal or tax planning advice. Unless specifically identified as such, the individuals interviewed or otherwise listed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of CashCo Pawn and the views expressed are their own. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation.Promotions are subject to change without notice, conditions apply, check with the store for participation rules.