Sometimes you just have to recognize that people suck. I come to this realization every time I use Craigslist.
In Chicago I was a Craigslist pro — I occasionally had the deadbeat that wouldn’t show up or rescinded on an offer, but most of the time the person showed up, handed me a wad of cash, and took away my couch/vacuum/TV or whatever without any questions or problems. Craigslist was the greatest thing ever!
…until I tried to use it in Cincinnati. Stephen gave me one of his laptops to sell for him while I’m in the states. I created a nice ad with photos and was excited when I got an email about it minutes after posting it. And then I read the email.
“Hi,” the email started, friendly enough, “would you be willing to trade it for this?” And then there was a link. I thought it might be a different computer. This is what it was:
A $40 waterproof camera. For a $400 laptop computer. In what universe would that be an even trade?! This is not Monopoly or Oregon Trail — I clearly stated in my ad “cash only.” I figured this woman was some type of spambot so I didn’t bother to reply. Instead I pulled up my ad and added “No trades.” In all my years of Chicago Craigslist I have never been offered a trade. Cincinnati Craigslist was not off to a good start.
Several hours later I received another email from an interested buyer. This one sounded more promising — he merely said he was interested and asked about the condition of the computer and why I was selling it. I wrote back and then waited for his reply, thinking it would be something along the lines of “Great! Let’s meet in the parking lot of Izzy’s off the highway since you said in your ad you wanted to meet in a public place.” Instead, this was his response:
Hi,I am very keen,I really appreciate your response to my earlier mail.I will like to buy it so please do withdraw the advert from Craigslist. I will also like you to know that i will be paying by check due to the fact that i will not be able to meet up with the cash due to my disability in nature.I will have to make an arrangement with the freight agent to come for the pickup as soon as the check is cleared and cashed..I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check.I want your honesty in return to my faithfulness to you during this transaction.P.S Few more photos will be appreciated as well.
1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address a residential or office address
3.Your phone number.
Hope to hear back from you asap.
…What? What part of “Cash only and meet in a public place” did this guy not understand? The whole point of Craigslist is to avoid waiting for checks to arrive and clear. I so badly wanted to give the guy a snarky response, but decided to be the “bigger man.” He’s probably a scammer, so I politely replied that I was only interested if he could meet in person and supply cash. Waiting for a check to clear makes no sense to me — if you have money in your checking account, just go to an ATM or bank and withdraw it as cash and meet me somewhere. If you’re disabled, give the cash to a friend or family member and tell them to meet me. It shouldn’t be that complicated!
In short, I am not having a great experience with Cincinnati Craigslist so far. People (particularly scammers) suck.