I know this will surprise you, but I actually have bought very little off Craigslist. I’ve mostly used it for jobs and pets. I don’t know why; it seems that whenever I’ve gone to Craigslist looking for something I’m not able to find it (or can get it cheaper at a store). I have used it a lot for selling things though! Especially right now as we’re moving to a much smaller apartment next weekend and I’m desperately trying to get rid of stuff.
The Craigslist community is different though, and I keep forgetting that! For one, I find this whole lack of communication thing on Craigslist very weird. I put something for sale, and get like 6 emails from interested people. Then no one writes back and I’m left wondering if I should hold the item for an interested party. (Thank goodness I have my email on my Blackberry. I can’t imagine trying to do this without email contact during the day.) I feel like just a simple “No thank you” email would be the polite thing to do. But, that isn’t the Craigslist way. It’s taken me a while but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It’s not “first person to email me gets it”, but rather “first person to actually get in their car and come pick it up”. I still try to be nice and email people back if they inquire after the item is sold, just because I feel bad leaving them hanging.
I’m also trying to get away from the whole “Sure I’ll meet you halfway!” thing. Case in point: We were selling a dog crate for $10. They wanted us to meet them halfway, which we did. Then we realized after the cost of gas from the 1/2 hr drive, we just about broke even. Sooo… now I’m all about “pick-up only”. I do like to try and meet people at a public place near my house, but right now since we’re about to move I’m not worried about it.
I’ve also noticed that it isn’t that uncommon to be stood up by potential buyers. Another reason why I’m wanting to be firm with the “pick-up only”. If I’m just waiting at home, I might be annoyed but at least I haven’t driven somewhere else.
I even went completely against my personality, and “sold something out from under” someone else. I have found that dog crates are a hot commodity on Craigslist. Good thing I had 4 to sell. :-) I had someone email me and want to meet halfway. I finally said okay and tried to arrange a meeting place. They took a long time responding to my email (a long time=didn’t respond until after work the next day). Meanwhile, I found someone else who was willing to come pick it up. So, I sold the cage to the second person and felt really guilty. I emailed the first person back and said I had found someone who was willing to pick it up, and apologized. They wrote back, “No problem”, but I still feel guilty. I have to admit, though, that I am glad I didn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic trying to meet them 30 minutes from my house.
Oh and one other thing I learned: don’t ever list something for Craigslist and then go out of town! Hehe I did that last weekend and poor Paul had to deal with delivering the $10 cage.
Jes told me to always put the price higher than I want, and then negotiate down. I have found a few people who try to talk me down, but not that many – and 2 of the 3 times I’ve been able to sell it to someone else pretty quickly at the original price.
I had to get rid of some mattresses. I posted it in the free section, and then went to a Bible study, leaving Paul to deal with it, hehe. :-) It only took half an hour for him to arrange for someone to pick it up the next day. She was a no-show though. I reposted it, and two hours later another person had already come to pick it up. Yay!
I also was trying to get rid of two computers. One is the PC that we used until February, when it died. We tried to fix it but it was too old. So I posted it for parts for free on Craigslist. I also had an old G4 Mac computer. It worked a year ago, and then we moved to our current place and never hooked it up. A few days ago Paul hooked it up and we couldn’t get it to turn on. :-( Since we have no idea how to troubleshoot a Mac, I decided just to let that go for free on Craigslist too (I’m also at the point where I NEED to get rid of things). I posted both computers around the same time, included my phone number, and almost immediately my phone started ringing off the hook. It only took 20 minutes for the computers to be sold and an hour later both had been picked up. I hardly had time to take down the Craigslist post because of all the phone calls! I am happy they are gone.
So I’m curious: for those of you who aren’t in Atlanta and use Craigslist a lot, are these the types of things you’ve found as well? Or is it Atlanta culture doing this? I’m curious. :-)