Verified Classifieds – Added security while dodging the scammers, low-ballers and tire kickers!
I have something for sale. I post it on Craigslist or Kijiji and wait, fingers crossed. I’m the type that’s a little concerned about meeting up with completely anonymous buyers. Prior to meeting the process itself can be extremely frustrating based on the types potential sellers / buyers you’ll encounter.
Let’s start out by profiling the type of contact you’re likely to have after posting an item, listed from most to least likely.
1. The ‘Scammer / Spammer / Phisher’
2. The ‘Absurd Offer’ person
3. The ‘Tire Kicker’ who really isn’t quite interested and you never hear back from
4. The legitimately ‘Interested Party’
More often than not the first few emails (at least) aren’t from buyers, but from parties interested in scamming you out of your item.
“I want to buy you phone, will accept you $200 extra shipping to send to my son at Army base in Nigeria?”
The prospect of getting an extra $200 for shipping, I’m in! Believe it or not there are people who fall for this or they wouldn’t be doing it. Next comes a fake PayPal email. It gets shipped, kiss it and your pride goodbye.
The Absurd Offer
You post an iPhone 5 for $300, stating you are firm (or something similar that seems on par with market value).
You get an offer for $100. $100?!? The nerve. Do I even counter offer saying the lowest I can go is $280? Certainly I get another ridiculous offer back – “Ok I can come up to $125, I will pay you in cash!”. Ok Rick from Pawn Stars, what else did you expect to pay me with?
You tap dance around for a few days, getting frustrated, wasting your time and eventually they drop off.
The Tire Kicker
“Is the item still available?” Grr, YES, I stated in the ad that it the ad is still up it’s still available. “What color is it?” It’s SILVER, I stated that in the ad! “What sort of condition is it in?” I was CLEAR in the ad and included pictures! Spit it out and ask or say everything in one email – save both our time and my sanity. Great, now that I’ve had five email exchanges to answer questions that were already answered in the ad I get an offer.
My first ‘reasonable’ offer, it’s a less than what I wanted but I can probably work with it if we can arrange a reasonable place to meet.
You reply back immediately only to twiddle your thumbs waiting to hear back between absurd and scammers offers. A few days later you get another email asking more questions or maybe you don’t even hear back at all! I just want to sell my item now!
The Legitimate, Interested Buyer
These are few and far between. If you’ve run the gamut of scammers, low-ballers and the take forever to reply-ers you may be lucky enough to have one of these folks swoop in with a serious, no-nonsense offer.
If your transaction is fast, smooth and easy it’s time to buy a lottery ticket. As a buyer or seller I could go the Ebay / Amazon or other online retailer route but I want to do this locally, fast, at a reasonable price as the item is often ‘used’ with room for negotiation, I don’t want to ship or wait on shipping, and I don’t want to go through PayPal and lose a chunk of the proceeds, then go through the process of withdrawing funds, etc.
I wish there was a simpler, no-nonsense way.