I will always have a slight allegiance to Craigslist due to my first experience with him. Thanks to Craig, I was able to snag that amazing Vera Wang wedding dress for a steal! So what, that I had to drive 10 hours, meet a strange girl in a mall and hand her an envelope full of cash. The risk was totally worth it!
But all that aside - Craigslist is a dangerous sketchy world. As I recently found out first hand.....
In all of our furniture buying, I have made one mistake. The green chairs. They looked cute in the store, but just didn't match the dinning room. Unfortunately, they were on sale and I couldn't return them. Doh. But, wait!!! No big deal - I'll just list them on Craigslist! Piece of cake.
The listing process is easy, all I needed to do was to sit back and wait for the flood of emails from local folks wanting to buy my green chairs. I even got a confirmation email that my chairs were listed successfully!
You have to be concerned when the beginning of every email from Craigslist starts like this:
** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY --- AVOID SCAMS BY DEALING LOCALLY
** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html
Hmmmmm. Concerning. But my first experience with Craig was so great! Maybe all those stories of serial killers and con artists on Craigslist are real? That warning sure is harsh. But scams can't be that common - right? Hmmm. Nah. Can't be.
Just a few short hours after my post, I had a nibble from a fellow named Brian. I replied to his inquiry telling him the chairs were still available and he could come look at them anytime this week, to let me know what day worked best for him. Oh, and Brian - don't forget, I'll only take cash.
Then "Brian" replies with a few red flags:
- He needs my full name, address phone number and several other personal pieces of information
- He's such a nice guy that he'll pay me MORE for the chairs than the list price!
- He'll get the MONEY ORDER over to me as soon as I give him all my personal information.
I'm pretty sure 'ol Brian is a scam artist in Nigeria and had I replied, you would have seen me on the next Dateline NBC talking about how I was taken for everything I had. Right alongside the little old ladies who lost their retirement.
Oh Craig. Your list has so much potential, but hasn't seemed to help with the sale of my green chairs. It has only succeeded in giving my email address out to shady characters who just want to steal my identity. That was a bit more than I bargained for. I just want to sell my chairs. Is that too much to ask?
Anyone out there need some chairs? :)