My First Time Using Craigslist

Somehow I missed the Craigslist memo. It could have something to do with the fact that I haven’t used even eBay for a while. (I used to be on eBay quite a bit but gave it up a few years ago when Amazon proved to be a worthy replacement with much less hassle.) But we recently moved and found ourselves with a couple of items needing a new home due to space constraints in our new place. Namely: a Yamaha electronic keyboard and a spare fold-a-bed.

So I signed up for Craigslist and posted these items online. Here’s what I found:

  • The keyboard went right away even though it was priced at less of a bargain than the bed ($75 vs. $35 for the bed)
  • When both items were picked up (at different times), both parties buying almost forgot to pay until the last minute making for a potentially awkward situation (though both seemed very nice)… interesting coincidence
  • For whatever reason, for the bed, I received four very interested inquiries who requested my address and setup a time only to “no show” and not respond to any further correspondence. The fifth person finally did come and get it.

My whole experience is admittedly anecdotal and could be quite the exception for all I know. And there are plenty of stranger “exceptions.” But it is all I know of Craigslist at this point. Overall, I’d use it again, sure, but only if the context dictated it as the best choice (i.e., if I move and need a theoretically easy way to get rid of big items). Outside of this kind of scenario, though, I’m not sure. It feels like it’s the world’s largest and most streamlined ongoing garage sale. While that’s all fine and good, I’m finding that model doesn’t work as well for me. But it seems to do wonders for plenty of people.

Anyone else used Craigslist with similiar (or different) results?

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  • Heidi Quist

    I've used it for job searching and selling items. Similar experience. I do tend to get more spam after replying to items, etc. I'm quite curious about the increase of your spam after responding to those uninterested parties.

  • http://tomcaswell.com/blog Tom Caswell

    I've used Craigslist almost as much as eBay (so, quite a bit). I agree that there are risks in using Craigslist, but the major premise is that by keeping things local you can work it out face-to-face. By using eBay you have access to a wider audience and a way of judging buyers using the feedback system. But when you compare it to Craigslist, eBay is quite an expensive service (especially now that you are all but forced to use the non-free PayPal, which sometimes can cost as much as the auction itself). While eBay offers few safeguards (i.e. buyer protection), it's nothing you couldn't get for free by using basic “garage sale” common sense.

    It sounds like the main convenience you are used to with eBay is the ability to do the whole transaction without having to be bothered by strangers coming over. But if you don't mind a few visits. if you happen to live in a large enough town with enough computer-literate people, Craigslist is another option. And I would argue that it's a far less restrictive one (you set the terms, not eBay/PayPal). But I'll admit that it sometimes takes more time to use Craigslist, so this is partly a time vs. money question.

  • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

    It is indeed a time vs. money question. Also, I should mention that I don't think eBay is convenient at all. Not only does it cost more, but it still has a high probability of sucking my time away. I guess the main point is that I've realized the difference in savings between Amazon and whatever alternative to Amazon is rarely enough to justify the extra time wasted (for me).

  • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

    I hadn't thought of it in the context of job search… That could be interesting. As for spam, I actually don't think I got any. Every email I got was pretty specific and didn't seem to have any other purpose other than showing real interest in the bed I was selling. But after brief interaction, I thought of it as more an issue of Craigslist users just being flaky.

  • peskypescado

    When I moved I sold a couch ($250) and a piano ($500) with Craigslist. It all went pretty easily actually. It could have been because I was in a college town the week before classes started though.

  • http://craigslistexploited.com/ Craigslist Proxy

    It sounds like the main convenience you are used to with
    eBay is the ability to do the whole transactions

  • http://www.globalracingschools.com Racing Schools

    Craigslist is cool but the posting gets removed after 45 days, that's the sad part.

  • http://www.internet-empire.com SEO Singapore

    With the impending crisis, I think the online stores should be doing better.

  • http://www.craigslistproxy.net Craigslist Proxy

    There are a lot of bargains to be had on Craigslist if you get in quick. Good that it still remains free for most sections.

  • http://www.themetasecret.org The Meta Secret

    Craigslist still works now. Though the look and feel needs to work on, the consistent navigation and ease of posting and searching ads are the main reason why people go back for more.

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    I still prefer using ebay as a medium to sell my items, especially when the store already has certain percentage of authority and trust among the buyers.

  • A

    I always knew Craigslist existed, but never used it until recently. I found myself in the same situation as you: moving, and tried to sell some stuff. Most email replies turned out to be flakes. Some phone call replies turned out to be flakes. The worst was this woman who asked me to hold an item for 2 days only to end up being a no-show. I even called her back asking her if she was still interested on the second day to which she replied “yes, I'll get back to you with the time.” Argh. In the end, I managed to sell all the things I needed to part with but not without frustration. I learned that for every 10 people who are interested, at least 5 are flakes.

  • http://www.craigslistproxy.net Craigslist Proxy

    I don't know about anyone else but there is always something happening with Craigslist.

  • http://craigslistproxy.tumblr.com/ Craigslist Proxy

    Very interesting. Never ceases to amaze me what you find online or happening on the net these days.

  • http://www.phoneverifiedaccounts.net Phone Verified Accounts

    Plenty of people will probably be going to Craiglsist now with the economic times as they are.

  • http://www.craigslistproxy.net Craigslist Proxy

    Does look to be something that happens on Craigslist a lot.

  • Robert Ballentine

    best article on the internet sir

  • Ruby Akbar

    If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.

  • http://xtremax.com Web Design

    I do not know the details, but I really appreciate the article, as it introduced me to Craigslist for the first time. Such a huge network. I really was missing something interesting

  • http://sites.google.com/site/craigslistproxies/ Craigslist Proxy

    Craigslist is a huge site and always something new happening.

  • http://bobcaswell.com Bob Caswell

    Glad you found it useful!

  • http://www.elite-proxy.net Craigslist Proxy

    Does it ever cease to amaze you with all the news and happenings about Craigslist?

  • http://www.elite-proxy.net Craigslist Proxy

    Craigslist is a huge site and always something new happening.

  • http://www.englishclass.com.tw ??

    Interesting post. Appreciate it as I have seen something new now.

  • http://www.howtomakekefir.com Whereisaron

    Yes it's sad part if the posting gets removed after 45 days. Don't worry i think they will improve the service more better.

  • http://www.angularcheilitistreatments.com Liontin

    I still prefer eBay or Amazon for selling stuff. I hope in the future Craigslist can stand side by side with those Big company. :)

  • http://www.club-penguin.org/ ClubPenguin

    Most email replies turned out to be flakes. Some phone call replies turned out to be flakes. The worst was this woman who asked me to hold an item for 2 days only to end up being a no-show.

  • http://www.club-penguin.org/ ClubPenguin

    Most email replies turned out to be flakes. Some phone call replies turned out to be flakes. The worst was this woman who asked me to hold an item for 2 days only to end up being a no-show.