The Benefits of Buying and Selling Locally
Shop at a flea market in Oaxaca, Mexico. Trade with a vendor in
London, England. Or sport your wares to collectors in Geneva,
Switzerland. You can virtually do just that when you shop or
sell goods at an online auction site. You know those global
auction Web sites, the ones that allow you to bid on thousands
of items against millions of other competitors. Sure, they allow
you to expand your world and uncover cool knickknacks from
around the world. But these very same sites also open the door
to you getting ripped off by someone four thousand miles away.
More than 8 billion dollars were spent on auction sites in the
last three months of last year, but how many dollars were lost
along the way?
Aside from these global auction sites, there are the LOCAL
classified sites that are transforming the Web into the spot for
neighborhood shopping. These local classified sites offer
convenience, selection, and low prices that would expect to find
online, along with the safety and privacy of local shopping.
Best of all, you can feel good about buying from--and also
selling to--your neighbors.
Wheel and deal on collectibles, vintage clothing, sporting
goods, even real estate-all with people you know and trust in
the comfort and privacy of your living room or study. The
benefits of these local classified sites don't stop with these
intangibles. They have concrete advantages, such as:
Spontaneous delivery. Package deliver in your neighborhood may
not be instantaneous, but you definitely won't have to wait two
to six weeks if you buy something locally.
What shipping? You can agree to drop off or pick up the sale
item at one of your homes, or meet at a convenient
middle-of-the-road spot. You also won't need to worry about
finding those shipping peanuts under your couch, your sheets,
and in your fridge two months later.
No frazzle. Tracking codes are supposed to help you locate your
packages in transit, but sometimes they can be more of a
headache-especially when they don't help find your lost package.
A friendly face. Local classified sites let you meet the person
whom you're doing business with. Of course, you control if,
when, and where this happens.
The test drive. Whether you're dealing with a car, a mattress,
or a tennis racket, you can actually touch and try out your item
before you put down cold hard cash. For sellers with product as
promised, that makes closing the deal that much easier.
Simple switcheroos. Local shopping opens up the possibility of
refunds and exchanges if you and the person you're doing
More ample assortment than auctions. Imagine buying a
refrigerator or a couch at an auction site. Then imagine
receiving that package at your door! Not very realistic, right?
These sorts of purchases and sales, though, become a definite
possibility with local online classifieds.
No tax tests. You open a can of worms buying and selling across
national and international borders when it comes to taxes. Who
owes what? And whom? Local commerce simplifies the whole issue,
if taxes are applicable at all.
A step ahead of scams. Knowing whom you do business with,
face-to-face transactions, simpler lines of communication-these
qualities of local classified sites all reduce your risk of
getting with shysters and scam artists.
A stronger community. Shopping around your hometown not only
gives you a warm, cuddly sense of community. It also provides
the practical economic support that keeps communities and
businesses vibrant and healthy.
So there you have it. There are no losers when it comes to
online classified sites that allow you to do your shopping
locally. Buyers and sellers enjoy an old-fashioned sense of
community, while enjoying the high-tech benefits of convenience,
safety, and comfort that come with Web shopping. Let those
auction risk takers have their Oaxaca, London, and Geneva.
You've got your Houston, Texas