Selling Stuff on Craigslist Sucks

Posted by Paul Lefebvre on May 4, 2009 in Interesting Things | 4 comments

Has anyone had much luck selling stuff on Craigslist? It seems like it would be a fabulous way to sell things, but I tried selling an older laptop on it last month and it proved to be nothing but a headache. Is there some trick to it?

99% of all the responses I got were from scammers wanting me to ship the laptop somewhere, usually Nigeria.

In the end, I ended up donating the laptop to my church to help raise money at the Christmas Fair. That proved far more satisfying.

I have bought a few things from Craigslist (Asus eee PC, Apple Cinema Display and recently a Palm TX). At the time I was surprised these items were still available, but now I see why. The poor sellers probably never actually had any real offers.

What have been your experiences with Craigslist?

4 Responses to “Selling Stuff on Craigslist Sucks”

  1. I recently sold my old washer and dryer for $100 to make way for a new set. I put the ad up on Cragslist at 9:00a, I got one phone call, and the w/d were both gone before lunch with no effort on my part.

    I had placed at the bottom of the ad the following text: “First come first served. Cash only and the price is non-negotiable. Items will not be delivered. Items are sold ‘as is’ and cannot be returned once purchased. You are responsible for your own transportation and you must bring your own muscle. Terms are non-negotiable.” In other words, you come over, you give me your money, I let you take the stuff, and we never see each other again. I also didn’t put an email address, only a phone number.

    Your troubles might have had something to do with the item you were selling (electronic kit), because I would imagine that Nigerians wouldn’t have much interest in a 20-year-old Lady Kenmore washer-dryer set.

  2. Yes, I strongly suspect this is primarily an issue with the Computers & Tech section of Craigslist. Scammers love technology!

  3. I’ve bought and sold some music gear and have been nothing but happy with Craigslist. One guitar I sold ended up selling for more than I asked because people were fighting over it!

  4. Peter Fargo says:

    My son had a wild scam attempt when selling a snow plow on Craigslist. Some guy with all kinds of troubles (wish I’d kept the emails) wanted to buy it but was out of town on a “job”. He sent my son $2800 in money orders for a $1200 sale. He said his sister needed cash real badly and would he please cash the money orders and send the balance of the cash via Western Union to his sister in Atlanta, GA. The money orders were from a Canadian bank and looked legitimate enough. I reported to the locals and sent the guy a nice friendly email explaining I had sold the plow without my sons knowledge and I’d be happy to return his money orders to any address he cared to send me.

    I threw them out about 2 weeks ago after no response in two years.

    Fortunately my son was at college and the money orders came to the house. We had already discussed the guy being a scammer but college kids don’t always do the smart thing when money is tight.