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A Rant about Craigslist......

We all have gotten great scores off of craigslist, but lately I am becoming more and more frustrated with people. I have a deal in place to buy some sets from a guy and after I started on my way to pick them up, he renegs and tells me someone else came along later and offered more (Even though I was paying his asking price). I have also have 6 people in a row commit to picking up a set I was selling only to stand me up at the meeting place. Three of those sets I could have sold to others.

People need to be more curteous. The anonymity of craigslist allows people to just flake out on deals when on Ebay or some other site with feedback they would be he;d accountable.

I realize that there is no fix. It just seems to have gotten very bad lately and I am just frustrated.

Comments

  • Honestly I've seen the asking price go to bid war happen multiple times on this forum in the last couple months.
  • Sorry for your experience. Some people are motivated by money. I have never had a bad experience myself but it is always on my mind when I buy or sell something through Craigslist.
  • I can't even find deals. It seems people around here know what Lego is worth. I won't get into bidding wars.
  • I've bought a lot on Craigslist and have absolutely run into wagnerml2's problem before. Extremely frustrating. Some people treat it like their own auction house, or even worse (cough, cough ebay).

    A month ago I was interested in a certain collection. This was a Sunday morning when it popped up. They emailed back on my query and said the collection was still available, but that somebody else from my city was picking it up....so if I hurry I could beat them to it.... Really?!?

    There are all kinds. Very generous people, fair people, money-hungry people, etc. You just have to know its an unknown situation going into inquiring about any given item.

    I have noticed (at least in my region), that Lego CL posts are way down from previous years.
  • That is the price of Craigslist.

    I never put anything on there unless it's a good deal, you're going to get lowballed anyway.
  • Some people are motivated by money.
    Their "motivation" to money has nothing to do with it. Either they are ethical people or they are not. Who sells things on Craigslist for altruistic reasons?

    In any case, that's how it goes on Craigslist. More hassles but no fees. For the most part, I do expect to pay less on Craigslist.

    Also, as a seller on Craigslist I would never advise holding something for someone to pick up for just the reasons mentioned. Much of the time they never show up. Just be up front that their offer is agreeable pending someone else showing up first.
  • ^^ I have certainly adjusted my policy to reflect this .
  • I say you get what you get when on Craigslist, but if only a verbal agreement then all bets are off (even though verbal, or written, agreements are technically a contract, are you really going to go after someone for breaking it?)
    Plus I think it is not so much money as they think they are selling a car, or think it is something akin to a garage sale... whoever gets there first and slaps money in the hand wins.

    Say what you will about eBay but there are systems in place to mark the transaction as a contract when completed and try to ensure no one gets ripped off, same with BL. And systems in place to leave feedback to try to warn others of poor response or reneging on a deal.

    Can the same thing occur on eBay? sure but then again you are not driving 20 miles to find out the guy already sold it...

    I say be thankful the worse that happens is someone reneges on a deal, as you are essentially meeting a stranger with money in hand.
  • Some people are motivated by money.


    Their "motivation" to money has nothing to do with it. Either they are ethical people or they are not. Who sells things on Craigslist for altruistic reasons?

    In any case, that's how it goes on Craigslist. More hassles but no fees. For the most part, I do expect to pay less on Craigslist.

    Also, as a seller on Craigslist I would never advise holding something for someone to pick up for just the reasons mentioned. Much of the time they never show up. Just be up front that their offer is agreeable pending someone else showing up first.
    Ok and why would you single out my comment and no one else's that said similar? Some people ARE motivated by money. If someone offered you more for Legos you were selling, you are telling me you would say " Sorry but I have someone else interested in it that is willing to give me asking price." Whatever.
  • edited April 2012
    ^Yes, if I already told someone else I would hold it for them. (Sorry to butt in:)
  • ^^thanks @FatMatt, I agree. Especially if you know someone is driving 40 miles at 4 bucks a gallon o pick it up. It might be an electronic yardsale, but there should still be some common courtesy. I also think that the anonymity of Craigslist makes it easier for someone to blow you off. People wouldnt do half the stuff they do I'd they we're looking you in the eye.
  • And I do and would do the same, but not everyone on Craigslist is the same. Some people hear " I will give x amount of dollars more" and they jump at that. Others are different and will hold it for the first person who calls. When I have sold items on Craigslist, the first person who calls me, I tell them I will hold it a few hours but if they are not here by that time it will go to the next person.
  • I'm surprised that you're finding Legos on StlCL. I mostly see ads pushing off megablocks as legos and lame deals on duplos. I did pass up that one deal I pm'd you about, but that's about it.
  • @mathew - I bought a good one last week. Posted it in the brag thread. Check it out. The one I lost was fr a guy in Mt Vernon Illinois. He knew how far I was coming to get it and I took off work to get there only to have it sold out from under me after getting down the road for 45 minutes.
  • To be fair,

    Many of the reneg offers I've experienced were items vastly underpriced to start with. A UCS Star Wars set for $20 (complete w/ box); a Mindstorm NXT for $30, and so on.

    These uninformed sellers get 10 calls an hour; and somebody starts offering 5x or 10x what they were asking. It can be overwhelming, and even if I was the 1st responder, it would tough to turn down $200 to make $20. I'm disappointed, but certainly do understand when it happens.

    And sometimes they are faithful and you get that sweet deal.

  • We have kijiji here in Canada which is the exact same thing. I have only ever had one "whoever gets here first gets it" but for the most part it's first to offer is the first to get it. I have missed some great sets by being 10 minutes too late to reply. But at the same time I've also nabbed a great Castle so it all works out.
  • I have done 1 purchase on craigs list and it was a fair amount for the cost. Had some star wars minis and older sets. Also got a display case for city out of it as well. This was one of hundreds though that I was looking at. I see allot of lego CL adds however I wont do anything I cant see a picture of. People go on Ebay and try to tell me that they are selling for what ebay is going for. If so why not sell it on ebay and save you the time and me the gas to get it? I go to craigs list to find deals not people that want to try and sell items at ebay cost and expect people to pay.
  • Craigslist is an interesting animal. I've sold and bought fairly often all with positive results.

    For selling, I spend a fair amount of time vetting the person on the phone. As a result, I've never had a no show. The few times people have asked me to hold things, there were other offers in the interim but I declined saying that if the original person didn't show up, they would be next. But a lot of people don't do that because as @starfire2 mentioned - they're in it for the money.

    I am as well - but I'm not going to reneg on an agreement/arranged price.

    I've been very lucky buying Lego on Craigslist. Got some amazing deals and missed out on some great ones as well. But these are getting few and far between now - there seems to be FAR more competition and people are getting savvier (or just plain stupid) about pricing.
  • Honestly I've seen the asking price go to bid war happen multiple times on this forum in the last couple months.
    ^yep

  • ^ which I think is fine as long as the seller hadn't already agreed with someone. If a seller posts $100, someones says "I'll take it", and the seller says "ok", then that's an agreement, and if the seller later renegs because others have offered more, that's poor form.

    However, if a seller asks $100, and 3 potential buyers all offer more, I think it's is perfectly acceptable for the seller to then entertain high offers - after all, he hasn't agreed to a sale with anyone.
  • I've bought and sold on CL (although never LEGO).

    CL is full of flakes. Just deal with it. Some buyers and sellers conduct themselves professionally but a lot of them are just lazy people trying to sell their stuff with as little effort as possible.

  • ^^ agreed. I just feel it is up to the seller to decide what they want and be honorable. Creating a bidding war by posting a low sales price and then continuing till you get the most you can is what ebay is for. Forum sales, especially in a smaller tighter community like this should be less car salesman-like. Figure out what you want, ask more, then negotiate down and sell it to the person you agreed to. CL is definitely a different animal though as it is the general public.

    On a related topic, it is a scumbag move, as well as rude, to put something out for offers with no advertised target price and then make comments about how bad an offer is. If you're selling something, and know what it goes for somewhere else, and you know you want that much then ask that much. Looking for blind offers hoping you get someone offering a lot more than you would have taken may make you more money but is pretty shady sales, again especially for a forum like this.
  • There's rudeness to go around in both buyers and sellers. I once had someone offer me an amount for a MISB (and I mean mint, not just sealed) set that was 10% below the lowest price for a used set with no box or instructions on eBay, Amazon or Bricklink. Even though I had no other bids on that set, I was content not to sell rather than take an insulting offer. I had been flexible in what I was asking but within reason.

    However it's not rude or shady for a seller to not offer a target asking price because the going rate for a set may have a wide range and they may be flexible in what they're willing to accept. For example, if a set sells for $200-$300 and the seller is happy with any figure in that range why should a seller state the lowest price they're willing to go? That would serve only to bring in bids around the $200 range. If someone bids $300, they simply want it more than those offering lower. If someone doesn't do their research and offers $400, that's the buyer's fault, not the seller. However, that may be representative of their desire to obtain the item. With anything, demand and desire drives the price, not some artificial construct of price ranges.

    Buyers are in no way entitled to get anything for the cheapest price they're willing to go nor are they entitled to get anything for the highest price they're willing to go. Buyers are not entitled to get anything they want for the price they want. The more a buyer wants something the more they should be willing to pay regardless of reasonable price ranges. In the aforementioned $200-$300 item, if a buyer desperately wants it, they should be willing to offer $500 or more for it. Their desire to obtain it should drive their offer. The same goes for a seller. If a seller absolutely wants to sell something, they should be willing to sell that same item for less than $200. Their desire to get rid of it determines their asking price or willingness to accept low offers.
  • ^ I wasn't saying that they should put up a target of the lowest they'd take. Was implying the opposite. If the range is $2-300 and the seller wants $300 then ask $300 or higher so that the low offers come in range of what the seller wants. Or if you're just going to leave it as open offers, then when someone offers $150 don't be rude in the response, which I've seen here. Either counter the offer or don't accept it. I always expect sellers to want the most and buyers to want to pay the least. A "scumbag" seller to me is open to offers but insults low offers without countering giving the potential buyer no data as to formulate another offer.
  • Bottom line on the deal that started this was that I was willing to pay the seller's asking price. He accepted via email. He knew I was driving from a ways to get it AND knew I took off work to drive there and he still sold it out from under me after I started out to get it. Not saying I was entitled or that he broke a "contract" or anything of the sort. I just wish that people would be more upfront and conscientious about how they conduct themselves. Had he posted in his ad, first come, first serve, then at least I knew what I was up against.

    @DaddyDuece put it right. Craigslist is full of flakes and that flakiness is compunded by the fact that they can be rude and discourteous anonymously with no repercussions.
  • Bought my first lot of Lego from craigslist a couple days back. I went to pick it up this morning. The seller was excellent! Overall very good first experience. I have sold via craigslist before with not such great experience. On a couple of occasions we agreed to meet in a certain spot. I arrived on time of course, however, the buyers would either not show up or show up 45 minutes late.
    Selling via craigslist is supposed to be easy and not time consuming, but it would've been quicker and easier selling it via eBay. Not to mention much more secure.
  • To avoid flakes, or rather, to avoid getting stood up, I always make the buyer (or seller) call when they are en route to the meeting location, or I will call them to make sure we are both still on schedule. Seems to help...usually neither of us wait for each other longer than 5-10 minutes.
  • Bottom line on the deal that started this was that I was willing to pay the seller's asking price. He accepted via email... Not saying I was entitled or that he broke a "contract" or anything of the sort.
    You might not be saying it but I will: he broke a contract. Pointless to try and enforce but he was totally in the wrong.

    I had something similar happen with a local garage sale fiend. He bought tons of LEGO along with other toys and resold them. I made a deal and he sold it out from under me. He had treated other members of the LUG shabbily as well and he is now blacklisted. We will not deal with him at all. Probably he could care less but I like to think he has lost business. Sadly not much else can be done.
  • Yeah @tedward is right, it is considered a verbal contract. Not like you could do anything about it. But it is the principal of things. I was raised in Louisiana and your word defined who you were. If you said something, you meant it and followed through on what you said. I am still like that and always will be but some people are unscrupulious (however you spell that lol) and they don't mean what they say from the second it leaves their lips. Personally can't stand anyone like that but there are many in this world like that. Ok I will get off my "soapbox" now :)
  • Well, if we're going to get into breaking email contracts where money had not yet changed hands, I can think of five people here on these forums who never carried through with a total of $3000+ in purchases last year. It's not just Craigslist or eBay or here for that matter. Immature, unreliable, disreputable people exist everywhere unfortunately.

    That's why I've been reluctant to post more sets for sale here given that I wasted my time getting them packed and weighed for nothing (fortunately nothing was sealed so they're still ready to go but they'll have to be reweighed if the combination of sets sold is different next time).
  • OK, I'm done complaining, I got one heck of a deal today off of craigslist. I will post it later in the brag thread.

    @prof1515 That's too bad. I have actually had really good luck on here buying, selling and trading, but most of my deals have been with well established members. That said, I have not had a bum deal yet....knock wood!
  • I recently posted a high priced item on craigslist. Someone from out of town made an offer. I checked him out and he is legit - has a store. He asked me to write a letter of commitment and to take the ad off. I did both and now he has not come through and has all kinds of excuses - one of which is that he has to have his partner approve the expense. He never mentioned initially that the deal was dependent on someone else's ability to pay. Meanwhile, we have 3 better offers...I am thinking the email of commitment does not stand? Any thoughts? Can't believe I wrote it!!!!
  • ^ probably a scammer, or didn't want compitition.
  • ^ I highly doubt an email letter of commitment to buy something from craigslist is a legally binding document. If it isn't in writing with signature or done through a formal online "signature" method its pointless. Either way, since the original terms of the agreement changed when he said afterwards that he had to get approval and it doesn't sound like that was in the original statement, that would void the original commitment statement.

    Just sell it and email the guy that your transaction with him is void. It's craigslist.
  • Just sell it and email the guy that your transaction with him is void. It's craigslist.
    Exactly, what is he going to do, get a lawyer and sue you? That would be insane...

    Then again, there are insane people in the world...
  • tell me about it! has gone thru this crap with a greedy family/seller!

    so frustrated about those rant!. I let them name their price and i said i will be buy it after he gave me the number. then 10 minutes, he said someone offered him more. I agree to match the offer and ask him to tell other interesting party that it should be pending. Then the seller SMS me an hour later he pull the items off cause he want to hold it off and reinvestigate.

    in the evening. I saw a fellow brickset member mention he grab one of the set i want and another set for 50% more of the offer we agree on!

    For CL, it is always first agree on whatever the price buyer agree to pay get it. if the seller want highest bid won, go to EBAY!!!
  • ^
    No not really. If you can't accept the nature of CL, you're in for a whole lot of disappointment. You win some, you lose some, nothing to get worked up over.
  • ^ Ya.. people on Kijiji here show up with less money than the agreed price and try to haggle on your doorstep. Nature of the beast.
  • i never have them at my home, unless really large piece of item. if people show up with less money, it will depends, sometimes if the buyer are nice, i will do them a favor. but otherwise, tell them take it or leave it!
  • It would be nice if CL had a rule that you either accept your advertised price or you list it as $XX or best offer! But the fact that CL doesn't have rules is why people use it.

    Over all our experiences with CL have been good, and that's easy to say today because we got two great Lego deals off CL just today, but there have been those who have raised their prices after agreeing to sell. When they do it's my choice if I pay the higher price or not. It depends on how badly I want it. This happened recently and it turned out it was someone on the forums that lost out and I felt bad for him, but at the same time as he told me - I wasn't the one who didn't sell for the price listed.

    As for safely factors with CL, I always offer to meet the seller in a public place, if they want me to come to their home I never, ever, go alone. I value my life too much, and while it's been a few years since that guy was killing people he met through CL, I simply don't take those type chances.
  • I had a craigslist seller recently flake out too. My first ad response was i'm ready to buy, i have cash. He said he had it at work and gets off at 5 etc, but would not name a meeting place. Then he just stopped communicating. I stopped emailing too since i didn't want to harrass a shy seller. Depite all the scammers, i've found the sellers who put their number in the ad are the ones who are really ready to sell. If it's just email, they always wanna play games.
    Another issue here in Texas is that legally you can back out of any sale up the the point that money has changed hands. Kinda rude, but i guess it protects the buyer somewhat.
  • ^ Had the same thing happen up here about a month ago. He had a bunch of S3-5 minifigs and wanted $2 per figure, he just quit emailing me so I just figured he didn't wanna sell or got offered more
  • It may be a tad mean, but I love it when a seller doesn't follow through with information or pics and 2 weeks later they are stll advertising the same stuff! They deserve to get stuck with it if they can't be bothered to follow through.
  • @AFFOL_Shellz_Bellz That's not mean, that is called Karma lol
  • Adding to the craigslist rant... we drove 40 minutes today to get a bunch of REALLY smoky lego! They were listed as free, so I jumped on the "deal" and didn't ask too many questions bwfore hand. I guess beggers can't be choosers, but it taught me a valuable lesson, to at least ask if they are from a smoke free home!

    It was an older couple and they were so delighted to give us everything and see how happy our kids were to get lego, lincoln logs, GI Joe, all sorts of dvds, mr potato head etc. that we felt like we should take it, and figured we could just clean it.

    Well our whole car smelled of smoke by the time we got home, almost everything is now in the trash or give away pile, and I am just trying to salvage the lego.

    Lesson learned. Hopefully the couple was brought some joy by my children. :-)
  • ^ What a shame... My Father still smokes, I can't enter his house it stinks so badly... :(

    In my personal opinion, it is nearly impossible to ever really remove that smell, maybe it is all in my head, but it just seems to linger forever... :(
  • ^ What a shame... My Father still smokes, I can't enter his house it stinks so badly... :(

    In my personal opinion, it is nearly impossible to ever really remove that smell, maybe it is all in my head, but it just seems to linger forever... :(
    It depends on how much they were exposed and for how long, and the type of chemical plastic used. Some tend to absorb and hold smoke worse then others where they tend to be more airy and "cleanable". I collect sports figures and got some almost 10 years ago from a smoker, the one figure I still have from that lot still has a smokey smell if you are close enough (~1foot or so).

    Other time's i've been able to use a bleach/Pine-sol mixture to remove/mask the smell. It all depends on the item/situation

    Best success I've had cleaning this is 2 parts Bleach:1 Part Pine-sol:3parts water. Its a strong and thick solution but it works great and hasnt ever bleached out colour on anything I've tried it on before. That said I have never has smokey Lego so no clue on it, I'd test it on a couple bricks to test first.

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