All About Listia

If you have never heard the website name before, you are probably wondering what the heck Listia is, and why you should care about it.  In short, Listia is a site where you can give and get free stuff.  You list an item to give away.  People bid a special "credits" currency and try to win your item.  The more valuable the item you are giving away, the more people will bid.  Then you use the credits that people gave you to win free items that you want.  If that sounds like something you might be interested in, you can sign up for free.

Little to no real money is ever exchanged throughout the entire website.  The only instances in which you may need to shell out some real cash is if you have to pay for shipping on something that you win.  However, most sellers on Listia offer free shipping: it's sort of like a common courtesy you will find site-wide.

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What can I give away?

You can list and receive credits for just about anything you have lying around.  This is especially true if you are going to offer free shipping.  Seriously, if you are willing to send out items for free, then you will find that people will bid on anything and everything that you have to offer, even if it's a pencil sitting on your desk.  If you want the buyer to pay for shipping on whatever you are giving away, then you will find that people will bid a bit lower.  However, items will still sell so long as it is something folks are interested in.

Of course, like in all markets, some things are just better to sell than others.  Considering that you probably want to offer free shipping in order to get the most credits per item, you probably want to keep your listings to smaller items.  This makes it a great place to get rid of unwanted CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray movies, and video games, as they are somewhat valuable, but also incredibly light and simple to send in the mail.

Also keep in mind that you don't have to actually give away a physical item, it can be digital as well.  If you have ever written an eBook, you can sell it on Listia, and assuming it's good, it's likely to sell.  In addition, this makes the site a great place to test the waters for that eBook on dog training you were always considering writing.  Other digital items sell extremely well too, like gift cards and coupon codes.

What can I get for free?

The answer here is the same as above- pretty much whatever you want.  It's possible to obtain everything from free video games and electronics, to clothing and sporting goods.  When you first start out and don't have a lot of credits, you may not see many items that you're interested in.  However, if you stick with it and keep earning more and more credits, you will start to see a lot more high-end stuff available to you, like game consoles, computers, and more valuable gift cards ($50+).

Are there other ways to earn credits?

You don't have to give things away in order to get credits.  There are a bunch of additional ways to obtain some spending currency without actually sending out your stuff.  You can watch videos, complete special offers, shop on participating websites, refer new users to the site, or even buy credits (which is not really worth it considering how easy it is to obtain credits without paying.)  The site also offers a bunch of additional bonuses for doing things like connecting your Facebook and Twitter account, and verifying your phone number.

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How do I avoid getting scammed?

As with any internet commerce site, there are scams that you need to watch out for on Listia.  The good news is that if you do get scammed buying an item, all of your credits are guaranteed.  The bad news is that if you are scammed, it will take Listia five days to refund your credits.  This may mean you miss out on auctions that you were interested in bidding on.  Therefore, it's best to know what you are doing and what you should look out for before you get to deep into the marketplace.

The best way to determine if a seller is legitimate is by checking their feedback score.  The feedback score is displayed on a users profile, or right next to their name.  It is always a percentage.  The highest possible feedback score they can have is 100%.  You can also see how many auctions that that score is based off.  The number of auctions it is based off of will be in parenthesis.  So if a user has nine positive feedback ratings and one negative feedback rating, after a total of ten auctions, it would be displayed as such: USERNAME (10) 90%.  Generally, if a seller has a feedback score of 90% or above, they can be trusted.  Of course, you should still go read their feedback ratings, especially the negative ones, and see what complaints people have.

The other primary thing that you are going to want to watch out for is people trying to scam you out of your actual money.  This means that they will list an item, and want you to pay for shipping.  If they have less than ten feedback, beware of this.  Furthermore, if the amount that they are asking you to pay seems outrageous considering the weight or size of the item, then it is almost always a scam.  There are people that want you to send them $10 to ship a 5 oz DVD- these are most certainly scammers, for that same DVD costs less than $2 to send out through the postal service.  

Also beware of people that have perfect feedback, but only from one auction.  A common tactic is to do one small auction, like a $1 gift card code, legitimately, so they have perfect positive feedback.  Then the scammers will list a big ticket item, like a game console.  Be wary, and if you think someone is trying one of these tricks, simply don't bid.  There are thousands of items that you can get for free on Listia, and there's no point in wasting your time with the few rotten apples that are trying to spoil the bunch!