ignatius.reilly.188's Profile

Display Name: ignatius.reilly.188
Member Since: 12/21/13

Latest Comments...

@Alex Q.

Don't make a commitment to meet unless you intend to follow through. It's just common sense and goes for both buyers and sellers. I don't advise having a cattle call sale where you give your address in the listing thus encouraging 50 people to show up, 49 of whom will show after the item is sold but you can certainly do things this way if you prefer. (I think you're asking for trouble but it's your trouble.) If you're running a sale in this manner, say so in the listing. It's not hard to type "First come, first served." However, if like most sellers you choose to meet an interested buyer at a day/time, don't sell to someone else after you've made this agreement and prior to the meeting you agreed to. Don't make a day/time commitment if you can't make it. If they don't show, sell to the next-in-line.

Craigslist Buying and Selling Etiquette
3/25/14 03:21 PM

P.S. One more tip: If you're selling and you set up a time and place to meet with someone who contacted you, don't sell the item to someone else prior to the meeting that you set up with them. They may have rearranged their schedule and done any number of things to meet you and to break such a commitment is extremely rude.

Craigslist Buying and Selling Etiquette
1/22/14 11:03 AM

I've had good luck with CL. A few tips:

1) Choose the ads that include decent pictures and reasonable prices, with descriptions that appear they were written with some intelligence. (This suggestion throws out about 25% of all CL ads.)

2) Contact the seller immediately and politely. Keep it brief and limit any questions to possible glaring omissions in the description. Give some indication of your schedule in the very first communication and if yours is flexible, say so explicitly, such as "I'm free this Saturday, all day from 8 am to 8 pm." In other words, try to be the first in line by getting the seller to commit. Once he has made a commitment to a time and place, his ethics (if he has any) will kick in when other buyers flock and he'll have trouble breaking that commitment to you.

3) Don't start dickering the price in the very first communication unless the seller states "o.b.o." If he's selling for $65 o.b.o. and you really do want it, offer $50, not $15. If the seller states that his price is firm, don't be a d*** and dicker the price. Don't come across as cheap. On the other hand, if the seller states "o.b.o." and you give a good offer and the seller responds that he wants the full price, move on.

4) Very few items are so rare that the one you see this week on CL must be yours. You'll see it again at some future date and possibly at a better price. In other words, a desperate buyer is spotted a mile away and emotional investment in a potential item is usually very expensive.

5) The item isn't yours until it's yours. Sellers can be fickle, so don't plan too far ahead.

6) Condition is relative. CL is filled with junk in various states of disrepair. That big scratch down the front of that beautiful refrigerator isn't invisible to the seller, so assume he's priced the item accordingly. If you want pristine items, buy retail.

7) Be prompt. Mention what you look like and where you'll be, right down to any necessary details. Make it easy for them to spot you. Bring cash and don't expect them to break a $100 bill. Use MapQuest or Google Maps or some other mapping system to find the seller. Don't expect the seller to give you minute directions down to taking the last hard right turn just beyond the bedraggled rhododendron in front of the house with all the tricycles on the lawn. Make some effort.

8) If they're social and want to chat, chat them up, especially if the transaction hasn't been completed. If that means faking interest in their dear aunt Millie who died recently but left this extraordinary collection of Hummel figurines you're about to buy for $10, by all means cry those tears, give a hug and a sympathetic smile, offer to sit with them and listen to the family history, fight back yawns and an aching bladder, and remember how good those figurines will look in that German vitrine you bought last week for $30.

9) If a seller responds to an inquiry about an item's specifics, assume it's still available. Don't give a seller an excuse to become annoyed with a question they think is unnecessary and wastes their time.

10) eBay is often used as a comparison when setting prices. Actually, eBay and CL are very different and their relative prices should ideally reflect it. eBay charges sellers a number of fees for their service and CL sellers who justify high prices by such comparisons are ignorant of how eBay works. "I've seen these sell for as much as $400 on eBay..." OK, well why don't you sell it on eBay? Don't give such comparisons too much credence and don't make the same mistake such sellers make when you set your expectations re. price. Save yourself some cash and wait for a better deal (believe me, there's always a better deal out there) or expect to pay near what is being offered, whichever applies.

11) One last tip: As a buyer, you've lived your entire life without the item you're now drooling over. You will survive w/out it. On the other hand, if you snooze, you lose. If you've contacted a seller and he's responded positively, follow through. If you're not certain you want it, don't waste his time. But don't dither, either, or you won't get the item. In other words, if you're going to be a buyer, buy the dang thing. Be direct, honest, flexible, and ready to pay. And be very, very polite. If you're hesitant, quit trolling CL; it's not for wusses.

Craigslist Buying and Selling Etiquette
12/21/13 07:31 PM