Craig's List

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  #1  
Old 12-17-15, 08:51 AM
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Craig's List

I just got done looking at 2500 tool ads on Craig's List. Most of the prices seemed outrageously high. For example, there were two ads for Harbor Freight bench grinders. The 6-inch grinder had a price of $70 and was missing the eye shields. The 8-inch grinder was on a pedestal (missing the water bucket) and a price of $80.

Now I KNOW from personal experience that both grinders are junk AND are regularly sold for significantly less than these CL asking prices, maybe as low as half the price.

Then there were two similar tool boxes. One was listed as a Snap-On box although the only thing that MIGHT make it a Snap-On is the red paint color. It is definitely well used with lots of scratches, dents and rust. The price? Fifty bucks! The other box, it looks to be a similar size, has the brown crackle paint on the outside similar to a Kennedy and grey inside like a Craftsman (Sears) box. This one lists dimensions of 19" X 7 1/2" X 7 1/2". Both have removable trays and the second includes some tools, 3 adjustable wrenches, a hammer, 4 pairs of pliers, several screwdrivers and a utility knife. The second box is in much nicer condition and the price is only $10.

I see this all the time. Do people really think they are going to get these prices for their junk? Or DO the rubes actually pay these prices for the junk?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-17-15, 09:07 AM
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I have heard many horror stories about that web site. Especially people being beaten and robbed when they went to pick up their "goodies". I personally would not buy the time of day from that site, much less anything of value.
 
  #3  
Old 12-17-15, 09:40 AM
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I have bought and sold on Craig's List on several occasions and will continue to do so. If you know what you're doing and are fair and honest there is no problem.

A few rules that I use:

Do not post your phone number in the original ad. Do not give or post address.
Meet at a public place and bring a friend if possible (goes for both seller and buyer).
Be willing and ready to take a lower offer.
As a seller be willing to take back item if buyer is not satisfied OR BE SURE To STATE "AS IS" or no refunds.
As buyer do not expect perfect stuff. It's used and will operate as a used item. If you want new, buy new.
Post high quality pictures.
If two buyers are available always give first reply 1st right of refusal.

Here is my standard "boiler plate" when I place an ad:
"Please note: I do not use phone to make contact with potential buyers. Please use e-mail to ask any questions. If interested we can arrange time and meeting place and then I'll provide a cell number to make final contact. Thank you for your cooperation.

If you see it, it’s still available."

Furd, to answer your question. Just like garage sales and flea markets there are always those who think they can make killing selling used stuff. Same thing with some stores. If an item is being sold on clearance, I expect a real bargain, not just a few cents or dollars off. They must practically give it away.
 
  #4  
Old 12-17-15, 10:04 AM
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I didn't want to haggle, or I thought it was worth nothing, but I posted a TV for free.
Mitsubishi HD rear projection TV 1080p, it was actually in great shape and tuned/maintained.

Gone in about 30 min. The guys that picked it up were cool, but I would stay away from unlicensed contractors and anyone that would need to enter your home.
 
  #5  
Old 12-17-15, 10:09 AM
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I got rid of a load of firewood on CL. I had LOTS of people E-mail me about it. I have picked up three lawnmowers by answering ads. Each of the lawnmowers I went to the person's home. When I bought the new motor for my riding lawnmower project we met at a vacant lot across the street from a Costco.

As far as being beaten or robbed, I think a lot depends upon where you meet and what you are trying to buy or sell. The problems I have heard about usually involve diamond rings or cars and the seller seems to always ask the buyer to bring gobs of cash. With the sheer volume of transactions that take place via CL there are bound to be a few problems. I know that if I were to try to buy or sell something expensive I would probably suggest meeting in the parking lot at the police station or some similar place.

I was just wondering because I see lots of things that are in the free category that I think would sell, at least for a few dollars. I don't look at everything but it seems that it is ONLY in the tools ads that the prices are so ridiculously high.
 

Last edited by Furd; 12-17-15 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Clean up ambiguous language.
  #6  
Old 12-17-15, 10:10 AM
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I have sold a few items including a car. I have bought items like printers and laptops. For the laptop, we met at a McDonalds. The most amusing was selling the car, I asked for something like $2500. They came, looked it over and said they only brought $2300. I said, BS. You didn't come all this way, spend all this time checking it out and then not have enough money in your pocket. They had the rest of the money and the car was gone.

The biggest scam I have seen when selling is the very interested buyer who suddenly can't make it to your house but will send someone with a cashier's check. As soon as I see that story line, I reply with "cash only" and the buyer goes away. Those are total scams.

- Peter
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-15, 10:13 AM
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My wife responded to a care giver add on Craig's list that turned out to be a scam. I figured it out early on but she wasn't convinced. They finally mailed her a stolen/counterfeit check with instructions to deposit the majority into an account they had at a local bank. As far as I know, nobody ever got arrested but she never cashed that check. On the other hand, her current job came from a Craig's List posting. She's been there for a year and half.
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-15, 10:57 AM
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You really have to be careful on Craigslist as you never know who you are dealing with. People are very picky too and don't want to pay much. I recently tried selling used cabinets but I gave up on them and they are going in the trash. A real shame as some of the cabinets were still in good shape and some were not and I noted that in the ad.

Craigslist is not the only place where you can get taken a bit and that is Amazon.com. Don't get me wrong I like Amazon.com but some of the dealers who sell on Amazon sell things at a very high price. Some people are nowhere near a Costco for instance or they can't afford a membership and I have seen some Costco merchandise at a tremendous mark up on Amazon. I belong to a group on Facebook that buys some things cheap and then resells that item on Amazon for a higher price and they seem to doing well although I haven't yet resold anything I probably will next year.

So it just depends on what the demand is for something and how much people are willing to pay for something.
 
  #9  
Old 12-17-15, 11:28 AM
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Grew up and live in the Detroit area. Dealing with Craig's list is no riskier than life in general.

Caveat emptor.
 
  #10  
Old 12-17-15, 12:02 PM
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One small community police department near me encourages people to complete their CL transactions in the lobby of their police department. You don't need to arrange it ahead of time or notify them or anything, just show up and close the deal. You don't even have to live in the community. Of course there are security cameras covering the whole area, including the parking lots. They figure it will scare away all but the boldest crooks, and provides a safe environment for buyers and sellers. I think it's a great idea and plan to make use of it in future.

My experiences with CL have been all positive, but the thing I worry about most, especially with tools, is that I might be buying stolen stuff. So I always ask some questions about how the tool was used and for what purposes. If I get dodgy answers I move on. The "I'm selling this for a neighbor/friend/relative" response is also a red flag. OTOH, I've gotten a few good deals when someone is selling things their elderly dad had but no longer uses.
 
  #11  
Old 12-17-15, 04:10 PM
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I have used Craig's list for many buying and selling transactions and all of them have been good. Typically I will price things a little higher then I am willing to take expecting people to haggle, as I do the same when I am buying something.

Craigslist is nothing more then today's want/classified adds in the newspaper, just a whole LOT cheaper. Right now we are selling our late father-in-laws 1 ton plow truck on CL and car soup for about $31K we just got our first reply from CL.

Had one funny craigslist transaction:

Kind of late in the evening (after 9pm) wife and I quit watching TV and she checks her mail. Somebody e-mailed her saying he wants to buy a rim/tire we have for sale and he is stranded about 15 miles from where we live. If we were willing to bring it to him he would give us $10 extra to cover gas. I called him to get the scoop and he sounded legit. So I strapped my carry gun on, filled up the tire, and met him. Everything went fine and he was happier then heck to have a working tire to get home for the night. A few weeks later he contacted me again and wanted the last one we had available.
 
  #12  
Old 12-18-15, 03:25 PM
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So, you think I should ask $50 or $80 for my almost brand new Harbor Freight 8 inch grinder on the lousy pedestal mount? Should I go ahead and replace the original capacitor with the new one that I bought giving it a bit more starting torque?

I have the eye shields but somehow lost the attaching hardware. I also tossed the original (lousy) wheels and was going to add the wheels off of the second Jet machine where I will add a wire wheel and buffing pad.
 
  #13  
Old 12-18-15, 08:18 PM
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So if you work for the city should you try to sell meth on city property using Craig's List? City of Houston clerk charged with allegedly selling meth
 
  #14  
Old 12-18-15, 08:44 PM
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I've been an active user of Craig's List for around 5 years, mostly selling rather than buying. You meet all kinds of people -- honest local people who show up promptly and pay the asking price with no haggling, and at the other extreme, those folks who have nothing better to do than to email (usually from their smart phones) and say they are interested in an item, then you never hear from them again, or lowball you by offering half of whatever you're asking, despite it being priced very attractively. Out of dozens of buyers, I've only one one or two fail to show up, once we established contact and I was convinced they were legitimate buyers.

Much of what I have to sell is electronic or electrical in nature, and meeting at a public place often isn't feasible, as many buyers want to see or hear an electronic/electrical product in action. Of the few items I've purchased, I've had so-so luck. I've purchased four CRT type TV's without seeing them in operation, and they were all fine. On the other hand, I purchased a DVD/VCR combo and a surround sound receiver that were advertised as operative, but the sellers insisted in meeting at a public place. When I got home with the purchase, they were both inoperative, and I'm certain the sellers knew it. Meeting at a public place made testing them impossible.

I do see lots of stuff advertised that is priced very unrealistically high. A lot of folks bought flat panel TV's years ago, and don't seem to realize that the prices have come way down, plus the longevity of flat panel's has not been the greatest. So that 15 year old flat panel TV you paid $4,000 for is NOT worth $2,000 now. Either the sellers are ignorant of true used values, or else they hope the potential buyer is ignorant.

I've never had an encounter with an unsavory buyer or seller, but I live in a small town in the midwest. Usually anyone purchasing my stuff is a local person, as the things I typically put up for sale aren't pricey enough to attract scammers. What is annoying are the frequent requests for me to deliver something. I've even had people cheeky enough to ask me to make a 40 mile round trip to deliver a free item.

I've made a surprising amount of money selling my excess stuff through Craig's List, although I realize I usually make 10 cents on the dollar. But the cost of placing a classified ad in the local paper is prohibitive, so it's either using Craig's List, or donating everything to Goodwill.
 
  #15  
Old 12-19-15, 03:50 AM
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So if you work for the city should you try to sell meth on city property using Craig's List?
Early in the year when MJ was legalized in Washington state the Seattle City Attorney went out and bought some and then brought it back to his office in City Hall. Further, rather than keeping his mouth shut about it he blabbed all over that he had done it.
 
  #16  
Old 12-19-15, 04:24 AM
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...folks who have nothing better to do than to email (usually from their smart phones) and say they are interested in an item, then you never hear from them again...
When I first contacted the man selling the motor I bought for my riding mower the first thing he asked was if I were serious about it as he had had a lot of "looky lous" call. He was selling it for a friend and the price was listed at $200. He had also listed it a few months earlier at either $250 or $300 and (obviously) gotten no buyer. I told him that $200 was a bit high for me and asked if he would take $150. Since it wasn't his he had to contact his friend for the okay. He sent me an E the next day stating that IF I was serious that $150 would be okay. We exchanged telephone numbers and then proceeded to talk through the rest.

I had to drive fifty miles to meet him but it was worth it to me. End result was that I'm happy, he's happy and his friend is happy. Definitely a win-win-(win) on that deal.


Many years ago I tried selling my king-size bed complete with frame and linens. Even had a set of sheets that had never been opened. Had several people call, a couple came to see it but no one was even willing to make an offer. I would have let it go for twenty bucks just to get rid of it but finally ended up putting it at the street for the annual community clean up where it was hauled off for free.

What is annoying are the frequent requests for me to deliver something. I've even had people cheeky enough to ask me to make a 40 mile round trip to deliver a free item.
I saw an ad a few months ago for a table saw. The guy lived maybe a mile, maybe two, away and when I asked if he would be willing to deliver it for an additional fee he laughed and said no way was he going to deliver it. I saved some money that day. Just today (well, yesterday now) I was all ready to call about a different saw and ask if he would deliver for an additional fee but then I did a Google on the saw model number and found that while the basic saw was a good one the rip fence was total garbage and the "wing" tables, if stamped steel were only mediocre. I looked at the ad again, saw it had the stock rip fence and the stamped steel wings and told myself I just saved a hundred bucks.

My point is, that since I would have to rent a truck to move many items I would not hesitate in asking if they could deliver for a full-price offer or even an additional fee on some bulky item.

I've made a surprising amount of money selling my excess stuff through Craig's List, although I realize I usually make 10 cents on the dollar. But the cost of placing a classified ad in the local paper is prohibitive, so it's either using Craig's List, or donating everything to Goodwill.
Or pay to "donate" it to the county landfill. I've even had trouble donating things to St. Vinnie's because it wasn't the usual junk they normally get. Heck, I figure if it is truly junk then the thrift stores won't be able to sell it either and I would be doing them a disservice in trying to donate.

I've never had much luck in selling anything myself. I have made a few bucks in selling books and videos to Half-Price Books (I think they are a national chain or franchise) but I get pennies on the dollar. I don't mind the low prices because anything I get is better than nothing. I was going to try to sell my old cutting torch but who wants an ancient torch that you can't find tips for? I was going to throw in a fairly new 25 foot siamese hose set and then try to get about half price for the Y-valve set but without a set of regulators it would still have been only slightly better than worthless. Yet, I see old torch sets on CL that the people are asking several hundred dollars for and maybe they actually sell them for these idiotic prices. Heck, I can buy a brand-new torch set for a bit over $100 so why would anyone spend $400 for something forty years old?

I could go on but I'll let it go for now.

Oh, I wanted to add this to let everyone know I'm not really a bad person...About a month ago I saw an AC-DC welder on CL. It was a cheap unit both in original manufacturing and in the asking price. I called the guy and he asked me to call him the next week as he was out of town for the weekend. Well, after thinking about it for a few days I decided I didn't want to spend the money on the machine so I called him to tell him that I would not be buying. He thanked me for letting him know.
 
  #17  
Old 12-19-15, 12:53 PM
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Furd, I can definitely understand asking if delivery might be available for bulky or heavy items. I'm probably the only male in this community that doesn't own a pick-up, and I've passed up buying some large items such as furniture, since I had no way to get it home without renting a truck. But what gripes me is people asking for delivery for small, lightweight items, such as shirts, kitchen pots and pans, etc, that I'm only asking $5 for. In addition to asking me to drive 30+ miles, they also want me to call them long distance (yes I'm probably the only person in this town without unlimited cell phone long distance) which further erodes into any profit I might be getting. I guess they figure it never hurts to ask, and I do try to accommodate them, IF I'm going to be in the area anyway and they can meet me on my schedule. I have had requests to deliver things up to 120 miles away, "the next time I'm in the area". Those usually get a quick, polite NO.
 
  #18  
Old 12-19-15, 03:53 PM
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Preaching to the choir, my friend. If I can fit it into the trunk on my car I wouldn't dream of asking for delivery. I've also passed on a lot of items because I could NOT fit them in the car. With only a couple of exceptions that is probably a good thing.

I see far too many things that I might buy or pick up (free items) that I really have no use for and no place to store. I have for the sixteen years I have lived in this house steadfastly refused to build any additional storage areas or to rent a storage locker. I want to get rid of things, not acquire more, no matter how much I might think it would be "neat" to have an aardvark cage or other silly item.
 
  #19  
Old 12-20-15, 03:19 AM
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But what will you do the next time an aardvark invades your yard if you don't have a cage
 
  #20  
Old 12-20-15, 04:00 AM
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Since aardvarks are native to Africa I don't think there is much chance of one wandering into my yard. Even it were to happen, I have enough ants to keep him/her happy until the zoo people can come rescue the poor animal.

Now this is the kind of crap I would pick up. I have NO use for it but I do have the needed bulbs so I could make it work. Posted on Seattle Craig's List.

Used Construction light. Both bulbs need replacing. FREE
 
  #21  
Old 12-25-15, 05:27 PM
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reading one free ad why do people need to be just jerks or is it the way it sounds. This guy is getting rid of a car frame no wheels or nothing just a frame with a bunch of other metal junk on it. says email or text only 24 hours do not call you will not get a response. may help load but don't count on it. Or you must be able to get this washer or dryer out of my basement I will not help. It's like I'm doing you a favor taking it off your hands the least you can do is help or you must not want it gone bad enough. If you have a medical issue and can't lift then say so.
 
  #22  
Old 12-26-15, 03:43 AM
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Some folks just have unrealistic expectations. When scrap metal prices were high it was fairly easy to get someone to haul off metal for free. I suspect it would be harder to get it done with prices low. BUT at least they are upfront in the ad and anyone who responds knows what to expect.
 
  #23  
Old 12-26-15, 04:32 AM
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I have to agree with Marksr on this one. There is no reason why the "seller" need tell why he can't help move or load items. The fact that he says he can't is good enough. And since it's free why should he help? But I do understand your thoughts about how some people think they are doing you a favor by taking something off their hands.
 
  #24  
Old 12-26-15, 08:14 PM
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Several years ago, I had a big heavy sixties-vintage Frigidaire side-by-side refrigerator I advertised for sale on Craig's List. Dirt cheap price of $75 and it ran fine (terrible energy hog, though). Local lady answered the ad and said she wanted it. I told her it was very heavy and she needed to bring help to load it. She said "no problem". Lo and behold, they showed up in a decrepit old Datsun pickup. The lady was older and grossly overweight and her "help" was her 14 year old grandson, who probably weighed all of 110 pounds. I took one look at them, shook my head, and called a buddy and had him come over with one of his strong friends. We got it loaded, but that poor Datsun was bottomed out on the rear axle. They got out of the driveway and down the street, and I hope they made it home. They were kind of concerned the fridge might fall through the floor of their mobile home, but were going to "try it anyway". You meet all kinds!
 
  #25  
Old 12-26-15, 10:53 PM
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I am doing you a favor by getting rid of it and off your property for free. It will cost money if you have to call a special company to haul something the trash man can't just take. A/Cs and refrigerators all have to have the freon recovered and then the appliance tagged or the trash man won't take it. If you won't help then maybe you don't want it gone bad enough. It's like a battle of egos oh I'm listing it for free so I'm not going to help with this heavy item. You have to get it out of my basement by yourself I will not lift a finger.
 
  #26  
Old 12-27-15, 06:23 AM
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I don't think he is being a jerk and posting that you have a medical condition, or weakness, could be a safety issue for anybody looking to do them harm. IMO the "seller" is being up front making sure that you do not show up alone expecting him to load it for you. They are also doing you a favor giving it to you for free just as much as you are taking it off their hands. I see a lot of ads for a "curb alert" where they just set stuff at the curb or ally at an address. Anything with scrap value such as A/C units and refrigerators tend to disappear first.
 
  #27  
Old 12-27-15, 07:54 AM
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They were kind of concerned the fridge might fall through the floor of their mobile home
I'd wonder if it would even fit through the door. I'd guess they ended up setting it up outside.
 
  #28  
Old 12-27-15, 12:34 PM
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MY first mobile home was a 1952 United 35. If I remember correctly the exterior doors were only 22" wide. When I went looking for a used fridge the first thing I did was get the measurement of the fridge minus the door. I bought the only one I found that would fit [in my price range] The guy I sold the MH to had a brand new side by side fridge and was hoping to put it in - I wished him lots of luck and told him I didn't think it was possible.
 
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