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Craigslist

I got my introduction into classified ads in 1993.  At 14 years old, I started thinking about what sort of vehicle I might want when I got my driver's license.  At the time, a popular running medium for classified ads was the PennyPower.  It was thrown in most people's driveways every Tuesday and was available at several restaurants throughout town.  There was seemingly no organization about it at all.  Ads were randomly listed everywhere, mostly in 1" x 2" spaces.  It was a real thrill to actually find something that you were looking for.  It wasn't too far off from zig-zagging through the aisles of a flea market.

Since being turned on to Craigslist years ago, I doubt a month has passed where I have not bought, sold, picked up for free, or given away something using it.  It's an amazing resource that's free to use, easy to use, and free of annoyances like ads and unnecessary html junk.  I'm definitely a Craigslister.

Just this last weekend, I picked up a Samsung widescreen 1080i HD TV with the original remote for free.  The ad stated that it just quit working one day.  And, they were right.  When pressing the power button, nothing happened.  Also, it wouldn't respond to the remote.  I laid it screen-down and took off the back.  First stop: power supply.  It all seemed to be in good shape, that is, except for the blown fuse.  A quick trip up to Radio Shack and $3 later, I was playing around with all the settings seeing what all it could do.  Ah yeah.

I've received several things for free from Craigslist users over the years.  But, it's not just the free items that have been my greatest finds.  I'm also thrilled to find a great bargain at a price, as well.  Since buying our house in February of 2007, I've purchased lots of building materials on Craigslist.  I paid $80 for 500 square feet of hardwood flooring, $20 for 5 brand new doors that I was about to pay $19 each + tax for anyway, and I've purchased several power tools for super cheap.  Take today for example.  Later today, I'll be picking up 15 sheets of 3/4" plywood for $150.  I'm laying a subfloor down on my second story in the next couple of months and would need almost exactly this much plywood.  Only, if I needed to buy this at Lowe's or Home Depot, I'd be paying $36.47+tax per sheet as seen in the photo below.  That saves me about $438.  I'm also picking up a couple much-needed truck tires for $30, as well.  I've got some belts showing.  Eek!

I don't know who Craig is.  But, I'm thankful that he gave me the ability to sell something locally without having to split the proceeds with anyone (including greedy Uncle Sam).  I'm grateful that he gave me the ability to scour a 60-mile radius from my home to look for used items to buy in lieu of being forced to buy new every time I need something.  I like that I have been able to add value to my home at times with minimal investment.  And, I like that I have the ability to get rid of something that I no longer want without having to throw it away or haul it to a donation center.  Most importantly, I'm thankful that God sets up these little encounters using Craigslist where I can provide for my family in big ways on a budget.

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