Update: After writing this post I continued using listia for quite a while. My original experiences as a buyer weren’t bad, which led me to the post listia reconsidered. To get more credit to buy stuff I had to sell things, however, and soon found out that for seller’s listia is a losing proposition. I still use listia, but mainly to get rid of Coke Rewards points.
Someone on a craigslist forum I frequent mentioned listia.comas a good place to get free craft material (or really, anything). I decided to give it a chance, but quickly realized that, unlike with freecycle, you can’t really get anything for free at listia. I’m not really surprised, but a bit disappointed.
Listia works as e-bay, except that you bid with “credits”, and you can earn credits by giving away stuff. They do give you a small amount of credits when you sign up and list something (I got 165 credits), but that’s basically a one-time deal. Listia gives you the choice of having the winners of your bids pick up the stuff, you mail it for a price or you provide free shipping. The problem is that listia has a limited membership, specially in smaller cities, so it’s not that likely that you’ll find bidders that want to pick up your stuff (compare that with freecycle, which has much greater and only local memberships). If you charge for shipping, then chances are people will bid less on what you are offering (and remember, you are only getting credits) – and you have to go through the hassle of mailing it. If you provide free shipping, you have to pay for it.
If you don’t have enough credits, listia does allow you to buy them at the outrageous price of 10c each. It’s outrageous because listia things do cost a lot of credits. For example, a set of 10 paper cut-outs, with free shipping, is listed at 100 credits – or $10!!!!!. With the credits I got for free, I won an auction for a few charms (for bracelets). It “cost” me 150 credits, or the equivalent of $15. I probably could buy the charms for a couple of dollars.
As for me, I listed 6 items, including books and clothing. They are “pick up in San Leandro” only, and I think it’s unlikely anyone will bid on them. After the auction is over (they are open for 7 days), I’ll put them up on Freecycle or take them to the thrift store.
If despite what I said, you do want to join Listia – please do it through this link. This will allow me to get some free credits, and perhaps get something else for free 🙂
I make homemade soap and lotion and thought Listia might be a good place to do some marketing by offering free product asking for a small handling and mailing charge. For every item I offered, I lost two or three dollars, but figured it would be good for publicity. OMG. What a nightmare! I wouldn’t want these people for customers. I have been cheated several times — people filing disputes with Paypal, bitching about everything, generally doing everything they could to wreck my business. I have been in business for 12 years and have never run into such crazies ever. Quitting that crazy place.
Thanks for your review. It seems to me like Listia is a winning proposition only for buyers and not really for sellers, as you said. I’m enjoying a few freebies before I max out my initial points and call it quits.
I posted my own review, if you’re interested: http://www.liverichandfree.com/2012/01/listia-free-auction-fun.html