Friday, October 26, 2007

Deal hunting on Craigslist - be carefull, its a jungle out there

Are you fed up with Phishing? Good because we are going hunting.

Dealing with Craigslist has become an art form. There are so many great deals on Craigslist. Like that computer that is at least 10 years old that the seller wants 50% of that $3000 dollars he bought it for in 1997. Ok thats easy enough to deal with, just skip past it. It would be nice if there was an, "Are You Insane", flag that we can apply to these posts.

What about that AlienWare laptop that guy bought 4 months ago with dual 7800 256mb SLI video and 2gig of DDR and a 1920 X 1200 wide screen display. He doesn't need it any more because he got a better one from work. (I want that job) $600. Are you drooling yet. Did you send a quick email to be the first to respond and at that price and you don't give a crap about what your wife thinks about you spending yet another $600. Then the guy post a bunch of crap about how he won't be tricked by scammers and won't ship the Laptop out of the country or to Nigeria. (I trust him now)

You might have even fired off your phone number in that email to this stranger who in this case is a criminal. Nice, now he has your email with about 10,000 other people to put on spam lists, your phone number for those telemarketers who honor the fact that your protected by that do not call list.

I traced this guy back to Wales England. He said he was local in Cary, NC. He later states that he is out of the country with a complicated money exchange and shipping process to follow.

I told him I was in England and wanted to pick it up locally to avoid the customs tax. He wanted my phone number yet again. I explained that I need to call him because I was heading back to the US in 2 days and my number will change as I go from hotel to hotel. Guess what, no return email. Good thing, I was personally tempted to go to England and kick his butt and video tape it for YouTube, that is if he didn't have a AlienWare laptop in exchange for $600.

This is how to work Craigslist:

1.)Have a separate email address from Yahoo just for craigslist that doesn't have any of your personal info with the account.

2.) When selling - expect the buyer to provide a phone number to call him. If not don't deal with him. This will weed out anyone that isn't serious.

If they ask if you still have the item and don't send a number they are likely looking to low ball you on the price or aren't really interested or they just want your email address.

3.) Don't converse much via email. Make sure your post has all the details they need and answer only if they have a valid question. In your ad make it clear what price you are will to accept. Craigslist is not like EBay. The market for items on EBay is huge compared to a local Craigslist listing. Don't expect a item to sell in 2 days. It may take 2 months for a buyer to come along. Lowering your price may not be the answer if the price is fair. I set my prices as close to the EBay sold prices as possible.

When searching EBay there is an option you can check to search for recently sold items. You are required to log in and the page will pop up. This is what you should expect to get. Remember they don't have to pay shipping so they are already getting a deal.

4.) As a buyer - Have them call you and expect to see a number come up on caller Id when they call you. If it is blocked ask for a number to call them back. This establishes their identity and they will be aware that you have a record of who they are in case the product they are selling is not as advertised and in case they are up to no good.

If you plan on buying something expensive make the transaction out in front of the police station or in a place where they won't try to rip you off. A bank parking lot is good because it gives the perception of safety. I choose the Best Buy parking lot because its always busy and everyone knows where it is. Never show your money until you have looked over the item. If its a item you need to see working, look up the neighborhood. If you want to be really safe you can look at the county tax records for the property or for an apartment you can stop in the office and ask about the renter. Most people in the apartment offices are really friendly and know their renters. Go with a friend, always. Even if they wait in the car. Lots of people deal with the public every day in their homes. Its not a big deal. Just play it smart when dealing with money.

Craigslist is just as safe as you make it. People ask about dating on Craigslist. How many of those people have had sex with a stranger? How many people went on a date with a stranger? How many have had sex without a condom? I'm not trying to be crude. When you think you know someone you really don't. Its up to you to think smarter. People have been buying and selling for centuries.
Craigslist isn't responsible for your safety, you are.

Something a friend showed me was on an EBay ad and motivated me to write this post.


****If you feel the need to explain to me why you think I should ship outside the US please keep it to yourself.*****

Just to clear things up
the following Countries are not located inside the US
Canada (this includes any part of Canada that is not in the US)
France (see below)
England (Unless it's to any of the remaining Beatles other than Ringo)
Russia (This includes the Russian Space station. The one in Space and any other Russian Space stations)
Australia (The Dingo's got the Baby!!!)

Any other Country besides the US (United States of America)

Special note!!!!!!..... Miami is NOT it's own country and IS inside the US!!!!!!!!

***** Finland has just been added to the Countries not inside the US********

France!!!!!!! France is also NOT inside the US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the confusion

Since people still don't understand. I will not ship ANYTHING even 1 (One, Uno) Centimeter past the US border. I don't care how close you are to it. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

Another special note......... It has come to my attention that there may be a Russian space station somewhere in Wisconsin. On display for all the Wisconsinians to see. I will make a special exception in this case. If anyone at this particular Russian space station would like one of my items, I will gladly ship it there.

I'm also unsure of what's going on in Vermont right now. At the present time it's still inside the US so I will ship there.

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