Your guide to buying from Craigslist.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by TwinRetro, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. TwinRetro

    TwinRetro Former Staff

    Former Staff
    Aug 29, 2008
    Hiatus Hell
    So, it seems many people have misconceptions about Craigslist. I am here to clear those up, and hopefully introduce you to one of the best sources to get second hand gear for a fraction of the cost. Hopefully after this, you'll be wondering why you ever shopped on eBay or Amazon.

    1. Safety first!

    There are a few things that we need to cover right here and now. Safety...for you and your money!

    Always meet in a neutral public place. The ideal place would be visible from many angles, well populated, and well lit.
    In the instance of buying something like a console or something else that you would need to test out, always go to their place(Never your place, unless you want your house potentially scoped for burglary), and bring a friend, preferably two, in case things get hairy.
    Never bring your cash out, unless you have your hands on the product you are buying. Don't be a victim of a snatch-and-run!
    Always bring a friend with you. Scammers and muggers will most likely not try anything with anyone that's not alone.
    If it doesn't feel right, don't go through with it. I can't stress this enough. If you feel like there is something wrong, there most likely is.
    Always buy locally. People willing to ship to you are almost always a scammer.

    2. How to spot the lemons

    There are many ways to spot someone trying to drop some bad merch on you. Here are a few ways:

    If they won't send you a picture of the product
    If they won't tell you model numbers, MFR dates, or if the product is still under warranty
    If they avoid any questions in general
    If they won't show you the product without cash in hand. (This is also a snatch-and-run tactic, beware!)
    If they won't let you test out a product
    If they are selling a large lot that they refuse to break up (Sometimes they are just being stubborn, but more often than not, they mix in bad merch with the good stuff, hoping you won't have the patience to check everything)

    3. Questions to ask before setting up a buy

    How old is it?/What's the MFR date? (for consoles and such)
    Whats the condition of the disc(s)? (games)
    Can I test it out?
    How much is it, again?/How much are you asking for it? (may seem like a stupid question, but sometimes they will up the price upon meeting, hoping that you'll just buy it, not wanting to waste the trip out there)
    What's the lowest you will take for it? (Be prepared for an answer to the effect of "What's the lowest you'll offer?")
    Will/can you just sell me X? (in the event of a lot sale)

    4. Checking out your product

    Before you buy, check over everything carefully. If you're buying a game, check for scratches, or if you're buying a console, check for the MFR date, wear and tear of the case, See how well they took care of it. Is it dusty? Is there tons of dust inside?Do games run fine? etc... When buying lots, be sure to check over EVERYTHING, refuse to take damaged items in the lot, and offer a reasonable price, taking into consideration those items are junk. Again, if the owner still won't budge on the deal, despite you finding the janky junk, just cut it off. Don't be afraid to pack it in and leave. You might have insults hurled your way, but at least you won't be out of pocket for cash.

    Any questions?
  2. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

    Jan 22, 2009
    United States
    Nah, most of that is self explanatory. However, it's a very helpful guide to the Craig's list newbies.
  3. SubliminalSegue

    SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 12, 2010
    United States
    Nice guide. Ironically, I actually wrote a Craigslist's "How to find love and maybe something more" Guide:

    1. Don't Do It.