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Three Things I Learned to Help Avoid Scams on Classifieds Like Craigslist and KSL.com

Over the past several weeks, I have been placing some things on KSL.com and on Craigslist.com to find new homes for. Things ranged from some used restaurant equipment that I decided not to use and the other is a player piano that my mother decided she didn’t want anymore.

I placed both of these items on the respective sites because there is a lot of traffic and they are good places to use to sell things. I have used them before with some success.

This last time brought some seemingly realistic offers until you dig a little deeper. Let me try to explain and hopefully help you be a little more aware of how to protect yourself against buying scams.

One of the initial emails I received was simply:

“Player Piano – $2999……………….HOW IS THE CONDITION AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU OWNED IT AND WHAT IS YOUR FINAL ASKING PRICE?”

Shows interest, right? My initial answer:

“Condition is excellent. Owned it since the early 80’s. My asking price is $2999. If you would like to make an offer, you can.”

Their response:

“K…………will you allow the moving company to come for the pikup(sic) once you get paid and will you accept paypal as a means of payment if you do i will make the payment now”

My final email:

“Thank you. However, I only work with cash payments with sales over the internet. If that can work for you, then we can proceed.”

No more emails from the buyer.

Here is another one:

“Hi
Do you still have it for sale ?And how much are you willing to go down to? Kindly cc/forward your response to my work email at ” [email protected]” i will reply right away. Thanks
Omo”

My response:

“Thank you for your interest. I do still have them available. The price on these has already been dropped dramatically. New prices on these range from $1,800 to $5,000 each. I am also including a cooler that the grill is sitting on at no extra cost.

Where are you located?”

Their next email:

“Hello! let’s do like this, actually now I’m not in town for now, I came to visit my son so i wont be able to meet with you but am ok
with the condition as seen on the advert, I’ll proceed in issuing a
Check out to you and when you received the check , I will make
arrangement for pick-up. So get back to me with below details asap.

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Postal Code:
Phone Number:
Last Asking Price:

And as soon as this is provided, the payment will be overnight to you
and i will let you know when its mailed out. I need you to be honest
with the sale as I am a God fearing person”

My next email (with no response):

“Where are you located?”

Nothing more from this “buyer”.

If you read through the emails from the “buyers” you can see subtle things that make you go “hmm”. How often have you sold something, even the most simple item, and not had a ton of questions about the condition, color, why are you selling, etc.? If there is not any negotiation, or questions, do you think the ??????buyer?????? is really interested in buying?

The shipping is probably the biggest standout on any of these “offers” that I received. The commercial restaurant equipment that I have weighs close to 1500 pounds and is not crated. Really? They are not going to ask questions to find out about these things.

The other thing is that they won’t say where they are located. I did have one person who told me they lived in Massachusetts. However, when I told them that I only accept cash for online purchases, he disappeared.

Three things I do to help avoid the scammers:

  1. State that you only accept cash for your internet sales.
  2. Ask where they are located.
  3. Ask enough questions that you are satisfied that your ??????buyer?????? is who they say they are.

Hopefully, some of my experiences can help you as you sell items in popular online classified sites like Craigslist.com and KSL.com.

leverton

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