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Quick Help: selling on Craigs List?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 20 2009 - 02:15 AM

I put my old TV (Sony WEGA HDTV from '02) on sale on my local Craig's List -- my first time ever using Craig's List or selling anything online. I've got a good ad and an attractive price, and I've gotten multiple emails already.

But now I realize I have no idea what I'm doing next Posted Image I've got to schedule visits of strangers at my house to see the TV. Any common sense tips?
* Is it bad form or a bad idea to have multiple prospective buyers visit at once?
* Cash only generally expected for Craig's Listers?
* I've got a coworker interested and visiting this afternoon; should I schedule Craig's Listers to visit this evening too, or hold off on responding until my buddy has decided yes or no?
* Some, but not all, emails from CraigsList buyers have a "CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY" tag in the subject. Are these particularly suspect emails? CL help says nothing about it.

I remember now why I'm an engineer and not a salesman Posted Image

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 20 2009 - 02:25 AM

Don't forget, you will probably have to filter out the Nigerian scammers...

I have had nigerian scammers from a facebook ad I had!!! Craigslist I think is more rampant as it is more popular...

I would probably try to see how interested your coworker is. If the sale isn't life threatening, perhaps hold off a day or so before the general public... Just a thought anyway...

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#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 20 2009 - 02:32 AM

We've sold several items on Craig's list. My take:

Quote:
Is it bad form or a bad idea to have multiple prospective buyers visit at once?
Personally, I would avoid this. Deal with one person at a time, and whoever you can agree on a price with first gets the item.
Quote:
Cash only generally expected for Craig's Listers?
Since cashier's checks and money orders can be forged, I would only accept cash. That's pretty standard for Craig's list.
Quote:
I've got a coworker interested and visiting this afternoon; should I schedule Craig's Listers to visit this evening too, or hold off on responding until my buddy has decided yes or no?
Since this is someone you know, I would give him first crack before the Craig's list responders. I did this with a Canon telephoto lens I was selling. I ended up selling it to the co-worker. He's happy, and I got my money.
Quote:
Some, but not all, emails from CraigsList buyers have a "CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY" tag in the subject. Are these particularly suspect emails? CL help says nothing about it.
It is highly recommended you deal with local buyers only. You will get all kinds of scam emails offering to buy your item at higher than asking price, with the buyer arranging for a shipper to pick it up. This always involved a non-cash payment, and is a scam. Those email response disclaimers are just experienced Craig's list people stating they only deal with local buyers and sellers.

Good luck.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 20 2009 - 02:37 AM

Thanks for the info! Great tips.

I got an info from CL'er stating he'd give me some cash amount (lower than asking, but acceptable). I googled his gmail email and found one hit in a different sales forum from 2005, stating he is a "Jamaican living in Asia, China looking for partner in Jamaica". Is this a red flag? Should I attempt an email check on all prospective visitors?

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 20 2009 - 03:08 AM

Running a check on the buyer's whereabouts will not hurt, but you will find out if they are local soon enough once you attempt to setup a local meeting.

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 20 2009 - 05:27 AM

Yep, I figured that. I'm trying to set up a visit now with him and another.

I'm surprised at the strong interest: 10+ emails this morning on it. So I'm hopeful to complete a sale in a couple days.

But selling things is time consuming. I'll stick with giving old stuff to charity or friends in the future. Posted Image

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted January 20 2009 - 05:50 AM

INSIST on an IN PERSON CASH SALE ONLY! That's what I do and I have sold a LOT of stuff on Craig's.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted January 20 2009 - 07:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
But selling things is time consuming. I'll stick with giving old stuff to charity or friends in the future. Posted Image

If only it were that easy. Around here you have to pay to dispose of an old TV and even then only at certain places and none of the local charities will accept them since they don't want to get stuck with having to dispose of dead TVs. I find it easier just to stack them up in my garage like some demented shut-in.
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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 20 2009 - 07:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Warner
If only it were that easy. Around here you have to pay to dispose of an old TV and even then only at certain places and none of the local charities will accept them since they don't want to get stuck with having to dispose of dead TVs. I find it easier just to stack them up in my garage like some demented shut-in.

We were able to donate a couple of working 13-inch TV's to the Vietnam Veterans association late last year. I was surprised they accepted them.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 20 2009 - 09:03 AM

Thanks all the tips and advice. I sold it this evening to a coworker. CraigsList interest gave me a good pricing level for negotiation. Verbal agreement made on price. Hope to exchange $$ and get the TV out of here next week Posted Image

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   latiger12

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Posted January 20 2009 - 02:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
I put my old TV (Sony WEGA HDTV from '02) on sale on my local Craig's List -- my first time ever using Craig's List or selling anything online. I've got a good ad and an attractive price, and I've gotten multiple emails already.

But now I realize I have no idea what I'm doing next Posted Image I've got to schedule visits of strangers at my house to see the TV. Any common sense tips?
* Is it bad form or a bad idea to have multiple prospective buyers visit at once?
* Cash only generally expected for Craig's Listers?
* I've got a coworker interested and visiting this afternoon; should I schedule Craig's Listers to visit this evening too, or hold off on responding until my buddy has decided yes or no?
* Some, but not all, emails from CraigsList buyers have a "CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY" tag in the subject. Are these particularly suspect emails? CL help says nothing about it.

I remember now why I'm an engineer and not a salesman Posted Image

Just list it on Ebay and allow for local pick up.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:41 AM

How does "Ebay" answer any of those questions? Ebay only makes it harder with PayPal, fees, ratings, etc.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted January 21 2009 - 09:54 AM

I use Craigslist all the time.

1) You should only have 1 buyer show up at a time. Prepare to display some content on the screen (so they know that it works). Have the remote and manual handy as well (no digging through drawers after the sale has been made).
2) Cash or money order only.
3) The way I run it is to send each person who is interested an e-mail and tell them to call me (I never put my phone number in the actual ad). The 1st caller gets first dibs (for a day or so). If that person passes, then I call the 2nd person on the list (and so on). Typically the first person buys the item if you've already posted specs and a picture (i.e. they know exactly what they are getting).
4) That quoted saying comes from the Craigslist server when a buyer sends you e-mail. It's their warning so you don't fall for internet scammers. It sounds like you included your e-mail in the advertisement (plain text) so people are e-mailing you directly? I would suggest not doing this for security reasons. The Craigslist system is setup so e-mails are anonymous and the sender only knows the other person's e-mail if that person replies. In other words, if you get an obvious scam reply to your ad then they will never find out your e-mail address unless you reply back to them.

IMO, Ebay is not worth the hassle for local-only sales (unless you are in a major city like NYC or LA). Craigslist is the preferred option for local classifieds.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 21 2009 - 10:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R
4) That quoted saying comes from the Craigslist server when a buyer sends you e-mail. It's their warning so you don't fall for internet scammers. It sounds like you included your e-mail in the advertisement (plain text) so people are e-mailing you directly? I would suggest not doing this for security reasons. The Craigslist system is setup so e-mails are anonymous and the sender only knows the other person's e-mail if that person replies. In other words, if you get an obvious scam reply to your ad then they will never find out your e-mail address unless you reply back to them.
My ad had the anonymized email address. CraigsList doesn't seem to offer posting of personal email addresses in the ad. But of course the anonymized emails from CraigsList came to my personal email, as they're supposed to.

What was strange was that only some of the emails had the warning, but not all. I couldn't figure out the pattern, and it made some seem like they were being labeled as "bad".

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 21 2009 - 11:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg R
2) Cash or money order only.

Personally, I wouldn't accept a money order -- only cash. A money order can be forged quite easily.

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 22 2009 - 10:46 AM

TV sale completed today, paid in cash, and TV removed from my house with minimal hassle. Selling to a coworker / acquaintance is the way to go.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Don Solosan

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Posted January 22 2009 - 11:08 AM

I've been using Craig's List for a while and for the most part have had good results dealing with local people and cash. I have had a number of people asking to pay with PayPal (one woman wanted the item shipped to "West Africa"). I'm not exactly sure what their scam is, but I've avoided them. I think it has to do with using a credit card to make the payment, and then after receiving the item turning around and canceling the payment. There's a video on YouTube by a guy who got burned this way.

As far as scheduling goes, the only bad experience I've had was when I wanted to give away some movie posters. I had a dozen responses, and I selected a few that seemed local to send my phone number to follow up. One woman took this as a sign that I was holding the posters for her and her alone, and then was very upset a few days later when she finally answered my email. She went total psycho in her email, in one sentence forgiving me, and then in the next telling me that she was a computer engineer and was plotting my doom. Sheesh!

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   sestamuch

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Posted January 22 2009 - 06:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
TV sale completed today, paid in cash, and TV removed from my house with minimal hassle. Selling to a coworker / acquaintance is the way to go.

I see that you've sold it already but with Craigslist you want to follow a couple of different things:

- Meet in a public place whenever possible. It may not be the case with you since they have to see your TV.

- Bring friends.

- Only accept cash. Be firm about it.

Or just sell it on ebay.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveHo

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Posted January 23 2009 - 02:25 AM

The first thing you need to know when selling on Craigslist is that most of the people who contact you are not serious buyers & will waste your time. Having been given the run around before by the "tire kickers", my policy is cash only & the first person to show up & put it in my hand gets the item. I give people my address & a time interval when they can come. If multiple people show, oh well. I suppose it's a bit of a dick move on my part, but it's about the only way you can protect yourself from the time wasters who swear up & down they are coming but never show.

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 23 2009 - 04:42 AM

What about people who offer asking price, sight unseen? Have you found them to be serious, generally? I had a response from someone like that; I used his email to set a fair price when my coworker chose to buy it.


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