How to approach buying on Craigslist.
With online purchases in our ever-modernizing world increasing, it is important to understand what you are getting in to, with the buying and purchasing of good online. In this post I will give you NS guys some practical tips for buying and selling your goods online, but specifically in reference to Craigslist.
With the amount of scamming happening on NS you can apply these to most Internet buying and selling services.
Craigslist: For those of you who don’t know, Craigslist is a site that is similar to Ebay in the fact that it allows buyers and sellers to contact each other. A few special things are unique to Craigslist though. For one most transactions take place face to face. My advice here is don’t buy off someone through the Internet on Craigslist, you might as well use Ebay, which has some safeguards. Secondly the sellers have anonymity, in that unless specified a seller is not shown. To make this possible “forwarding” e-mail addresses are created that are randomly generated by Craigslist when a seller creates a post, posting his/her goods. When a buyer wants to contact a seller, the buyer can use this created e-mail address, and the address will automatically re-route to the seller without the buyer finding out the e-mail of the seller. This allows for more privacy, when selling good.First Signs
When looking at Craigslist, it is unlike EBay, there is no user feedback, or way to check if someone is a legit buyer or seller, and thus it is harder to tell. Firstly when viewing a post, if someone has poor grammar skills, its can be an early sign of a fake seller or scammer. If people are going to sell things, you want to know you are buying from a serious seller, and thus must be serious in advertising and handling their business including grammar (unlike my blogging skills).
Secondly the more pictures the better, to see condition and other details. If you can get pictures with a note in them proving that they have this object.Making Contact with a Buyer/Seller
Guys, its simple here, be respectful, be courteous, and respect will be given back. That being said its okay to be a bit inquisitive. For instance ask them their reasons for selling the item, and how they like it. Also don’t be afraid of asking for multiple forms of contact information just for reassurance. If you want even Google a persons name, it is amazing how much information can be found and dug up about someone from a simple Google search.Finding the Proper Location
I try and give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to meeting for transactions in terms of getting mugged or ripped off. Try setting your meeting place in somewhere public, a crowded mall with a lot of bystanders, not in an ally. Also try avoid going to a person car, as nothing really positing can come from that situation.
Most people are happy with you checking out an item before you pay. Make sure any and all of your questions about the item are answered, this is your time to say yay, or nay. So find out if it has and does everything you expect it to do.
There is no need to bring a knife or anything, if someone wants my money that badly they can have it. I usually just bring a friend with me, or my brother, doesn’t hurt.Craigslist is a great way to get things cheaper than retail. Personally I have used it to purchase my PSP, my Xbox 360, and my 16gb iPod touch. In all I would have to say I have save between $500-$600 off of retail prices and all the stuff has worked fine and continues to do so. It a great way to get things cheaper than retail, just be cautious and use common sense, if you have any other questions just comment.