5 Types of Craigslist Buyers

I typically do not sell items on Craigslist. Nowadays it can be disappointing and somewhat dangerous if you are not cautious.

Recently I assisted a friend in shutting down his business. He does a lot of business on Craigslist so it was relatively easy to post office furniture and whatever else he no longer wanted.

Since I have been an eBay seller, I know the importance of disclosure and good pictures. his is basically to save everyone's time and energy. No one wants to show up and find out the item is a piece of shit with a "like new" price tag. If the item has rips or faded - it's disclosed. I price items fairly after researching what they go for brand new versus the condition of the item I am posting.

With that said, in the past two weeks I have come across 5 types of buyers. Some good, some bad, and some ugly.


1. The Haggler

This sort of buyer is understandable because everyone is looking for a deal. Some sellers are desperate for money and The Haggler sniffs them out - ready to take full advantage. The trouble with this tactic is not every seller is desperate enough to take 1/3 of the posted price simply because they were asked. It is almost insulting. Selling a car seat in excellent condition for $75 that is regularly $140? This buyer will offer you $30 with a straight face.

2. The Be Bys

This buyer is ridiculous. It does not matter if you post "serious inquiries only". They will tell you how much they want the item but then never show up at the agreed time or at all. Ever. Sadly, these buyers are not easy to detect because they correspond like a serious buyer until it's time to meet.

3. The Princess/Prince

I named this buyer Princess or Prince because they have no respect for anyone else's time but their own. They will agree to meet at a specific time and then try showing up 10, 20, 30 minutes later. Sometimes they don't show up at all then call two days later asking if the item is still available and get mad when it has been sold. This buyer also fails to fall instruction. If the post requires "text only", they call, email and hassle if no one responds to them right away. I had one get pissed at me because I would not meet him to show an item on New Year's Day. I blocked his number. They mistakenly think that the customer is always right. Sorry folks, it's Craigslist not Nordstrom's.


4. The Bait and Switch

They are the Haggler in disguise. They show interest, say they want the item, make plans to meet and follow through. Yet, once they arrive and have the item loaded, ask the seller if they are willing to take a much lower amount than what was posted - hoping the selling needs the money so bad that they agree. They will even plead their case, stating that the item has defects. It doesn't matter if those exact defects were noted and pictured on the post. Some are brazen enough to not bring enough money...

This can be very lucrative for the buyer but leaves the seller feeling violated and/or irritated.

5. The Cautious But Serious Buyer

This person spends time doing research on the item. Is the price fair? Is the pictures good? They keep their word and show up on time. They also follow instructions. They will haggle but won't insult the seller with a ridiculous offer. This customer also understands that Craigslist can be dangerous so they make sure to meet at a business or bring someone with them. They also understand that the seller may have the same reservations.

All in all, I would  not actively sell my own items on Craigslist. I don't want strangers showing up to my house and do not feel meeting in a public place is any safer. Plus, I used to work in retail and I know just how terrible the public can be. Why would I want to deal with that?

On a different note, anyone need a couch and love seat for $300?



What has been your worst experience selling/buying on Craigslist?






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