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FORUMS Marketplace & Market Info Market Watch 
Thread started 20 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 13:32
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Craigslist - what's up with these people?

 
rick_reno
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Oct 20, 2011 13:32 |  #1

I recently listed a 70-200 2.8 lens for sale on CL, thought I'd try to sell it locally to avoid the shipping PIA. It's listed with the condition, price and a picture.

I get a fair number of queries (not sure what else to call them) asking for "current price", "updated picture" or "condition". None of these mention the lens, they just want one or two of the things quoted. What up? Are they phishing for email addresses to sell to spam generators? Or is it something else? I'm wondering what they get out of an email address?




  
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n0w0rries
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Oct 20, 2011 13:34 |  #2

No they're phishing for stupid people. Up to you if you want to waste your time. If you know they are a crook, and you reply, you're giving the crook more info about you.


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Justaddwata
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Oct 20, 2011 15:09 |  #3

Someone intelligent enough to be shopping for such a lens will also have enough sense to write a legitimate e-mail with specific (appropriate) questions - anything else and it is a scam shopping for a sucker. Dont even bother giving them a second thought - they are junk - probably computer generated.


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led ­ hed
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Oct 20, 2011 15:19 |  #4

never sold or bought anything on craigslist, and i never will from the scam/horror stories i hear.
seems like a low-budget site.


Rob - "a photographer is a painter, in a hurry!"
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cacawcacaw
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Oct 20, 2011 15:29 |  #5

led hed wrote in post #13280601 (external link)
... seems like a low-budget site.

It is what you make of it. I've had really good luck with local sales at fair prices.

It's hard to get in the mindset that you need to screen buyers as carefully as you screen sellers. Some people have no problem turning away from a purchase that smells fishy but will go out of their way to give a buyer the benefit of the doubt.

Nobody would respond to a seller who wants to sell you their "item" with some convoluted delivery plan, but then they consider doing a deal with someone who wants to buy their "item" with a convoluted payment agreement.


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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crn3371
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Oct 20, 2011 15:29 |  #6

There ARE legitimate buyers and sellers on Craigslist. You just have to be willing to weed through the BS.




  
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liupublic
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Oct 20, 2011 15:47 |  #7

Here are some things to solve this problem:
1) List as much information about the gear as possible. I use POTN's template as a start and add conditions: cash only, face to face transaction only. Meet in a public place like Star Bucks. (Parking lot is not that good.)
2) Add many pictures to clearly demonstrate the condition of the item
3) If you are firm about the price, say so. If not, always ask for an offer in the ad from buyer instead of answering "what's your best price"
4) Never post your email or phone number
5) Add the line: "the ad will be deleted when the item is sold."

Basically gets rid of the tire kicker and scammer. If the buyer is emailing you, he is ready to purchase since he knows the condition of the item and he can test it in person.

Less information = more questions later.


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Mistabernie
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Oct 20, 2011 15:58 |  #8

This is why I usually put something like this in my ads on Craigslist --

No shipping -- cash only. If the listing is up, 'the item' is still available. When you email, put <Something related to sale-BOS> in the title so I know that you're actually interested. If you fail to do this, I WILL NOT respond to your email, and you will miss out on the item.

But yeah, on top of the scam, they probably collect email addresses too, so get ready for more spam

Even then, I avoid CL. When I sold my 17-50, the buyer showed up with mostly cash but then a relatively small USPS money order for the difference. He was pretty pissed that I wouldn't accept it, calling me paranoid. I told him he could think what he wants, took my lens and sold to somebody else.


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dave ­ kadolph
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Oct 20, 2011 16:06 as a reply to  @ Mistabernie's post |  #9

I've had really good luck with craigslist--but I specify I'm either a local cash buyer--or will only accept cash in person if selling.


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Mistabernie
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Oct 20, 2011 16:09 |  #10

dave kadolph wrote in post #13280833 (external link)
I've had really good luck with craigslist--but I specify I'm either a local cash buyer--or will only accept cash in person if selling.

Oh, I specify cash only. Thus when the stack of cash that's handed to me has a USPS money order on top of it, I just take a step away and say 'cya'. Not the first time it's happened, wont be the last.


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Fligi7
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Oct 20, 2011 16:26 |  #11

At least they showed up with something else to make up for the difference in money. I've had people tell me they'll take an item for cash, show up with 80% of the money, and act like nothing is wrong.
You really, really have to have patience and the ability to weed through a bunch of BS before you might find the person who will follow through. I've also had really good finds on CL as well, so it can be worth it if you have the time and patience.




  
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smacatl
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Oct 20, 2011 17:31 |  #12

If you price your item fairly and follow liupublic's advice above, you should have no problem finding real potential buyers.

I have made hundreds of Craigslist transactions (buying and selling) and never had a problem. I have meet lots of great people and even had some repeat sales of photo gear to people that I met on CL. I am no expert, but here is my quick guide:

  • I don't even respond to email's that start out: "is your "item" still available?"

  • I include my cell number to my response, and if I can't speak to a live person within 2 emails, then I move on to the next buyer.


  • Craigslist is a cash marketplace - don't accept Credit cards, PayPal, Money Orders, Western Union, Escrow, Bank Transfers, IOU's, or anything else but good old genuine American Cash Dollars. Don't waste your time communicating with anyone who doesn't understand this concept.

  • Don't Ship, Don't Ship, Don't Ship, Don't Ship, and finally - DON'T SHIP!!!!

  • Never meet at your home - don't give out home address or your home phone. I have a throwaway email account for CL. Don't use your email if it is yourfirstname.yourlast​name@whatever.com (external link). I would not use my work email, but that is up to you.

  • Pick a very public meeting spot. Starbucks is my favorite. Meet inside, not in the parking lot, especially at night. Don't be afraid to walk if you feel uneasy - trust your Spidysense: if you hear a voice telling you something is not right, then listen to the voice.

  • If you are buying or selling a high ticket item, meet in your bank - (or in the buyers bank), or the local Police Station. If you are selling at a bank - deposit the money or get a Money Order - don't walk out with cash.

  • Don't renegotiate at the sale site. If you have described the item accurately, priced it fairly, and done whatever haggling you feel comfortable with prior to the meeting; then the purpose of the meeting is for the buyer to inspect your item and pay the agreed price. Don't be afraid to walk away from buyers who want to rework the deal after you meet up.

  • Make the potential buyer come to you. You will still need to pick a safe location (like the above mentioned Starbucks, or McDonalds, etc.), but make it convenient to you and your schedule.

  • Finally, be safe. Nothing is worth your personal safety. A simple Google search of Craigslist robberies will give you hundreds of hits. Most of these will be situations where the victim did not use common sense.



Good luck and be safe!

Smacatl
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cacawcacaw
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Oct 20, 2011 17:56 |  #13

smacatl wrote in post #13281199 (external link)
...
  • I include my cell number to my response, and if I can't speak to a live person within 2 emails, then I move on to the next buyer. ...
  • For most of the deals I've done through POTN, I'll include my full name, address, phone number and eBay username in the first communication. That's also what I expect to see from the person on the other side of the deal. It's amazing how many people will expect you to wrap up a deal when all you know about the other person is their relatively new POTN username.


    Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

      
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    tekkie
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    Oct 20, 2011 19:45 |  #14

    I love all the people who decide to do a google search on the item your selling and then complaining that your trying to rip people off because they found it somewhere way cheaper. That happened every single time I listed a camera on there, 90 + % of the people that contacted me on every item I have ever tried to sell is a waste of time. You say you want 1000 bucks FIRM they say I got 500 bucks I will come pick it up now. However there are some legit people its just frustrating to deal with all the morons.


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    mjHession
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    Oct 20, 2011 19:48 |  #15

    I always specify what someone should out in their title when emailing me through craigs list. Then I can filter out bots.


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