Austin County Buy And Sell 101: How to Buy Successfully

Austin County Buy And Sell is a FREE tool that you should use to your advantage!  Buying stuff on Austin County Buy And Sell is a good way to get some great deals and save a LOT of money on items that are perfectly good.  Remember, one mans “trash” is another man’s treasure!  But, many people have no clue how to successfully buy or sell items on online.   So, we are going to give you some tips on how to BUY successfully on Austin County Buy And Sell, You can read our other post on how to SELL successfully on Austin County Buy And Sell HERE.  So, here are some tips to help you successfully SELL on our site!

1. Search Often:

In your specific area, there are literally thousands of items that could potentially be listed on Austin County Buy And Sell at any time. So if you’re searching for say, a freezer, you might want to search for “Freezer” every day or every other day to make sure you don’t miss a great deal.

Keep a list of things you’re looking to purchase right now and do a quick search for these items nearly every day. It only take 5-10 minutes and you’ll know that you’re not missing out on anything!

2. Ask Lots of Questions:

You are in control here so don’t let the seller “push you around”. If they don’t have a picture, ask for them to email you one or two. And if they only post a picture of the product from a retail website, ask them for an ACTUAL picture of the item in their home. You’d be surprised how junkie the item might be in real life!

If they don’t have the dimensions posted, ask for them. If they don’t have their location posted, ask. If they don’t have the price listed, ask. Make sure you know what IS and IS NOT included. Ask if they have the manuals, warranties, spare parts, etc. You get the idea!

You can even try asking them if they would be willing to deliver — or at least meet you half way. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to do this — especially with smaller items.

4. Email Whenever Possible:

Sometimes the sellers only provide a phone number, but if there is an email address, preferably use that every time because then it’s “trackable”. You can look back through your email conversations if you forgot the seller’s name, address, or phone number. You can also refer back to the questions you’ve asked them and the answers they gave you.

Also, any time you send the sellers an email, include the URL link to the exact product ad at the bottom of your email. That way, you can quickly find the product if you want to look at it again, show someone, or reference it for any other reason.

We would also suggest that you create a “ACBS” category or label in your email so you can keep all those emails together. If you’re doing lots of buying {or selling}, you’ll get lots emails and your life will be SO much easier if you keep them organized in one location. If you use Gmail, you can go HERE to see how to set that up.  (Gmail is FREE, so by all means utilize them!)

5. Know What You Want and How Much You’ll Spend:

Like we said earlier, keep a specific list of everything you’re looking for and what you’re willing to spend. For example, if you’ve been looking for a grill for several months and because you knew exactly what you wanted, you could search specifically for “propane grill”.

You don’t want to waste your time searching for just any grill, search specifically for what you want.

6. Be Ready to Move:

Be sure that you know what you want and when you finally find exactly what you’re looking for… you better be ready to move!

Good items go quickly so if you’re interested, you better be ready to stop what you’re doing, drive over there, and pick it up right away.

One online buyer tells her story:

“Just last week, I found THE grill — it was everything we wanted, only 10 miles away, and only $65. It posted at 8:45 pm — I saw it at 9:00 pm, and by 9:45 pm it was back at our house! Bob and I literally stopped everything we were doing, jumped in the truck, and headed over. And now we have a $500 grill for only $65!”

Obviously, not every situation is like this, but most sellers will not “hold” an item for you… so don’t contact them if you can’t go look at the item for several days.

7. Learn How and When to Negotiate:

As you become a frequent online buyer AND seller, you’ll become confident in your abilities to negotiate.

For example, in the above example, when the buyer went to pick up her grill, she realized it was an AMAZING deal so she did not try to negotiate a lower price…that would have been ridiculous!

The above seller gives another example:

“When we went to pick up our grill, I realized it was an AMAZING deal so I did not try to negotiate a lower price…that would have been ridiculous!

However, I looked at a baby monitor priced at $45, and even though it was the exact monitor I wanted and it was in VERY good condition, I figured I could get it for $35. So I made my offer, and it was accepted.

It’s important to know how much that item would be worth brand new, and then be confident when you negotiate. I often do a quick “Amazon” or “Ebay” search for the item before I go look at it, just to make sure I know what I’m talking about.

I knew the grill was probably close to $500 brand new, so I didn’t feel comfortable negotiating any lower than $65 since it was in excellent condition. However, I knew the monitor was only about $120, so I felt $45 was still a little high”

8. Have a Plan of Action:

Make sure you have the address and adequate directions of how to get there. Make sure you know the name of the person you will be meeting and have exchanged phone numbers in case the plan changes.

Also, make sure you know what you’ll do if you try to negotiate {see #7} and they don’t accept your new offer. Will you walk away, come back with a counter offer, or simply purchase it for their asking price? This is why it’s important to know how much you’re willing to spend.

**REMEMBER** you should NEVER, EVER feel pressured to buy something just because you drove to see it. You’ve already wasted your time, don’t waste your money too if it’s not exactly what you want.

9. Have Cash

This can be the hardest part because many people normally don’t carry a lot of cash. We use credit or debit cards for everything!

However, most online sellers only want cash… so if you’re actively looking for a bunch of items, make sure to have a stash of cash at home. Sometimes, if you’re short on cash, you can ask the sellers ahead of time if they would take a check… it never hurts to ask!

Also, if you are going to pay with cash, make sure you do not need change. It can complicate the transaction or sour the experience if you end up having to pay $40 for something that was only $35, because you only had two $20′s and the seller had no change (and you really wanted the item).  Remember, the act of buying AND selling can and should be a positive experience for both!

Try to keep lots of $10′s, $5′s, and $1′s with you when you go to purchase something —  just in case they accept a lower offer. That way, you know you’ll always have the right amount — and won’t look ridiculous by offering a lower price and then asking for the seller to make change!

10. Test Your Purchases:

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to every purchase, but for many purchases, it is important to adequately “test” it out before you hand over your money.  In the above example of the grill, this experienced online shopper explains how she handled it:

“When we purchased our grill, we specifically asked him to have the propane tank hooked up so we could test all the burners.  When I buy furniture, I make sure it is fully assembled when I go to look at it so I can test every drawer, every cabinet door, etc. When I purchased my baby monitor, I fully tested all the features before agreeing to the sale.”

Just like you would never buy a car without test driving it first, you should never buy something on Austin County Buy And Sell without testing it out as well.

If you purchase jewelry, may we suggest meeting at a reputable jeweler so you can have them verify the item.  If you’re purchasing technology — make sure you know what to look for or bring someone who does.

If you purchase a baby car seat, you should have it inspected at your local fire station to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident. And if you purchase any appliance, make sure it’s plugged in and hooked up when you arrive so you can test all the functions.

11. Don’t “No Show”:

Seriously, there is NOTHING more frustrating than a buyer who says they will show up at a certain time and then doesn’t. If you say you will be there… then be there; and if something comes up, then at least call the seller and explain that you can’t make it or ask if you can come 15/20 minutes late.  Remember the “Golden Rule”!

12. Don’t Get Caught in a Scam:

Internet scams are not the majority of transactions online BUT, sadly, they are definitely out there. These scams mainly target elderly shoppers or inexperienced online shoppers who might not know what they are doing; so, if you are concerned, here are a few things to watch out for.

  • Anyone who asks you to send them money ahead of time — NEVER DO THIS!
  • Any products that needs to be “shipped” — that is fine for Ebay, not for ACBS.
  • Anything that sounds suspicious and/or seems “too good to be true”
  • Posts that only show retail images — and won’t email you another image if you ask
  • Sellers who won’t answer all your questions or seem to be dodging your questions
  • Sellers that ask you to cash a check for them {yes, these weirdos are really out there!}
  • Click the link for more information to educate yourself about online scams at

13. Be Safe and Be Smart:

Since the clientele of Austin County Buy and Sell is for such a small area, you should not feel nervous or uncomfortable.  But, just like life, bad people are out there.  You also have to remember, that although we are catering to a small area your ad is still listed on the World Wide Web.  Most people will never get  caught in a scam or receive a faulty product — but this is life so, it does happen.

Safety is one of the PRIMARY concerns when buying or selling online, especially for ladies — so if you are worried about this, here are a few tips.

  • Don’t meet anyone in a secluded place
  • There’s usually not a problem going to someone’s house, but ladies, don’t go alone if you’re meeting with a male
  • Tell someone where you are going {address} and when you expect to return
  • Don’t go into a neighborhood you don’t trust or get a bad feeling in (that little voice is normally trying to look out for you)
  • Ask the sellers to have the items by the front door, in the garage, or somewhere that you can quickly and easily access them.
  • Talk to the seller via phone. You should almost ALWAYS get a phone number from the seller and actually talk to them via phone before purchasing the item. People feel like they “know each other” a bit more after hearing their voice.  If you get a bad feeling after talking to someone on the phone, just politely inform them that you’ve changed your mind and thank them for their time.  Once again, that little voice is usually looking out for you.

Online selling is not a scary thing, and can actually become a fun and lucrative endeavor, as long as you are safe and smart about your online shopping, you should have no issues!  Best of luck to you in your adventures for a GREAT DEAL on Austin County Buy And!!!!!