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The Five People You Will Meet On Craiglist

January 8, 2011

Craigslist – the cyber equivalent to a garage sale – has reputation for being both a great place to get scammed, killed or possibly find a bargain on an Ikea Expedit. While my own experiences with the site have been generally positive, this doesn’t mean I haven’t encountered a few folks I hope to never meet again. Yes, I’m looking at you, Ms. “Pet-Free Home” that oddly enough smells and looks as though you own nine cats!

1. Mr. No Cashing Having Motherfucker

This strain of douchebag, usually enters your life when the item you’re selling costs more than $50. Despite giving the indication that he has thoroughly read and understood your ad, he always shows up with some raggedly ass checkbook, talking some, “it’s local” nonsense, while nonchalantly trying to pass you a starter check stamped with a bank that’s no longer in existence.

2. Ms. Doesn’t Understand the Concept of Free

I used to be big on utilizing the free section of Craigslist, before encountering this particular irritant. I’m not sure what is so complicated about an ad, which includes the stipulation that once the item is placed on the curb who ever gets to it first owns the item. Yet, without fail this woman will always respond – often a day or so later – angry that she wasted gas and effort because the cheap, particleboard bookcase posted in your ad, which is usually pulled the instant you notice the bookcase is gone, wasn’t there waiting for her with a big shiny ribbon on top. Sometimes the emails continue for days, which only comes to your attention if you sift through your spam folder.

3. Mr. Doesn’t Read The Fine Print

Maybe I’m the only person who understands that there are no guarantees when it comes to Craigslist. More importantly that once money is exchanged and you leave with the item, it’s over. If the item jumps out of the car and runs away; not my problem. If the item turns out not to be what you personally expected, despite being accurately advertised; that’s still your problem. Here’s a thought: do all your testing and retesting before handing over the cash! Or do what I do, relist the item and get on with your life. But certainly don’t continue to bother me because you didn’t do the legwork!

4. Ms. I Don’t Actually Want to Buy the Item

Does it say, “Museum of Modern History” on my doormat? So why are you coming by with no intention to purchase, but to chat me up. I’m not trying to make friends here; I’m trying to sell my unused crap. You need to join a book club or volunteer and not be wasting my damn time.

5. Mr. Not Well Prepared

So how exactly are you going to get that cheap, particleboard bookcase out of my house and into yours when you’ve either gotten here by bus or bike? Now had we hatched that all out prior to your arrival then perhaps I would have been inclined to deliver the item. But since the ad said, “pick up only”, not sure what you thought was going to happen when you showed up on a scooter to purchase an old ass tube television!

So what kinds of folks have you encountered while transacting business on Craigslist?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 7:58 am

    I encountered a variant of #4. We posted the DTV converter with antenna for cash because we wanted cash. Not to have someone agree to pay, arrive, and passive-aggressively tell me a sob story about how it’s for a Somalian refugee looking sad and pitiful while I say “That’s kind of you; hope they enjoy!” when taking her two twenties.

    If we wanted to donate, we would have! There were plenty of converters on the free lists, lady. Also, I felt like she might be lying and trying to get it for free so she could resell it. Either way it was unpleasant.

  2. January 10, 2011 8:02 am

    Just realized that it wasn’t clear: the CL buyer was trying for NWL where “nice” = passive-aggressive.

  3. January 10, 2011 8:49 am

    I must have had some luck, because I’ve had mostly positive Craigslist encounters, particularly around the time of our last move. My partner unloaded a sizable amp to a nice, quiet, non-creepy, cash-having gentleman, and once in our new place we acquired a very good wooden futon frame from a nice non-creepy couple a few blocks away.

    On the other hand, I once ran into a variant of #2 on, of all things, Freecycle, in which a person claimed to have driven around and been unable to even find the house, despite my living next to a giant drugstore smack in the middle of a miniscule town. (Freecycle sounded good in theory but turned out to be mostly an energy-drain.)

  4. January 10, 2011 8:59 am

    I love this list.

    I’ve been on craigslist for much different reasons, so my Five People I Meet would have to be a rated R post.

  5. Kristen permalink
    January 10, 2011 3:57 pm

    I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. I Sold It To Someone Else Who I Thought Was You. We had arranged a time and price, and some other people showed up at an earlier time and bought the merchandise, because he thought they were me. To his credit, he did sound rather embarrassed…

  6. January 10, 2011 5:12 pm

    I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. I Sold It To Someone Else Who I Thought Was You. We had arranged a time and price, and some other people showed up at an earlier time and bought the merchandise, because he thought they were me. To his credit, he did sound rather embarrassed…

    @Kristen – Yeah, I have both accidentally been that guy and also been a victim of him too. And oddly enough both times have involved a vacuum cleaner!

    I’ve been on craigslist for much different reasons, so my Five People I Meet would have to be a rated R post.

    @Raymond – Ha. My friend T also has quite a few of these stories, particularly of the, “hey, aren’t you my son’s pediatrician” variety!

  7. January 10, 2011 5:14 pm

    On the other hand, I once ran into a variant of #2 on, of all things, Freecycle, in which a person claimed to have driven around and been unable to even find the house, despite my living next to a giant drugstore smack in the middle of a miniscule town. (Freecycle sounded good in theory but turned out to be mostly an energy-drain.)

    @Michelle – I had to turn Freecycle loose. The people on there were more high maintenance and annoying than the folks on Craigslist. It’s amazing how entitled folks get about free particleboard bookcases and baby items.

  8. January 10, 2011 5:16 pm

    I encountered a variant of #4. We posted the DTV converter with antenna for cash because we wanted cash. Not to have someone agree to pay, arrive, and passive-aggressively tell me a sob story about how it’s for a Somalian refugee looking sad and pitiful while I say “That’s kind of you; hope they enjoy!” when taking her two twenties.

    Ooh I hate when a person’s willingness to pay is dependent on what you or your surroundings look like. I definitely have a prep process involving a totally clean and spiffy looking place and even have a few boxes so folks assume I’m moving and don’t have time to chat or be bothered. And usually I have my neighbor or best friend (males) handle any transaction that threatens to bring out the bad behavior in folks. So far that has mitigated some of my annoyances.

  9. January 10, 2011 5:18 pm

    Exactly how I felt. Got tired of the steady stream of “Want” posts which began to outnumber the “Offer” posts, with their “NEED ASAP!!!!!” kinda clamoring.

  10. January 10, 2011 5:21 pm

    Exactly how I felt. Got tired of the steady stream of “Want” posts which began to outnumber the “Offer” posts, with their “NEED ASAP!!!!!” kinda clamoring.

    @Michelle – don’t you love the posts for totally fatuous items. I remember I was getting rid of an older HP laptop – like from 1999 and this woman was okay with it at first but then got all picky and snotty when she realized it only ran windows 95 and couldn’t take anything faster. Like what did she expect for free? I put all the specs right there in the ad.

  11. Hsofia permalink
    January 10, 2011 6:48 pm

    These were hilarious. I’ve encountered the Well Now That I’m Here Might As Well Do Some Shopping CLer. Look, just because I’m giving you this thing doesn’t mean I’m trying to sell or give away my other stuff! I really hate that. “How much will you take for that?” It’s not for sale, Columbus! GTFOH.

  12. January 10, 2011 7:29 pm

    Look, just because I’m giving you this thing doesn’t mean I’m trying to sell or give away my other stuff! I really hate that. “How much will you take for that?” It’s not for sale, Columbus! GTFOH.

    @Hsofia – I hate those folks. They work my last nerve. I’ve had them come by all set for one item then get pissy and LEAVE because I wouldn’t sell them something I actually liked and didn’t have an interest in selling. This ain’t Christie’s, mofos!

  13. Q.V. permalink
    January 10, 2011 10:42 pm

    A variant of #1 that I’ve seen is the Not-Enough-Cash-Having Motherfucker, who–despite knowing the price on the way over–reaches into the pocket to find exactly half of the price. “There’s a cash machine around the corner, see you in a minute!”

    I rocked the free section every time I was stuck without a job, and there my laidbackness actually worked in my favour to get me a piano, and meet a really nice person. The poster was not able to commit (piano was an estate item), and sick of people getting pushy and entitled while she was in mourning. She made me tea while we waited for the movers.

    Everyone else I met was a little bit bonkers, and when I was the seller, they probably thought the same.

  14. January 12, 2011 6:09 pm

    Haha once an old roommate ended up being a bit of a #5. She had to go pick up a mattress a few blocks away, so I gave her a ride since she didn’t have a car. We bring some twine, assuming that we’ll just tie it to the roof and it’ll be fine. My car, despite being a boat-like Lincoln Continental, was not really the right size to carry a huge queen-size mattress. We latched it to the roof and it hung so low over the windshield so I had to drive hunched down looking out the bottom of the window. It was a very long, slow drive.

    I typically don’t sell or buy stuff on Craigslist, so luckily I haven’t had to deal with these people!

  15. Q.V. permalink
    November 11, 2011 9:14 pm

    I had to revisit this post while I clear the contents of my house on craigslist over the course of three months. I probably acquired most of my furniture by the same, but just for free, so it has been very satisfying to have enough time to post this shit for cash. It seems like if you have “Renew Posting” enough and time, you can sell anything on craigslist.

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