Listia is a bartering site that uses a point system for bartering items. Bartering is a great way to get what you need or want for your home or family for free while getting rid of some of the unwanted things you have laying around the house.
I have been a Lista user for awhile and have learned some tips that can help you get more free stuff than the average user. There are several ways to make points quickly and easily without trying to game the system. Here’s how.
The site starts you off with a certain number of points, and then you can get additional points through auctioning items, watching videos and inviting friends. You “sell” your unwanted items, like your kids’ old clothing or toys, through an action system much like eBay. The difference is the “buyer” awards you points instead of money. You can use these points to win auctions for things you want.
There are some basics that will get you the most points for your auction items:
- Always pay for the shipping. Members are willing to pay a lot more points for items with free shipping. You’re probably thinking, “How is this getting stuff for free if I pay shipping?” We’ll get to that in a second.
- Always post clear photos of the item you are auctioning.
- Always give a good description of the item.
- Always answer questions about the item quickly.
- Post short auctions. Three-day auctions are great for accumulating quick points.
As I mentioned, always offer free shipping to get the most points. If you’re not smart, though, you could end up shelling out a lot of cash for shipping. There are ways to make shipping inexpensive.
First, only post auctions for small items. The best items to auction are ones that will fit in an envelope so your shipping cost is a stamp. Here are some things that fit in an envelope and sell well on Listia:
- Collectible stamps
- Trading cards
- Beads, rhinestones, studs or other small crafting items
- Costume jewelry
- Handheld video game disks
- Memory cards
- Makeup sample cards
- Coupons for free items (Listia doesn’t allow coupons for discounts, so stick with coupons for free items.)
Use envelopes made with thicker paper and wrap the item once with wrapping foam before sealing it in the envelope for extra protection.
Paperbacks and books are another good auction item because you can ship them using the United States Postal Service’s media package rate. You can ship anything for $5.80 in the small flat rate box.
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How to Make Super Quick Points
The very best way to make a lot of points quickly is to go through old costume jewelry and sell it, but not in the way you are thinking.
- Using small pliers, remove any charms or bobbles and sell each one in a separate auction.
- Sell the beads, a dozen at a time, in auctions.
- Sell all of the chains in separate auctions.
- Remove the hooks or backs to earrings that have lost their mates and auction them as “charms” in the Jewelry Crafting section of the site.
You can also buy things and parcel them out into new auctions. For example, I won a fantastic little top that I loved. When I got it, though, I realized that it had little white sequins, beads and silver embellishments all over it. I don’t like fussy stuff, so I grabbed a pair of scissors and went to work. In about 10 minutes, I had cut the thin threads connecting the little buggers to the shirt. The shirt looked so much better! Plus, I had two new auction items. I separated the silver embellishments into an auction and the sequins and beads into another auction.
Never throw anything out without determining whether it can be put in an auction. I once snipped red glitter hearts off an old Valentine’s Day card and sold them as scrapbooking supplies. Another time, I removed the advertising from those free magnets you get at events and sold them in a lot. I’ve also removed embellishments from broken headbands and sold them as craft items.
How to Find the Best Free Stuff
Look for items by choosing the category you want, the free shipping box on the left side of the screen, and then choose the “Ending Soonest” filter from the box at the top right of the screen. By only dealing with auctions that are ending soon, you can grab items quickly. Wait until the last two minutes to bid to “snipe” an item without creating a bidding war that can drive up the price.
Using these tips, you can get a lot of free stuff for your family and have fun in the process. There’s nothing like shopping with points that didn’t cost you a thing. Plus, you get to recycle things that may have otherwise been thrown away.
How do you like to barter for new stuff?