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Craigslist - good or bad in your experience?
Old 03-20-2019, 06:46 AM   #1
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Craigslist - good or bad in your experience?

With some regularity I see comments on this forum and elsewhere about Craigslist experiences that are generally negative, either through personal experiences or perceived potentially negative experiences. I often wonder why so much negativity, because my past and recent Craigslist experience has been fairly positive.

We are just beginning the process of relocating cross country which requires extensive downsizing. We intend to downsize via Craigslist and ultimately an estate auction. The reason we don't sell everything via an estate auction is because after considering their 25% commission we feel we can do better selling a certain few items ourselves.

In the last 8 days we have listed 75 items for sale on Craigslist. To date 18 items have sold. We have netted so far $6,845. We will probably list a few more items in the next week or so, and likely a few more items will sell. Eight of the items listed on Craigslist will not go to the estate auction even if they do not sell.

Negative experiences so far:
1. People say they are coming right away and do not show up. This happened only once and it was the very first person to respond to any of my Craigslist ads.
2. People try to get you to drop the price without even coming to look at the item. I try to price all items fairly by considering condition and in some cases referring to ebay closed auctions.
3. People want you to meet them half way. I have to tell them that I am in the process of packing up to move and I don't have the time. So far I have maybe missed a chance to sell a couple of more items because of this.
4. People want multiple pictures and details about low priced items. I try to minimize this whenever possible.
5. I have to help people load some heavy items into their car or truck. My back is killing me!
6. There is a Thread somewhere called "Pet Peeve of the Day" I started that thread several years ago about selling guitars on Craigslist. People for some reason want to offer a trade of their guitar for yours even though the ads state "Cash Only". Yup, still getting the same nonsense today. How come no one offers a trade on any other items I offer for sale? Like, "do you wanna trade your air compressor for my air compressor?", I don't get that mentality.

Positive experiences so far:
1. When people go to all the effort to drive to your house, in some cases over 100 miles, you know they are serious buyers. Not a single person that showed up did not purchase the item.
2. Of the 18 items sold all 18 were sold at my original asking price. I did not discount a single item even when asked. I know my prices are fair.
3. Craigslist ads are free.
4. All my Craigslist ads state "Cash Only" so I do not have to worry about bad checks.
5. When someone responds to my Craigslist ad via email I always ask them to call for details or to set up a time to come and view the item. You can usually get a pretty good gut feel about the person before they show up. I have never been one bit concerned about safety issues, but maybe that is because of our location.

Generally my recent Craigslist experience is mostly positive. So, as I said, feel free to comment on your positive or negative experience with Craigslist.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:56 AM   #2
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My most annoying experience when selling on craigslist is the one you mentioned about buyers saying they are coming over and never showing up and don't have the courtesy to let you know they are not coming, seems to happen frequently.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:00 AM   #3
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I use Craigslist only for things that are hard to sell on eBay. My biggest gripe is the flakeiness of the buyers. Multiple emails saying they want it, then they disappear or say they will stop by and don’t. Or the trolls who just send emails for the heck of it with no intent to ever buy.
I don’t mind the haggling part of it. In fact if they don’t offer less, I feel that I “won”.

I love eBay. You buy, I ship. So simple.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:14 AM   #4
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1. People
See that's the problem with CL for me in a nutshell
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:23 AM   #5
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Never tried to sell anything on CL but I've bought a few things that way. No problems. In fact I just bought something yesterday.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:30 AM   #6
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I have been very happy with craigslist. I especially appreciate the free section which I use to get rid of big items quickly, usually within an hour. I have also used it to sell used cars quickly and at prices above what a carmax would pay. jmho
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom52 View Post
Negative experiences so far:
1. People...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
See that's the problem with CL for me in a nutshell
Yep.

I listed several RV related items in a Craigslist ad and rather than post individual photos of each, I grouped two or three items together in the pictures. A guy came and purchased an item, then called back later complaining I'd failed to give him the other item shown in the photo. When I pointed out I'd listed each of the items in the photos separately in the ad, he went ballistic, saying all sorts of uncomplimentary things about my mother (who he never met ) and making threats. I told him I'd be glad to meet him at the entrance to my driveway and give him some free buckshot, but he never showed up to get it.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:39 AM   #8
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I've generally had good luck with CL, and would agree with OP's list of positives and negatives. My biggest complaint is the flaky people that don't show or waste my time with email requests for pictures or more details. Just come see the item in person. Also the people that want me as the seller to deliver. No, you want it, come get it.


CL is best for larger items, otherwise you get a lot bigger market with ebay. Another local source getting popular here is Facebook marketplace. It has a little better less flaky people factor, as you are corresponding with their facebook ID. Not a random phone number or email address.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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I have used CL to sell vehicles. I usually do not have random buyers come to my house, I meet them at local restaurant. First one usually buys.

But yeah have plenty of experience in the past with flaky buyers or those from cultures that prefer passionate negotiation. Always happy to negotiate but it is just business not an end in itself.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:10 AM   #10
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I'd say my experiences have generally been the same as OP.. . I usually do come down a
hair on price just to get it done.

I am generally selling tech related stuff, and have had one person ask to return the iphone because it had scratches on the back (under the case)
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:28 AM   #11
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I've had good and bad experiences with craigslist but more good than bad and its still my default for most things. Its simple and free which is the biggest plus.

I've sold everything from $15k caterpillar to $10 keyboards.

The bad is weeding thru scams and the most annoying is the people who do show up and just happen to not have enough money on them... I just refuse to sell to those people, I have no patience for such dishonesty, you agreed to the price, thats the price...better go back to your car and look for change.

The good is getting rid of stuff you didn't think anyone wanted. It shows up well in the search results, I was actually shocked how well that caterpillar showed up and an ad in a normal paper for such things would have cost $200/week and not included pictures. I got rid of a lot of Disney stuff that way and people found it even many states away... I didn't really want to ship (which is why I listed it in craigslist) but a buyer is a buyer.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:36 AM   #12
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In general our experiences with CL have been positive. We maybe sell things once a year. Two years ago we cleaned out our living room and gave some young people great deals on our couch, dining room table and other assorted items as we changed to a new style.

A couple weeks ago I dumped my 17' boat with a bad main motor and good kicker because I didn't want to invest in a new motor. Must have had 20 texts and calls from two states. Everyone was polite and I was up front about condition, etc. One guy talked to me for 20 minutes about all sorts of stuff.

Need to get back on and sell some boat and crabbing accessories.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:38 AM   #13
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I have made a few purchased via Craigslist over the years. Thanks to the group here for reminding me to list our yard sale this weekend on CL!!
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:46 AM   #14
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I agree with the OP 100% and I've sold a lot of items on CL.


The people that drive me crazy are the ones that email asking "what's your bottom line?" I generally tell them that it's higher than the listed price.


I don't list my number because the lower the IQ the more they like to text and the texts just go on and on with the dumbest questions....


Generally speaking when I list something on CL it's listed to sell I'm not trying to squeeze every last nickle out of it so when they show up and they are serious I don't mind reducing my price but I can generally gauge a person and their seriousness.


I don't mind them coming to my house, my time is valuable and I want them to have time "invested" in this purchase if they come from out of town that's even better.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:08 AM   #15
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I have used both Next-door and Craigslist to sell items. I much prefer Next-door. We have a large and active Next-door community. The buyers on Next-door are much more honest, I usually get more $ from Next-door buyers and I feel comfortable meeting Next-door people at my driveway or theirs. I would never tell a CL person my home address, I always meet CL people at a public place (I prefer the local police parking lot). Most importantly I have never had one scammer on Next-door (I get a lot responses on CL that are obviously from scammers.). Now I always try Next-door first and only if the item does not sell on Next-door do I try CL.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:34 AM   #16
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I've given up on Craigslist, for all the reasons mentioned above. I'm having much better success with Facebook Marketplace, but I know many here don't do FB. I like the fact I can see the person's pic, there's a record of buyer feedback, and it's free. I'm doing more buying than selling right now, but I like the fact that communications are all done through FB Messenger, so no email addresses need to be exchanged. You can pay online too, if you choose. Just my .02.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:50 AM   #17
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On big ticket items (3-6K vehicles) I get nothing but potential scammer responses with a very common set of characteristics:
* foreign, almost always with Arabic script somewhere in the email.
* Always sent with phone spelling. "Hey bro, how r u?" as the opening line.
* I listed an item twice about 6 months apart... got inquiries from the same scammers both times.
* etc.
I've pretty much given up on CL and I desperately need to thin out my garage.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:54 AM   #18
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eBay for small valuable items, Craigslist, NextDoor and Marketplace for heavy stuff. On eBay, I put a "buy it now" price and charge for actual shipping cost. For local sales, I add 10% to my real asking price and discount it back to the real price if asked. About half ask. I let people come to the house - only had one scary guy and I later found out the was a state legislator.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #19
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With some regularity I see comments on this forum and elsewhere about Craigslist experiences that are generally negative, either through personal experiences or perceived potentially negative experiences. I often wonder why so much negativity, because my past and recent Craigslist experience has been fairly positive. ...
Nassim Taleb offers a very useful concept he calls "silent evidence." In this case, the silent evidence is that of the thousands of happy Craigslist users every day who do not bother to post.

I routinely buy and sell on CraigsList and really can't recall a transaction that was any kind of serious problem. Once in a great while I have gotten a call from someone with a blocked caller ID, in which case I ignore the call. I also strongly favor meeting in public places but that seems to be the normal expectation around here anyway.

Another example of silent evidence is the plethora of forum posts on the internet where people are crowing about successful stock trades. You would think stock-picking is a slam-dunk path to riches. The majority of traders are silent, because they don't want to post the results of losing trades.

This is the story that Taleb uses to illustrate the concept: "Diagoras, a nonbeliever in the gods, was shown painted tablets bearing the portraits of some worshippers who prayed, then survived a subsequent shipwreck. The implication was that praying protects you from drowning.

"Diagoras asked, “Where are the pictures of those who prayed, then drowned?”
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:29 AM   #20
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I use it all the time to sell things we don't need. It's much better than classified ads in newspapers over 30 years ago.
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