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Dude, Really? Uncomfortable Craigslist Encounters

Dude, Really? Uncomfortable Craigslist Encounters

Ever have a head-shaking encounter with a potential seller or buyer on Craigslist? I have. Two in particular come to mind that have happened over the past few months. In each situation I really wanted to say something (you know what I mean), but instead, I took the polite path. If I HAD given a retort, this is what I'd have said in each exchange:

Encounter #1. A guy comes to the house to buy something and asks if I'm scared, as a woman, to sell things off Craigslist. Dude, really? I wasn't before, but since you've asked that question....yeah, a little!*

Encounter #2. We go to a couple's house to buy something, and when we politely decide against buying the object, the wife's previous pleasant demeanor changes to a peevish one and she says, "Why don't you buy it, and then if something better comes along you can just list this one on Craigslist." Dude, really? First, don't tell me what to do, and, second, if I had been on the fence about buying your thing, you've just blown the sale. (We left, thanking them for their time, before she could throw us out.)

So..those are two of my most uncomfortable Craigslist encounters. Do you have any? We'd love to hear them.

*When I'm home alone and have a Craig's showing, I follow a safety protocol. Absolutely NO PERSONS in the house. (All potential sale items are moved into the garage beforehand.) My cellphone is in my pocket, doors to the house are locked behind me with a key stashed in a hidden spot. If weather permits, I'll grab my hedge trimmer before a buyer arrives and pretend to do some trimming. I figure those huge 18" blades send a 'don't eff with me' message. 

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Anonymous on Oct 31, 2012:

In college, my brother picked up a few free couches from CL. Mostly they were in good shape and people just needed someone to move it for them so let them go for free. After getting one 'sellers' address and arranging a time, we called ahead to let him know we were on our way. He said "I'm not home but the door's unlocked go ahead and just grab the couch." We felt really sketchy taking a couch with no one home. Did we just rob someone?


Have you guys heard about Spokely.com? It's only in Seattle but they're doing delivery for all the items...looks like it might get rid of a lot of the CL sketchyness!


Herschel on Oct 22, 2012:

I once saw an ad for an AMAZING dining room set for $100.  I immediately emailed and said I would take it, sight unseen.  I received an email, "you're not the only one who wants this, you know." 


Okay, whatevs.  I said I was still interested and said I could be there to pick it up on Saturday at 1:00.  Another email, "Fine.  Here's my address.  Good luck; hope you get here in time."


I get there on Saturday at 1:00 -- she told me that I was the only one who showed up.  She was very embarrassed.


Anonymous on Oct 15, 2012:

I've always been lucky too, I guess. No creeps—yet—but I do trust my gut when I talk to them on the phone. When selling a small item, I often will take it to a nearby public place, like the parking lot at the post office or McDonald's. If it's a big item, and I'm home alone, I have my Doberman by my side....


Anonymous on Oct 15, 2012:

I recently inquired by email about a fantastic 1950's coffee table in the area, saying I'd be happy to pick it up that afternoon. I didn't hear back from them all morning and afternoon, so I went out to do my errands. When I returned around dinnertime there was an email saying I was supposed to have called and that I had to CALL (in caps) in order to arrange a time.

I politely responded that I was sorry, but the listing never said anything about calling and that I was no longer interested. I got a reply that only said "SPAM!!!!!!!!". I wanted to write back that this was completely uncalled for, but didn't want to get into an email fight with someone I've never met.

I've bought and sold a few things over the years, but I"m definitely hesitatnt to bother with Craigslist anymore, because of situations like this one. It's not worth the hassle and I don't like being treated like that.


MJ on Oct 15, 2012:

I have to say, I must really be lucky as I have not had strange experiences through Craigslist.  I've always had my cellphone with me and informed the hubby that I was going to meet or pick something up, just in case.  But I find that I either get the vibe over the email or phone conversations and go into it just as I would a garage, estate or yard sale.  Because the same thing can happen.  I have found amazing things through Craigslist; our first rental house in California, an awesome couch, daybed, desk, our dog, my friends' dog, baby stuff for friends, farm stuff for my Aunt-in-law and so much more.  It really is my first go to for things.


Sara on Oct 15, 2012:

I had a guy that typed up his ad wrong...listed the two nightstands for $50 instead of $50 EACH.  Once I got there (working around his "schedule" of course), he told me to drive to the nearest bank to get more $ even though it was his mistake.  I told him no...it was his mistake so he should take the hit, and I wasn't going to pay bank ATM fees.  Apparently there had been other buyers who were interested in the same pieces who also interpreted his ad the same way (I wonder why!), but he never bothered to clarify with me over the phone.  What a tool.  


Ann on Oct 15, 2012:

Several times men have asked me (a woman) if I am scared to sell things on Craigslist. I always give them a look like they're a giant creeper for even asking. I'm not sure what kind of person brings that up. 


Neal on Oct 15, 2012:

I've never had an issue with a cl buyer but, like you, they are never allowed inside my house for any reason. The entire sale happens on my front porch on my busy street with the exception of one young lady and her mother that came to buy some shelves and a desk; they were obviously harmless, my partner and I were both here, and you just get a general "feeling" about people. That's not to say that they couldn't have pulled a weapon or something, I will always be on-guard with strangers.


Dana on Oct 14, 2012:

I've never had anything too awkward happen, but I also have a couple rules to follow! NO going into houses, meet in public areas, and always ALWAYS take someone along. :) 


Anetron on Oct 14, 2012:

I've bought and sold a ton of things on Craigslist and have never had a problem until recently my boyfriend purchased a broken xBox for $40 in order to repair it. They met in a supermarket parking lot to exchange goods and money. After he brought it home, it only took a few days to find out that the reason the xBox didn't work is because it was filled with cockroaches which were now scurrying around our new house.  When we called the guy back and asked for our money back he called the police and said we were threatening him. It was a nightmare. We've gotten rid of the bugs but my love of craigslist is soured forever.


Anonymous on Oct 14, 2012:

We are in the Chicago area and we craigslisted a box spring for free. Since the person was coming before my husband came home from work, he and I placed it downstairs in our condo building in the morning. When the person was scheduled to come, I hadn't heard from them until my buzzer buzzed.
They didn't know our last names or unit number so how...?! I walked out and they were already in the hall--turns out she had an incorrect cell number, but when they drove by the place they saw the box spring in the hallway. So they rang every buzzer at once, assuming someone would let them in.
They were super nice and funny/cute (slightly older couple), but I was freaked out that random strangers so easily made it into our building.


Anonymous on Oct 14, 2012:

I once had something listed for free and someone asked if I would deliver it. It was over email so I was able to plan a suitable reply which was something along the lines of "given that I am listing it for free I don't think I should also have to deliver it."


Anonymous on Oct 13, 2012:

I have been fortunate to have dealt with decent people when I'm selling on craigslist. My rule is I never have someone to my home if I'm going to be alone. I also do not go to purchase from someone on craigslist unless I take someone with me. One place I went was in a very secluded wooded yard in a little run down house and the guy kinda gave me the creeps. Luckily I had taken my 6'3" 250# son with me In our state it's legal to carry a firearm, and he always did. 


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