This past summer we decided we needed a treadmill. My husband is a very tall guy and I am fairly short, so we had to consider both extremes in our purchase. We didn't want to spend $1000 on a nice treadmill, but we wanted quality too.
We started by doing our research and figuring out what brand and models we were interested in. Then, we decided how much money we wanted to spend. For us, we decided $300 was what we wanted to spend.
We searched craigslist for a couple weeks, and found several we liked. Some we called on, but others had already purchased. Others we weren't able to negotiate the price down enough, but then we found one that was a good brand, and had very good reviews. It had all the bells and whistles we wanted, and the price was right. I find that often if the pictures are poor people don't buy them as fast. So, if something has been online for a while and the price seems low you could explain that by bad pictures. Also, that's a good note for you to make sure you take good pictures (not with your phone) when you sell things online.
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We've had it for six months now and have had no problems.
Finding the right deal sometimes takes time. It's best not to be impulsive and not to be in a hurry. Do your research to make sure what you're buying is quality. If you are impatient you can still get a good deal, but you will probably have to sacrifice quality or price. But, you never know! You may get lucky and find the right steal at just the time you want it.
Warning: Always make sure you're safe when you go to pick things up from people. Take someone with you. When I don't take someone with me I always call my husband (or text or IM) and give him the address where I am going. I call him right before I go to the door, and I call him as soon as I'm back in the car. There are too many scary things that happen to people, and I don't want to be one of them!