Today’s podcast features LaJuan Stoxstill-Diggs, aka Mr. Craigslist Hustle. He knows precisely how to make money on Craigslist. LaJuan was laid off a few years ago and instead of sitting around waiting for another job to fall into his lap, he started hustling. Not that kind of hustling. LaJuan figured out how to use Craigslist to find used washers cheap and turn around and sell them for a handsome profit.
In the interview LaJuan is very candid about his techniques and how you can get started. LaJuan and I discuss his story, how to find good washer and dryer sets, how to sell them for profit, and all the little details that go into this side hustle.
LaJuan didn’t stop with his own gigs. He’s shared his knowledge with the world in the form of his popular ebook, The Craigslist Hustle. Find out all about his book and his success with selling that on Amazon.com in the podcast. Or just hit up LaJuan’s site at www.mrcraigslisthustle.com.
Listen to the Podcast
[powerpress]Highlights from the interview:
0:45 – From laid off to mover to washer/dryer reseller
2:30 – The early days of finding and selling washers every day
3:45 – Why Craigslist is the only way to go
4:45 – What makes a good buy (i.e. what to look for in a washer/dryer set)
6:30 – Why this business is a win/win
7:15 – Making the quick offers on the washer/dryer sets
8:30 – Negotiation tips and planning your trips
9:30 – Watching the Craigslist feed, auto-refreshing, and keywords/categories to use
11:45 – LaJuan’s SUV fits three sets
13:45 – Selling separates
14:45 – Storing the washer/dryer sets and the timeframe of buy/sell
15:30 – The selling process, including the guarantee
18:45 – Volume and profit ($500) every week
20:45 – Sharing The Craigslist Hustle with the world
22:00 – Marketing the ebook through Amazon.com
23:15 – Weekly ebook sales and profits
27:00 – How this has changed LaJuan’s financial life
29:30 – Balancing time with family and real estate work
30:30 – Mistakes and successes made along the way
32:30 – What’s next
Mentioned in the Interview:
Watch the Google Hangout with Mr. Craigslist Hustle
Thank you so much for listening!
View the full transcript. Click [spoiler]
Philip Taylor: We’re live. Welcome to the Part-time Money podcast. My name is Philip Taylor with PTmoney.com. I have with me today, Mr. LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs. He’s the author of The Craigslist Hustle and the founder of www.mrcraigslisthustle.com. I’m really looking forward to talking to him today because he’s found a unique, special way here to make some money off of Craigslist with his spare time. He’s a fulltime realtor and he does this on the side. It helps to bring in some extra income for his family. LaJaun, welcome to the show.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Thank you for having me.
Philip Taylor: What made you want to start making some part-time money and how did you get going with this particular method?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Well, the main thing is, in 2006 I was laid off from my employer at the time so I wasn’t looking to make any part-time money, I was looking to survive so I picked up a few extra jobs with my brother who is a mover. I’d just provide him with moving help and he would give me free items. In this one particular case, he offered me a washer and dryer and I really didn’t have a need for them but he told me, “Hey, if you sell it you can keep the money.” So, I said okay. And I had heard about Craigslist but never used it at the time and I had already been burned on eBay some months back so I said I was never going to sell anything on the Internet again. But, in this case I put the dryer on Craigslist and it sold within an hour for $75. From that point I said, “Hey, I’ve got something here.” Craigslist from that point on has just been a life-saver. It’s been a great source of extra part-time income for times when I was unemployed to even now that I’m a realtor. Because when I became a realtor I said, “Oh, I don’t need Craigslist anymore! I’m a realtor, I’ve arrived!” Of course you know how the housing market took a slip a few years back? Well, Craigslist was there. Just like it was for me back in 2006.
Philip Taylor: Awesome, that’s an awesome story. So this has been a success in not only finding something that works but something that’s beneficial for you and your family.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Yes.
Philip Taylor: Let’s back up a bit and maybe you could share with us how during that phase that you were going through, you went and got your realtor’s license I’m assuming?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Yes.
Philip Taylor: In that initial phase before you got your realtor’s license and while you were unemployed, how many time a week were you doing this sort of thing after you sold that first dryer for $75?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I was doing it every day.
Philip Taylor: Okay.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: About four to six hours is all that it took. And for me, I found my niche was in washers and dryers because I realized everybody needed a washer and dryer so I was always able to get my hands on a set every day and it brought in a great income.
Philip Taylor: So getting the set, did that involve your brother— or is that your brother-in-law?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: My brother. The first one did. But from that point on what I decided to do was ask him if he had extra sets but he never did, so I decided to look on Craigslist to see if anybody was giving away sets or selling sets. And I found out that people were needing to sell their old set because they were upgrading to the new front-loader sets or somebody was moving in a hurry and needed to sell the set and I got it for a good price. And I learned how to work it from that point on.
Philip Taylor: Okay, so after that initial one where you got 100 percent profit off the deal, you had to learn quickly how to leverage to become a really good buyer and then a really good seller on Craigslist. Was Craigslist the only avenue you used?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: It was the only avenue that I used. As far as trying to advertise in the newspaper… it took too many days for it to actually hit the newspaper and things of that nature, so Craigslist was the only way. I remember one time when my Craigslist account got shut down because I was selling so many items and I wasn’t able to post any more. I was sitting on all these washers and dryers and different items without being able to post them. That’s something I talk about in my book as well is how to avoid having your account shut down, because I didn’t have anywhere else to sell it from that point on. So yes, Craigslist was the only source.
Philip Taylor: Wow. Okay, so you mentioned early on about looking for the washer and dryer on Craigslist. In your opinion, when you were looking for those washers and dryers early on, or when you look for them today, what makes for a good buy?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Usually it’s going to be the sets that have a white backing where you turn it on and off. You’ll see the ones that have the brown backing, then you’ll see the ones that have the white backing. Those are usually the ones I’m going to be looking for— with the white backing. Because it’s a newer model. And I’m also going to want to know the story behind the set such as why they’re selling it, because there are a lot of people doing the same things that I’m doing so I want to know why they’re selling it. A lot of people are moving, upgrading and this and that so the story is also going to have to check out as well. In my book I have a diagram that shows you how to go in and look at the serial number and actually check the manufacturer date because that makes a big difference as well. Name brand makes a difference to. Whether it’s Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, GE, the main thing is a white backing and a good story for why you’re selling it. I don’t care if it has scratches and things of that nature because over the years I’ve sold so many sets and bought so many sets I’ve learned how to go in and clean them up and relist them back on Craigslist.
Philip Taylor: Wow. This is awesome. It sounds to me that you can kind of sniff out or tell a buyer who’s— I don’t want this to sound negative, but someone who’s uneducated about what they’re selling to a degree. Or they’re not savvy about what they’re selling or there’s a reason they’re having to sell it quickly. Maybe they just don’t want to spend the time to figure out what the true price is. Because theoretically, you’re buying this thing for $100 and you’re going to turn around and sell it for $350 to make this worthwhile.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Correct. And at the same time, by me selling it $350, if you had gone to an appliance store that same set will cost $600. This way I’m giving the seller what they’re requesting and I’m also helping the buyer save money as well. So it’s a win-win situation for everybody. I never look into why they’re selling it for that price. If it’s a great price I say, “Okay,” and I go in for it. But I do want to know why you’re selling it. A lot of times people are ignorant about it or they just don’t want to deal with it because their new set is coming. Walmart or Lowe’s is about to deliver it in 3 hours and they need to get the old set out of the house.
Philip Taylor: Okay, early on you found these deals online, so would you go look at them before you buy or would you make the offer online on Craigslist? Talk to me about going to the place to pick it up and all that stuff.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: That’s where I made a mistake, because I would want to go and see every set that I called about. That gets old really fast because you waste a lot of gas money and things of that nature. So I learned not only to look at the pictures but to ask key questions when I called about these washers and dryers. I’ve got the key questions in my book, like, “How old is it? Why are you selling it?” You’ve got to understand that not only are other people doing the same thing I am, but others are also looking for a good deal too. At any given time there is somebody looking on Craigslist for a washer and dryer, so you’ve got to be moving really quick once it hits Craigslist. Once I learned these key questions, over time I could pretty much tell if it was a good buy within the first 5 minutes and I could be on my way to get it in the next 15 minutes. You’ve got to be ready to move at any given time when it comes to furniture, washers, dryers and electronics on Craigslist.
Philip Taylor: Okay, so would you try to make an offer by saying, “Here’s my offer. I’ll be by to pick it up,” kind of deal? That way you could group them and maybe have two or three in a row that you’re going to pick up?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Absolutely. And in my book I have a section called, “Negotiating,” where I have negotiating tips and it talks about that. When you’re on the phone and you say, “If I can come and get it within the next hour would you take such-and-such price for it?” I always tell people to do their negotiating over the phone so you know what to expect when you get there. There have been times when I’ve been able to negotiate in person, but most of the time people just want the item out of their house. So you ask them, “If I’m there within an hour will you knock off $50 or $60?” One thing you’ve got to understand though, is that the sets that I go after are already priced at a price where I’m going to make a profit off of them so if they don’t budge on the asking price I’m still okay.
Philip Taylor: Okay. Awesome. Before we start talking about the pickup and all that stuff, let’s back up a little bit. I’m assuming that early on you were searching the current Craigslist feed in terms of searching for washers and dryers in the top 20 or so to find deals there. Obviously you’ve probably got a system now where you have some type of alert system to tell you when something new is posted. Maybe you can talk about how that’s developed over time? How do you find these deals so quickly?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: It’s funny because I did an interview not too long ago where a gentleman was asking the same question about if I had some sort of alert system. He actually informed me that there is an app on Mac, PC and on Android phones that refreshes Craigslist for you. But I started so long ago, before I even had a Smartphone, that I’m pretty much ‘old school’ and stuck in my ways so I just sit at the computer on my phone and every 10 minutes or so I’m just updating. There are apps that you can actually install that refresh every 2 minutes, every 5 minutes, but it takes 12 to 15 minutes for the new postings to show up on Craigslist. So that’s what I’m doing about every 15 minutes when I’m on Craigslist— I just refresh to see what else is on there.
Philip Taylor: Do you do any sort of special search or is it just washers and dryers for your local area there?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I go to the appliance section because sometimes Craigslist updates it differently. A washer and dryer that someone posts may show up under the appliance section before it shows up under the keyword. You can go in and type in the keyword ‘washer’ and it’ll pull up all of the washers or dryers— whatever has that keyword in it. Where it may take 5 minutes to show up under the keyword, it may only take 3 minutes to show up under the appliance section. So I’m going back and forth trying to see what’s new. Washers and dryers are where I initially started out at and they make the most profit for me, but that allowed me to also go into other areas with furniture and cars. Right now I’m on a ‘car kick’ where I’m going to auctions every week, looking at cars, purchasing them, cleaning them up and putting them back on Craigslist. My hustle is not only washers and dryers, but washers and dryers make the most money from what I’ve found.
Philip Taylor: Yeah, yeah. And a washer and dryer can fit into the back of your truck right?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: It does. I have a Chevy Trailblazer and I found out the hard way that I could fit 3 individual sets (units) into the back of that truck. Man, I’m telling you, it paid for itself in the first month. When people see that they say, “Why don’t you buy a truck?” But I don’t need one. In my SUV, I let those seats down and just slide those babies right in there. I’ve even got a YouTube video actually showing how I fit them in there because when I pull up, the first thing people as is, “Where are you going to put them?” Then I say, “If I can fit them, will you give them to me free?” Of course, they always say no, but they absolutely fit back there.
Philip Taylor: (Laughs). Always hustling, I like that.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Always hustling, yes sir!
Philip Taylor: That’s great man. That’s interesting how you’re finding the deals and how that’s led you to some other opportunities as well. I definitely want to talk to you about that. But, sticking with washers and dryers, you go to the house, you’ve got your SUV there— it sounds as though you do some more negotiation if you can there at the last minute. Can you get these things in your truck by yourself?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I can. And that’s what’s so good about the SUV. It doesn’t stand as high off the ground as a regular truck with a truck bed. I’m actually just able to bend at the knees, lift and slide it right on into the bed. I had a buddy of mine who wanted to get in on the action as well so he actually went out and rented a truck. I would send him leads and he went out himself trying to pick up the washers and dryers, but it was an absolute headache because he couldn’t lift them up high enough to get them into the truck. With my SUV, it’s just a simple bend and lift and it slides right in with no problem.
Philip Taylor: Okay. One question I had was, I was down in Houston with my mother-in-law and we were moving her when we realized we were switching her from gas dryer situation to an electric dryer situation so we had to get rid of the gas dryer pretty quickly. We listed it on Craigslist… I don’t know if she sold it yet, but I just wonder if you look for individual washers and/or dryers, or do you only look for sets?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I try to only look for sets but I do purchase individual items too. What I do is actually hold those items— sit on them. Believe it or not, you can actually find the matching washer or dryer within a week or so. I’ve found where you can actually find someone selling the same dryer that goes with the washer you already have in your garage and just sell them as a pair.
Philip Taylor: Ah, that’s slick. So you buy sets. Let’s say you’ve loaded up three during the day and brought them home. You’ve got your time and expense there but then you’ve also got this sort of ‘waiting period’ to sell them. So where do you put all of these washers and dryers when you have them? And how many would you have a one time?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I put them in my garage. Usually what I do is take one day to buy and one day to sell because with washers and dryers I rarely sit on a set longer than two days. They usually sell within the first day, literally. Like I said, I’ve mastered the art of negotiating the price point as well as knowing how much to sell them for. I’ve had as many as six sets in my garage at one time and I’ve moved them all within a day and a half. I’ve got a two-car garage that, of course, my cars don’t ever get to see (laughs) but that’s where I put them.
Philip Taylor: That’s awesome. Can you talk about the selling process? Do you do anything special in terms of the listing? Because theoretically, this set just came off of Craigslist for maybe $100 and now you’re going to list it back on there for $350 which seems absurd. I know you’re adding a lot of value in terms of presenting a better offer, maybe marketing it in a better way, but tell me about the actual selling process and how that works.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: The way the selling process works is, I usually get the story of why the set is being sold. Take for instance, someone is moving and they’re selling the set. That’s the reason they’re selling it. So, I buy it from them. When I go to post it back on Craigslist, the main thing that I put on there is, “individual moving.” When people call me and ask if I owned the set, I say, “No, I didn’t own the set myself. I got it from an individual who is moving.” The main thing that I tell people is that if it doesn’t work the way that you think it should, bring it back to me because I’m doing business out of my house and I don’t want to do bad business. Out of the numerous amounts of sets that I’ve had, I’ve only had two units ever come back to me. The first thing I did was go on Craigslist and find a service manager to fix them and put them right back on Craigslist. So, the story people tell me why they’re selling them to me is the same story that I give to the person I’m selling them to as well.
Philip Taylor: I like that guarantee. I’ve learned to do that with Craigslist as well with certain items I’m selling. It gives people a little bit more comfort because with Craigslist you’re handing your money over to someone and you kind of just feel like… Well, that’s the end of the transaction, but I would just like to say, “Hey, if it doesn’t work out, just bring it back and…”
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Right.
Philip Taylor: That’s a good policy and it sounds like it’s paid off for you. It gives people more comfort and allows them to feel confident about making the purchase even at that price which is— even though it’s higher than you purchased it for, it’s still much lower than if they were to go down to Sears and pay for it.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Sure.
Philip Taylor: Has anyone ever contacted you to say you shouldn’t be doing this? Or this isn’t fair or right what you’re doing? Any conflicts of that nature?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Not at all. Actually, I go online and see other individuals I’ve sold sets to that are doing the same thing that I’m doing. Some of them have been totally dishonest saying things like, “I’ve had this set for five years,” and this and that and I’ve reached out to them to tell them they don’t have to lie about it because the set’s going to sell on its own and you don’t have to make up stories about it. Other than that, no. Even with my YouTube videos, I go through and look at the thumbs-up and thumbs down. I have no thumbs-down on my videos. People email me to thank me for the information I’m sharing. So for the most part everybody is pretty open and acceptable to it.
Philip Taylor: That’s great. How many of those would you do a week back in 2006 when you were laid off?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I would do a minimum of about four a week, trying to get as many of them as I could. I sold anywhere from four to six or seven a week.
Philip Taylor: Okay.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Like I said, with four, that left me pretty comfortable.
Philip Taylor: And what was your average turnaround on the sales?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I would usually buy a set for no more than about $150 and sell it at a minimum of $300. So, easily, I would double my money at a minimum.
Philip Taylor: So you were basically walking away with a minimum of at least $600 a week. Minus your gas, you’re making maybe $500 week doing that?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Right.
Philip Taylor: That’s an awesome extra amount of cash to help your family while you’re going through a bad situation. Were you able to kind of keep that up as you took on the realtor work?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I was, because with the realtor work being sort of hit and miss during the times of the mortgage crisis, one thing that I did was reach out to the individuals who were selling the homes or other realtors saying, “Hey, if you know anyone that has a washer and dryer, I’ll come and get it.” That actually works out pretty good because a lot of realtors don’t know what to do with these sets. They may have a set that a client is just giving away and through word-of-mouth it spreads. For instance, at my sons school people are always asking, “Do I have a set?” Or, “Do you want this particular set? If so, then come and get it.” That’s where I actually made my money between closings was with washers and dryers on Craigslist.
Philip Taylor: That’s great. That’s awesome. Then you say, “I’m having fun doing this and I want to share these ideas with everyone else.” So, when did you start the website? And maybe you can talk a little bit about the choice to write the book. Share with me how you went from someone doing these hustles to someone wanting to share the concept of these hustles with the world.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I never really wanted to share but people were so amazed at how I would go an purchase a washer and dryer at 8:00 in the morning and have it sold by 12:00 in the afternoon with a $200 or $300 profit. They’d ask me how I would do it and said I should write a book. Now, I didn’t get into it to write a book. But the more and more I saw that my services were needed and that other people were going through some of the same things that I went through, I took a good look at it. Around three to four years into my hustle is when I started writing the book. I’d write maybe a paragraph a night, a chapter a week at the most. It took probably about 6 months before I actually got it all together. Just a little 35-page eBook took 6 months because my focus was on making money and helping my family, but I still wanted to write the book at the same time. The book actually came first. The website didn’t come until this year in 2013 with the release of my new revision of the book, The Craigslist Hustle.
Philip Taylor: Gotcha. When you released the eBook, how did you get in people’s hands?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: With the eBook I went to Amazon which is really big with eBooks and things of that nature. I went on Google and searched how to format the book the right way and how to market it. But for the most part I just put it on Amazon. I guess people would just do key searches because I wasn’t marketing the book back then like I am now. People would find it. I’d I’d get random emails and that would encourage me even more. I’d get emails from Canada and other countries from people asking for tips and pointers and that allowed me to go back and refocus and market even more. But mainly, Amazon helped me out a lot in the initial stage.
Philip Taylor: Yeah, this was when it was getting exciting, right? You’re touching people’s lives that are countries away. That’s really cool. And potentially making some money. Did the book start selling initially or…
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Initially it didn’t sell like I wanted it to because I got out of it what I put into it. But like I said, I marketed the book more now than I did in those earlier years. Recently though, it’s just really taken off and I’m super excited about it.
Philip Taylor: That’s good. So when you say it’s taken off, can you share with us what sort of sales you’re doing on weekly basis with the book?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: On a weekly basis on Amazon, I would say close to $30 to $50 on average. That’s pretty good for just the eBook alone. I had a marketing opportunity about three weeks ago where I lowered the price and I did around 450 in sales in about a three day period, so that was really good for me. The book reached to about number two on Amazon’s entrepreneurial books so I was excited about it.
Philip Taylor: That’s awesome! Where did you learn to do all that?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Growing up in Nashville, everybody wants to be a music artist. Back in my early years, of course I wanted to be a music artist too so I learned the art of making an album, marketing and promoting it and things of that nature. I took the same mindset with the eBook. I did a lot of Google research, just a lot of research to see how other authors became successful. I implemented some of the things they did and put it into my Amazon book as well.
Philip Taylor: That’s great. It sounds like you have a special story and something of high value to give to people at a low price. I think it’s priced at $5.99 on Amazon, right?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: The 2013 edition is, yes. And I believe my older 2011 version is $3.99.
Philip Taylor: Yeah, yeah. So someone can spend $3.99 or $5.99 and within a week turn around and make at least $100 off of a deal with your knowledge. That’s awesome. Congrats on the sales. I hope that continues. I imagine it will especially if you do, like you said, more marketing outreach. You have the website now and you’re doing things like getting on the best-seller list and things like that. I’m sure the eBook is going to continue to perform well for you. The one thing that I wanted to mention was that I think it’s good that you shared. I think you were safe to share your idea in that you couldn’t be everywhere. You couldn’t do washers and dryers in Dallas. You can only do it in Nashville and that area right there. There’s no way to really get beyond that area so it’s sort of safe to share this information because you knew the likelihood of someone in your backyard picking up this and becoming a real strong competitor for you was probably pretty low. At the end of the day it’s hard work still. It’s not like it’s super-easy money. It’s a legitimate way to make money and it makes good money, but you’ve got to learn how to sell and buy and you’ve got to go and pick the thing up.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: (Laughs.) Especially when you have to bring it down three flights of stairs by yourself.
Philip Taylor: Right, right. So that takes a lot of people out of the opportunity to do this anyway. But I like the fact that it’s honest work and it’s real money that a guy like you or me can make on the side. You know, like if something were to happen like we were laid off or find ourselves in a negative financial situation. How has this changed things for you financially with your family? I know you’re a realtor now so you probably do a lot more of your income through that area, but maybe you can talk about how this has changed your life financially and where you see this going.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Well, even with me being a realtor it just became so addictive— hustling on Craigslist. Every opportunity I got, whether it was at midnight or 6:00 in the morning, I was on Craigslist. I’m always looking for a deal because I know that’s extra gas money, extra money for my boys lunch, extra money for wife to get her hair and nails done. It actually helps out in the interim of my house closings which usually takes about 30 to 45 days since I still need to make money between that time period, so it helps out a lot. It keeps the lights on and food on the table. Believe it or not, without Craigslist I know it would be a little bit more of a struggle as far as making extra income because I can make in one day what most people make in a week with a part-time job. Hustling on Craigslist has helped immensely.
Philip Taylor: That’s great. Have you ever thought about expanding beyond Craigslist? I know there’s a lot of Facebook groups out there now that do this sort of garage sale connection where they’re all kind of buying and selling. Have you ever thought about getting involved with that and using that as an additional outlet?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Actually, I haven’t. And only because my main focus was taking care of my household. A lot of people ask me if I’ve ever thought about opening a business and doing it out of a storefront, but I never have because I was not looking to get rich. I was only looking to survive at the time. Even today, the main thing is to keep extra income coming into the household. My focus now is mainly pushing the book even more, so I’m really excited about pushing the book and just helping others start their hustle. If they choose to do things of that nature, then I’m all for it. But for me personally, not at all.
Philip Taylor: Okay. Maybe you can talk to us about how you balance all of this with family time and work as a realtor. How have you been able to do that?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: The main thing is just knowing everybody’s schedule. Me and my kids usually get up at about 5:45 in the morning. Once I get them off to school I’ve got a little bit of time between 8:00 and 12:00 so that’s when I’m usually on Craigslist. Then later on I’m getting them to their school functions and things of that nature so I’m back around 10:00 or 11:00 looking again. It’s just a matter of me knowing my family schedule. And my wife— the thing about her is that she actually supports me because she’s seen that it works. I’ve come up with all kinds of crazy ideas while being married these past 13 years. With some of the stuff she would look at me and say, “Uh, okay. I don’t think that’s going to work.” But with Craigslist, if I tell her I’m about to go pick up a washer and dryer, she actually knows that’s money coming into the house so she doesn’t mind it at all. It works, it works. It actually works.
Philip Taylor: That’s great. Before we wrap up, talk to me about maybe some of the mistakes you made along the way that people could look out for if they’re going to try to do this themselves.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: The main thing is, wasting time, wasting gas money. Going and trying to see every washer and dryer or every couch that was on Craigslist. Another this is, never go see a washer or dryer that doesn’t have pictures. That’s where I made a lot of mistakes when I first started out. People would just put, “Washer and dryer. Two years old. Must sell now.” And so I got super excited… “Hey, a two-year-old washer and dryer. I’ve got to go see it!” By the time you get there, you find out it’s a 20-year-old set and it’s not what they said it was. I wasted a lot of time doing that so in my book I talk about that— how to ask key questions about items, how to get pictures upfront. How to tell if someone is hiding anything from you before you purchase the item. So that’s the main thing, just being too anxious in the beginning and going when I should have stayed.
Philip Taylor: Right. What about any successes along the way. Any things that you feel you did early on that really helped to create success for you?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Just making good and honest business deals with people to when these items never came back to bite me to where I wasn’t losing money. Like I said, just going with time and patience, and going through trial and error as far as learning how to purchase certain washers and dryers where I could make a profit and not have it come back on me. I tell people, “If it doesn’t work like you think it should, bring it back to me.” Now, I didn’t want them to bring it back to me so I’m very thankful that it rarely happened.
Philip Taylor: All right. So, you mentioned early on in the interview about getting into cars—vehicle sales. Maybe you can share with us what you see for yourself in the future? If you’re going to be using Craigslist different, if you’re going to be using eBay auto sales for that. What do you see for the future in terms of what you’re going to buying or selling on Craigslist?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: In my book, The Craigslist Hustle, I’ve got a website I use called, auctionzip.com where you’re actually able to type in your zip-code and you can pretty much find any auction within a certain radius. With cars and it being tax season, a lot of people are needing cars and they’re getting their income tax money back so this is a great time to buy cars. I go to auctions or find them on the side of the road. I go to church in a little country town and I’m always seeing cars up and down the main stretch. On Craigslist— there’s no need to put them on eBay because the cars I’m getting are just a couple of thousand dollars and I’m making a couple of thousand in return. People have that type of cash locally where I’m at. Thankfully I’m in a pretty big city so I’m actually able to use Craigslist for everything. I probably use Craigslist 98 percent of the time. With eBay, maybe two percent or something like that. When I’ve held on too long or I’m not able to sell, I put that on eBay.
Philip Taylor: Okay. Do the auctions also have washers and dryers or are they just car auctions?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: I visit a lot of auctions and a lot of them do have washers and dryers but the think with that is I rarely buy a set that I haven’t seen in use. I mean, they can tell you that they work, but by the time you get it home it’s more of a headache than you can imagine. Then you have to pay a repairman to come and fix it. I look at the set but I don’t care what it looks like on the outside, I’m looking for something that I know has been tested and is working whether it’s a leather couch, TV, iPod, iPad, anything of that nature.
Philip Taylor: Gotcha. Well, good luck on that and good luck on the book. Where can people find out more about you and read your book?
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: They can go to my website which is www.mrcraigslisthustle.com. They can see different YouTube videos I’ve got as well as my book. The book is actually in paperback, The Craigslist Hustle, so I’m really excited about this. Like I said, I started out with a humble eBook, not even looking to get into anything like this. So with it in paperback, my whole family and church family is excited for me. For YouTube, you just go to YouTube and type in ‘the craigslist hustle’ and you’ll see my videos. And of course, for Amazon you just type in the keyword, ‘Craigslist’ on Amazon books and mine should be the first one that pops up.
Philip Taylor: Awesome! Awesome, LeJaun. Well, congrats and thanks so much for being on with me and sharing this unique way to make some part-time money. Best of luck to you in the future.
LaJaun Stoxtill-Diggs: Thank you very much.[/spoiler]