Craigslist can be a great place to pick up new furnishings for the house for a fraction of their retail cost. It can also be a very convenient place to make some cash getting rid of things that you no longer need. There are a few things that everyone should know before buying or selling on Craigslist.
1. Beware of Scammers!
If you’re using Craigslist for the first time, you might be surprised by how good some of the responses that you receive are. It’s an old axiom, but it still rings true–if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Scammers often try to distract you by offering you more than what you ask for something. Often times, they will offer to wire you cash via Western Union or something similar. These scammers are trying to steal your personal information along with whatever items that you are selling on Craigslist.
While sifting through these scam attempts is an unfortunate element of trading on Craigslist, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself.
• Keep Your Email Address Anonymous – There is literally no reason to post your actual email address in an ad. When creating an ad on Craigslist, the default setting is to use an anonymous email address. This means someone responding to the ad sends the email to something like firstname.lastname@example.org, but the email is actually delivered to your email address. As long as you keep your email address anonymous, nobody will be able to get your email address until you respond to an email that is sent to you.
• Do Not Respond To Any Scammers – Scammers aren’t just trying to get physical money or your belongings. They are often also trying to collect legitimate email addresses that people use and any other personal information that they can get. If you get an email that you suspect is a scam, just Delete it right away.
• Include A Phrase To Include In Subject Line – One easy way to filter out spammers and scammers is to require a specific Subject Line. Mention in the body of your ad “To show me that you are a real person, please use the subject line “Living Room Sofa Set”. Spammers and scammers are usually automatic processes and will never cater to a specific request such as this.
2. Pricing Items On Craigslist
People who shop on Craigslist are almost always expecting for a price to be a little flexible. That means there are two approaches to ensuring that you are compensated what you actually want to be compensated.
• List Price As “Firm” – Put the actual dollar amount that you want to get paid and say firm. You can do this in the title as well as the body of your ad to really drill the point that your price is not flexible.
• Price Item Marginally Higher Than What You Want To Be Paid – If you can’t let an item go for less than $200, price it at $230. This gives you a little wiggle room so that you can get to your target price while satisfying the customers’ need to haggle.
3. Arrange Delivery
If you just sold a piece of furniture on Craigslist, chances are, you’re going to need a little help delivering it. Make sure that you specify in your ad how how delivery will work. Sometimes the seller will offer to deliver it, but more often than not, the buyer is responsible for getting the item where it needs to go. Some people do choose to split the cost of delivery equally between the seller and buyer as well.