I have sold hundreds of items on Craigslist, but those hundreds of transactions have come with some annoyances. At times, you really need to have thick skin if you are going to list things for sale on CL. And if you have ever tried selling an item on Craigslist, you have probably been contacted by and/or met these types of people.
Keep in mind, I think Craigslist is a great website to use. My entire website gives tips about selling on CL, avoiding scams, and making sales. Craigslist can be awesome if you can tolerate the BS and wait for good people find your ad. However, CL gets so much traffic that it attracts the bottom feeders and harmless weirdos of the Internet.
The Annoying Buyers
Craigslist can be compared to a large music festival. Thousands of people will show up to have a great time and enjoy the music and see the bands they came to see and go home happy. However, somewhere in the middle of those thousands of great people will be a few that complain about the high prices vendors are asking, then start dancing and bumping into people around them and ruining a good time for others. Those festival annoyances are similar to some of the people that use Craigslist. You just need to deal with them, brush it off, and move on to the next person.
First, there are the emailers. I rarely have any luck making an actual sale from a person that emails about an item. Many people like to just mass email a bunch of sellers about a product they are interested in, only to never respond when I reply to their email. They will send a generic email saying something like, “hey i want to buy the ipod.” Or they will include their phone number in the email and never answer their phone when I call them. Very annoying.
Informal + High Traffic = Annoying People
Unfortunately, Craigslist is a very informal website and it gets large amounts of traffic. If you send a seller an email, it really doesn’t matter if you make an effort to buy the item after the initial contact. I have received emails from people that don’t even remember emailing about my item.
Here is a bizarre exchange I had with a prospective buyer through email:
Buyer: hi mate will you be willing to except $250 For It
Me: Yes, $250 cash is fine.
(The next day) Buyer: ok hi this is or waht again Im Sorry?
Then I responded to that email and let him know that he offered $250 for an item I had on CL. I never heard back from that person. Awesome. Maybe he was a little drunk when he made the $250 offer and didn’t remember the next day. And it is people like that that annoy many CL sellers because it is hard to tell when someone is serious or not.
Besides the emailers, another type of Craigslist buyer that annoys me are the people that like to call and just talk. I include a phone number on all of my CL ads because it leads to faster sales. (Almost 10 out of 10 of my sales start with a buyer calling me). However, there are people out there that like to just call and ask questions about the item you have posted.
They will call to ask about its previous use, its condition (even though that info is already in the ad they saw). Sometimes, no matter how descriptive you are in your CL ad, you still might attract people that just want to call and talk about the item. They are not serious about buying, they just want to know more about it. I think it makes them feel good and somehow satisfied that they actually spoke to the person selling the item instead of just looking at the ad and looking at the pictures. Like, “Well, I called him and learned some info about it, so I am happy and don’t really need to follow up and buy it. He should be happy I called and showed interest.” Very annoying.
The Question Askers
Then there are the people that call, ask questions about the item, then make an offer on the phone. A lot of the time, these buyers will make an insulting low-ball offer. When the low-ballers call me, I simply just say “No”. They pause for a few seconds and I picture the shock on their face when they hear me say “No”, then I say “Goodbye” and keep the item posted until the next person contacts me. Don’t be afraid to deny low-ball offers!
Then, there are the people that make a reasonable offer on the phone, I accept their offer, then they arrive and try to offer even less than they offered on the phone. These are the bottom feeders. These are the people I despise the most. They assume that since they actually showed up to an ad posted on Craigslist that you should just accept whatever offer you get. Not true!
Again, don’t be afraid to deny a low-ball offer. If your item is worth $75 in the resale market and you agree to sell it for $65, don’t take a $40 offer when someone shows up to buy it just because they showed up with cash. Tell them you will pass on that offer and wait for the next person to come along with more cash. Remember, you are looking to make money on Craigslist. Not give your stuff away for free.
“Oh Yeah, I Forgot about that $20 Bill”
You will be surprised at the amount of people that all-of-a-sudden come up with the cash they originally offered on the phone after you tell them you will sell it to someone else. The low-ballers know they are low-ballers. Don’t give them the satisfaction of beating you up for an item they are going to re-sell at a flea market.
I know this post seems a bit negative. However, I am only telling the truth and I know there are many people out there that hate using Craigslist. I think Craigslist is a great way to get rid of unwanted items without paying for website fees, however, since it is free and very popular, there are going to be annoyances with using the service.
Please share this post and please talk about your annoyances with using CL in the comments below. Your comments must be approved by me before they go live on the site (due to so much comment spam). But if you leave a real comment, I will accept.
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