I'm sure by now you know how much I heart Goodwill, but it wasn't that long ago that Craigslist held the key to my heart. I've sold and purchased quite a few things....swing sets, play houses, picnic tables, bathroom cabinets and both girls daybeds. Lo's bed was a super sweet deal-$40 for the bed, trundle and both brand new mattresses! It was even delivered by a sweet college boy home for summer who gave me a lovely note from his mom on how to wash the comforter.
As wonderful as CL can be it definitely has it's drawbacks. In my experiences about 75% of the people are "normal" people looking for a good deal, and the rest are downright shady and a tad crazy. That's the problem with dealing with people over the Internet, you NEVER know what you're going to get. I had quite a few not so positive experiences (both as a buyer and seller) that made me take a break, but I feel that if you take a few steps to protect yourself, you can get some pretty amazing deals out there.
Here are my thoughts/suggestions when selling and/or buying things on CL:
- Go with your gut. If you feel that a person isn't being honest or a situation doesn't "feel right" it's probably not a good situation and not worth your time.
- I have a completely different email that I use when inquiring and posting listings to CL. I know it sounds extreme but I really don't want people I don't know knowing my name and how to get ahold of me. There are people out there that send A LOT of spam to emails associated with postings. Trust me you don't want all that in your inbox.
- Ask to meet in a neutral location when buying and selling things. When I sold my daughter's crib I had the buyers meet me in front of the police station. I put this in my posting and it really helped keep the "crazies" away. The crib went to a very nice couple expecting their first baby and I knew that I would be safe.
- Dial *67 before calling a phone number on the listing. This will block the number you are calling from.
- When selling items give detailed descriptions and lots of pictures . When selling furniture, like tables or dressers, it's helpful to list dimensions.
- Be honest about the condition of the things you are selling. People will still buy things that aren't in perfect condition, but you need to tell them or show pictures of the imperfections.
- Only accept cash.