You always see posts with people recommending Craigslist to sell your stuff at, or find a job, or even a mate. I’m not here to debunk that, I’ve sold lots of stuff successfully locally using Craigslist. But after some recent experiences, I’ve realized it’s definitely not perfect. Mostly, it can be such a huge waste of time. Why?
As a seller: Flakey people. I had to get rid of some baseball tickets, so I put them on Craiglist. I set the price fair, and got some offers immediately. Of course, all the emailers wrote “I’ll take them”, “I definitely want them”, or “Yes please please hold them for me, I’ll pick them up tomorrow/later/soon”.
But, when the time finally comes, 80% of them back out. And the excuses are so lame. I can’t make it. I can’t afford it. My mom won’t let me. Sigh. I turned away 5 other people for this?
My new Craiglist Selling Rules: First person who pays gets it. No, I will not hold it for you. You come by with cash, you got it. No, I will not meet you halfway across town, so you can be a no-show.
It sounds harsh, but the things I sell are usually around 20 bucks, it’s just not worth $5 in gas and the stress.
As a buyer: People who just lie. Sure, that “antique” bookshelf sounds great for $50. You drive half an hour to get there, and it’s got particle board for backing?!? The bike in “great condition” only has one set of brakes, and they’re the front ones??
My new Craiglist Buying Rules: There are some deals that are “too good to be true” that are actually true. I’ve gotten some, like my $5 vacuum that I still use, and $50 worth of free computer RAM. But nowadays I’m not leaving my house without a digital picture unless it’s free and I live within 15 minutes.
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 8/24/05, 12:05pm