Bargain Hunting on Craigslist

What do you still buy on Craigslist?  I find it useful for finding apartments and jobs (or gigs), but since Craigslist became a household name, shopping for cheap stuff has been replaced with avoiding the people trying to rip you off.

Now you find things posted above list price rather than below.  I wonder if there are people who actually overpay for these things or if the sellers are just hoping to find someone to haggle with.  Occasionally, a good deal will crop up, but is sifting through the overpriced ones to find it still worth the virtual trip?

Personally, I use keyword RSS feeds.  I check my Google Reader almost daily (or several times depending on the day), so it makes sense for me to check there instead of going to Craigslist to browse the deals. To set up a feed for the camera flash I’ve had my eye on, a Canon 430EX, I did my search on Craigslist and clicked the RSS icon in the lower right of the page to get that feed and add it to my reader.

Most days there are no entries, but whenever someone posts a 430EX for sale, I see it in Google Reader. Most of these deals don’t even beat Amazon’s price for a brand new 430EX, but yesterday I noticed one listed for a good 15% below the best price I’d seen anywhere else.

I immediately emailed the poster, and shortly received the reply: already sold.  Even with my custom keyword RSS feed and frequent visits to my reader, I still wasn’t fast enough to take advantage of none-too-common bargain.  Maybe I should set up SMS alerts to my phone.  Has anyone had success with a similar setup?  What deals have you found on CL?

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