My Fear Of Craigslist Selling

Last October, I successfully sold a car via Craigslist.  I didn’t give much detail at the time, but the basic summary of what happened was:

  • I listed the car at Kelly Blue Book price
  • I got no offers
  • I lowered the price $250
  • I got 2-3 of lowball offers that were suspiciously like spam.  The offers were over $2,000 less than I considered reasonable and came from weird e-mail addresses.  I ignored them.
  • I got discouraged
  • I got an e-mail from someone who seemed legit.  We exchanged e-mails.  I took the car over to where she worked (about five miles away from where I worked).  She and a friend came with me for a test drive.  She made an offer on the spot (my asking price).  I accepted on the spot.
  • Two days later we met at the bank.  She gave me an envelope full of cash.  I gave it to the bank teller.  We drove the secretary of state.  We signed things, I took off my old license plate, bid the old gal (the car, not the buyer) a fond farewell, and we parted ways.

Everything was cool.  I felt confident selling the car on Craigslist because I kept my radar up so that it seemed like nothing really bad would happen.  I ignored the spammers.  I was doing any ‘look-sees’ at the car in public spots.  I was not doing any out-of-state transactions.  I was insisting on cash.  Everything met the sniff test, and everything went well.

I have, however, a bunch of stuff at home that I would love to sell.  It’s a random of assortment of items such as a baker’s rack (which I bought at my previous residence, is perfectly good but just doesn’t fit anywhere in the layout of our home), some old furniture, and some other odds and ends.

I’m reluctant to put the stuff on Craigslist, though, because of my safety fear.  See, out of the criteria I listed above that were important to me, there’s one that’s very difficult to accomplish with the items I want to get rid of: They can’t be shown at a public place.

I can’t very well strap a couch to the back of my car and insist that a potential buyer meet me at the parking lot of the CVS, whereas such a suggestion for a car is perfectly reasonable.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m reluctant to have people come to my home.  You never know what you’re inviting in, or nowadays, when they’ll come back.  Uninvited.

It surprises me that this sort of scares me, because before I moved, I sold a bunch of other furniture and stuff and didn’t think anything of it.

I guess what’s different between then and now:

  • I was moving so chances are if they ‘came back’ they wouldn’t find me or my stuff
  • The home I live in now is nicer and I would think might be more attractive to potential no-gooders
  • I now have a wife and child that I want to keep protected
  • The economy has gotten much worse so there are more people that would probably do something bad than there were in the past.

So, I guess I’m stuck.  The subdivision garage sale came and went, so I’d have to wait another year.  I could potentially donate the items and just claim the write-off.  I could keep my ears open with friends and family to see if anybody needs anything I have or has friends/family that they know of.

It’s funny how times have changed.  Back in ‘the day’ before Craigslist even existed, you wouldn’t even have the option of selling stuff there.  Now that the option is there but I don’t feel comfortable using it, I feel frustrated.

Any ideas of what I should do either with or without Craigslist?

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