Craigslist: What's the point?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by IJ Reilly, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    After years of ignoring Craigslist, I decided to give it a try. I mean, I keep hearing about how great it is for buying and selling things.

    So first I started sending e-mails inquiring about items for sale. Maybe one out of ten resulted in any reply at all. Then I tried listing an item for sale. Several days have passed, and nobody has asked me about it.

    The second experience I can write off. Maybe nobody is interested in a used color laser printer, no matter how cheaply I'm will to let it go. But the first? Why in the world would anyone post a classified ad for item for sale, then ignore questions about it?

    This leads me to believe that Craigslist is pretty much useless. Does anyone have a better experience with this service? Could I be missing some tricks? Or is it really useless?
  2. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I'd say Craigslist is uneven. I've bought and sold cars there successfully, but have had limited luck with other things.

    Sometimes the seller gets overwhelmed with responses--especially if something is inexpensive. They also can sell quickly, and some sellers don't update their listings after something has sold. Frankly, I've had better luck selling things on eBay.
  3. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i've had some success with craigslist. i think it's hit-and-miss, just like with any other selling and buying. (for the most part, anyway).

    i don't it's that great, but it's okay. i sold my 15" powerbook G4 on it, and the sale went great!
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    We've picked up a number of small appliances, furniture items, and a rug, not to mention three apartments via Craigslist. We've also sold a couple of items. Never had a problem, and got stuff dirt cheap.

    Would be reluctant to buy/sell something like a computer there due to all the scammers, but it's great for little things.
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    At least on eBay, sellers almost always act like sellers -- they answer questions. I've been responding to fairly new ads. The lack of response is on the order of 90%.
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Part of it depends on where you are. Craigslist is bigger in some cities than others. here in the bay area, its used for everything. I found my job on craigslist. I find roommates on craigslist and found where I live on craigslist. I've bought and sold lots of different items. its great for getting cheap furniture from people who are moving or remodeling, etc.

    There are, however, plenty of flakes. People don't respond to emails, don't let you know if they've already sold an item, things like that.

    I honestly use craigslist constantly and its great.
  7. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Forest Hills, NY
    new york and the surrounding areas in amazing for craigslist, however i got to school in binghamton and that's sort of a crappy craigslist.
  8. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2006
    it's somewhat hit and miss, but the principle of supply and demand still applies.

    the advantage of CL is that you are dealing w/ cash locally, there's no fuss about shipping and stuff. not to mention there's no charge for listing or PP transaction fee. i usually try CL first before listing on ebay.
  9. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    I've sold excess furniture on Craigslist, and bought some DvDs, books and games.

    To me, Craigslist is for selling things within my own city. Things that I can touch and see "work" and are "undamaged", and that others can see the same about what I'm selling.
  10. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I understand the regional aspects of it, so I can understand why maybe an item I list doesn't get much action. Placing classified ads is always hit or miss. What I don't get is the lack of response to my questions about placed ads. Nobody has ever told me the item was sold, and when I get no response to my question, I always check again to make sure the ad is still running.
  11. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    Check out: Services --> Erotic. It will both scare you and arouse you, which is kind of cool in itself.
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I've had problems with flaky buyers on craigslist Charlotte (e.g. saying they want something then not following up). I've only ever bought one thing (an old CRT monitor, for like $20), and that went just fine.
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I've bought quite a few things on craigs list. Got some great deals, too.

    It's like ebay - in that you need to know "how it works" for it to be of real use. If you go out expecting to find ONE thing at ONE price in ONE location at one time - no dice. But if you work with it - and search widely - you can find some seriously great deals. The biggest "tricks" are knowing how to search using various terminology, and what "locations" tend to yield certain things, and what times to look.

    I've got 3 scooters dirt cheap. (as in "motorcycle" - 125cc - 250cc) All of them very rare.

    And old lab equipment rocks - company folds, or someone wants to get rid of this "thing" - but they have no idea what it is, you almost feel guilty for buying it. :D
  14. Oryan macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    I haven't had any problems with sellers not responding on craigslist. My parents sell stuff on there all the time and they have about an 80% success rate. I just moved and bought most of my furniture on craigslist. Only one guy took more than 24 hours to respond. Maybe it's just the midwest friendliness that makes it work so well out here. :/
  15. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I have bought and sold quite a lot of stuff on CL, mostly electronics. However, the Austin area is quite good, and I only buy and sell locally for cash. I most recently bought a DirecTv/Tivo DVR and it works great and only cost $45. However, when I list any item I usually get lots of spam emails that are easily identified (they don't mention your item by name, offer to pay by money order, etc) and ignored.
  16. eric55lv Guest


    Aug 5, 2007
    Las Vegas,NV
    its basically like ebay just they put a price you dont bid on stuff
  17. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Well I am mystified. I hear these reports of success but I've had none so far as either a buyer or seller.
  18. da2005pizimp macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ
    well craigslist around here (phoenix) is ok, although i do understand how frustrating it is when someone has something for sale and doesn't even respond, why don't these people delete there ads if they are no longer for sale? this frustrates me to no end. Second I have sold maybe a handful of things on craigslist and most of the time it takes forever to sell, like i have had an xbox 360 on there for cheap and no one replies so i have to keep reposting it every few days. But to be fair you don't have to pay anything to sell on there, and you can get really good deals. It's really a crapshoot
  19. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    N'Albany, Indiana
    I love craigslist. It's where I sell all of my computers. Some tips on selling:

    1.) Pictures are highly recommended. Along with honest detail about it.

    2.) Don't be greedy with price. So many times I see people asking for double of what an item really should cost. I keep my craigslist prices alongside with eBay's.

    3.) Quick communication is key. You have to keep interest of your buyer. Fast responses help with keeping the sale especially with an internet impulse buyer.

    4.) Meet in a safe and familiar area during the daytime. I like to meet at the university of Louisville campus area where traffic is constant and it's a pretty well known area for most residents.

    5.) If there are surrounding area's available offered in Craigslist (ex. there is a lexington, ky craigslist) and distance is not a problem, then post in those area's to reach more people.

  20. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    I too find that I don't get a lot of answers to questions. Maybe 1 in 3 inquiries actually prompts a response.
  21. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    Craigslist is FREAKIN' GREAT! I've bought and sold around 20 iMacs using them profiting like 2000 in 2 months in my free time. Example I bought a 20" AL iMac talking the woman down to $780 and sold it few days later for $1000.
  22. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Bobdude161 makes some really great points. You have to kind of know how to work with it. It's not the same as other web sites.

    About a week ago I bought Guitar Hero III. It took me less than two hours to have it in my hand after I did a quick search on the site.

    I've used it for over a year and have had great success selling and buying.
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Perhaps it only works when you're looking for a bargain / having a fire sale.

    I've sold a few things I no longer wanted, but it's not been possible to sell any 'premium' items or as-new items which aren't discounted to 'fell off the back of a lorry and I need drugs money' levels.

    I've not bothered using it recently, chancing my friends network for getting rid of stuff I don't want anymore (although the last thing I want to do is to provide aftersales service) but I probably abandoned more ads due to no interest or silly offers than I made sales.
  24. tefleming macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2006
    I've had good luck. I've mostly bought and mostly larger items (a refrigerator, a PMG4, a 24" LCD TV) but had a real cool experience with a married guy selling most of his old bar paraphernalia (at his wife's behest.)

    It has a completely different feel from online forums, ebay, etc. Very laid back, no one is really gouging on prices (or at least not as much as Ebay).
  25. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I had a complete nightmare of an experience try to sell a MacBook on CL in Chicago ... I had more than a dozen flakes, a couple obnoxious idiots kept demanding that I sell it to them for $150 under what I was asking for, then somehow the ad got flagged and removed (why, I have no idea... I sold the computer as bought, no additional software.) Eventually, I just listed on eBay and told the few leftover interested people to bid there.

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