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Looking for some advice re Craigslist
#1
I have used Craigslist a few times during the past ten years. I have bought and sold approx a dozen items during that time.

Just recently, I decided to sell a 4 year-old TV that I no longer use. It is a very high quality Sony LCD TV. I'm deliberately not including the size or the name of the model. I figure this TV is currently worth around $130. I placed the ad to sell it for $130 but only got one response and it was from a guy who scolded me for asking $130. He told me it was only worth $100 and I should let him know if I was willing to sell it for that.

I gave up on it for a while but then re-posted it for a much lower price. This new price was so low that I got close to ten responses and a few of them were clearly very serious. I chose one of those responses and sold it to someone within an hour of first speaking with them. I felt real good about selling it to him because he explained that he was going to use it for one of his disadvantaged children and I felt good because I felt like I was helping that child get some payback against the system that had disadvantaged her in the first place.

In general, I find that when I place an ad to sell something, most people who respond will either ask if I am willing to be "flexible" about the price or they ask if I'm willing to sell it for some specific price (lower than my asking price).

To break it down, if my asking price is extremely low, about 10% of the people who reply will say they want to buy it immediately and they will come pick it up right away and will pay the asking price and will pay cash. I think these people are either very clever or very experienced because they recognize this is a great bargain and they know that if they don't offer to buy it immediately, it will almost certainly be sold to someone else before they can buy it.

About 50% of the responders will ask if I'm "flexible" about the price or if any further reduction in price is possible. Asking if I'm "flexible" is the same as asking if I'm willing to sell it for less than the asking price. But since they don't specify any price at all, we both then need to start all over again. It is a complete waste of time. Asking if any further price reduction is possible is essentially the same as asking if I'm flexible. Again, it's a waste of time. I consider these people to be "not very bright" because the odds are the item will be sold to someone else long before they ever get the chance to buy it. This response ensures they go to the bottom of the list of buyers and means that someone else will almost surely buy the item before they get a chance to buy it.

About 20% of the responders will ask if I am willing to sell it for a specific price and usually that price is close to my asking price. I consider these people to be more clever than those in the previous two categories because I will respond to them and if their offer is sufficiently close to my asking price, I will sell it to one of them.

Finally, there is the remaining 20%. These are people that I consider to have a screw loose or who are imbeciles. They will offer to buy the item for a price that is so ridiculously low that I would never take them seriously and would never reply to them. Alternatively, their reply may be "crazy" in some other way. But I would never reply to these people. I take their email address and add it to a file I keep called "Crazies". If they ever write me again in the future, I will never reply to them and will never again offer to do business with them. Never.

OK. So, what kind of advice am I asking?

When I place an ad in Craigslist to either buy or sell something, I will usually be able to identify a serious buyer or seller fairly quickly and will usually conclude my business with one of them fairly quickly.

Remember the two categories above that I called the "low-ballers" and the "crazies"? Together, they contain about 70% of those people who reply to my ads.

After I conclude my transaction by either buying or selling the object in my ad, I would like to try and find a way to either have some fun with these idiots or to "punish" them somehow.

Can anyone suggest some things I could do with the "low-ballers" and the "crazies" that could cause them some grief in a similar way to the grief they must cause all the people who they contact?

The one technique that I have tried with these people that seems to have worked out fairly satisfactory is as follows:

If I'm selling something and they offer to buy it for a very low price, I tell them that I would be willing to sell the item to them for that price providing that everyone else who is interested in the item is not willing to pay a higher price. Then, I string them along for a while. Sometimes I can get them to write me several times and I keep telling them that so many people have pulled out and there are only a few left who are considering paying a price higher than they have offered. In this way, I sometimes find someone who really wanted to buy the item and who gets excited at the prospect of being able to buy it. Of course, I know that I will never sell it to them and it's a lot like hooking a fish and just reeling them in and letting them out.

It is kind of like "punishing" them and finally, I either just drop them or I offer to let them come by but then give them a phoney address on the opposite end of the city from where they live. It is terribly mean. But I feel like they started it and I am just giving them a taste of what they deserve.

Many of you may feel that I am wasting my time behaving in this childish way. But I feel like I'm getting a little revenge on these people and it's a kind of payback for all of them who have wasted a whole lot of my time. I know that it's terribly childish. But there is something just enjoyable about being able to give them a taste of their own medicine.

In any event, I would love to know if any of you can think of any ways I can get some revenge against these people who waste my time and indeed, who waste all of our time.

I apologize to all those people on this site who I have grown to respect and who are bound to think badly of me for behaving in this way. In a way, I feel ashamed. But in another way, I feel a real surge of delight when I can get a laugh at the expense of these people by treating them in a similar way to the way they have treated me.
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#2
craigslist people are cheap bastards. the best way to get revenge is to list some really awesome stuff at some really cheap prices and never reply to the cheap inquiries.
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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#3
(04-06-2014, 01:29 PM)sporkium Wrote: craigslist people are cheap bastards. the best way to get revenge is to list some really awesome stuff at some really cheap prices and never reply to the cheap inquiries.

Hmmm .... that does have promise.

I thank you Sporkium. AAMOF, I was worried about how you would respond. I was afraid that you would criticize me for behaving in the way I do and I'm very happy that you didn't do that.

I have tried the method you suggest in the past and although I'm sure it does piss off these people, it only hits them once. They see the ad. They respond to the ad. But when they don't get any response, the odds are that they just move on and don't think twice about it.

Wouldn't it be so much better to try and "hook them" somehow? By that, I mean they respond and then you get back to them in such a way to get them emotionally involved, to get them excited somehow and then conduct a string of replies with them such that they feel quite determined to somehow conclude the transaction. It requires a great deal of care because it could so easily cross the line into something illegal and I'm sure that neither of us would want that.

But what I would want is to get them to trip over their own greed and push them into a territory where they try to out-push their neighbors and somehow become the winner (the one who concludes the transaction).

I'd like to find a method that would get them highly involved in the transaction. I'd like to get them to claw and scratch at the door and then slam it in their faces. Does that seem at all feasible?
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#4
I wouldn't advertise stuff on Craiglist.
I recommend using Kijiji for free local for sale ads,
and eBay for advertising stuff that you are willing to pack up and ship.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#5
(04-06-2014, 03:55 PM)velvetfog Wrote: I wouldn't advertise stuff on Craiglist.
I recommend using Kijiji for free local for sale ads,
and eBay for advertising stuff that you are willing to pack up and ship.

I have tried using Kijiji in the past and I'm ashamed to admit this but ...

I kept getting banned. I don't know why. I seem to recall it was because I tried to sell two or more diff items that seemed to be the same item.

It was confusing as Hell. But please tell us? Why would you rather use Kijiji over Craigslist?

The one thing that I have noticed is that Craigslist requires you enter a lot of personal ID info - a lot more than Kijiji.

Does that have anything to do with your reasons?
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#6
Kijiji has a local site here in Calgary, Alberta where I live.
It is the most popular classified ad web site in town, with a lot of ads.
Craiglist, at least here in Calgary, is just crap.

Kijiji web sites are very well managed. eBay owns Kijiji.

Through Kijiji, I found an Apple Mini for $80.
I got an almost new HP color laserjet printer for $100.
I also got several HP dual core laptops with fingerprint scanners for $130 to $180 each.
For me, Kijiji is where the local bargains are to be found.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#7
Wow! I will have to let you know how that compares with my city.
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#8
I agree with Spork too. Most of the people use Craiglist probably have the thought in the back of their mind "I'm going to get some great deals" and they'll try to chew you down and whatnot. Craigslist (i guess) is known for getting stuff cheap, so it may be the atmosphere you're dealing with... I've sold and bought on eBay, not Craigslist, so I can't really speak on that.
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