How We’ve Dipped Our Toe Into Using Craigslist

I haven’t used Craigslist in quite some time, but decided to give it a shot and have had pretty good luck.

I’ve been a little spooked by some of the different horror stories, and I suppose there is always a risk any time you sell anything, whether it be through Craigslist or a garage sale or through eBay.  The trick is to be sensible and safe.

Table and Chairs

We recently replaced our kitchen table and chairs with a new set.  We were using our old set since we moved into the house and we were ready for a change.  We’d actually gotten that set for free, a find through my in-laws, and so when the new set came and was put together and setup, we decided to get rid of the old set by Craigslist.

mb-201312billscoinsIt didn’t take very long and I had a response.  Working back and forth I arranged to have them come to the house during day light hours, and the table and chairs were out in the garage.  A man and his son showed up, and it was gone within 10 minutes.  They had a truck full of other furniture, and I’m guessing that they look for items that they can somehow flip for a higher price.


My wife replaced her bike a couple of years ago.  Her old bike had served her well since she was a teenager.  However,  it was built for sidewalk riding, and rode rough over bumps.  She wanted something a bit more rugged.  She found one and got a great deal.  But of course, we never did anything with her old bike except hang it from the ceiling in the garage.

I never wanted to keep it for very long and this spring an opportunity came when she had someone she knew on Facebook post that she was looking for a bike if anybody had one.  My wife offered it to her for free, and she said she would be by to pick it up next week.  It didn’t work out and she promised to pick it up the following week. Repeat a couple of times, and finally she responded that she actually got an old bike from a family member and that she didn’t need it.

By this point, I’d already pulled it down and even filled up the tires and oiled the chains, so I knew that it was in good working condition.  After I fumed for a couple of minutes, I decided that no way was it going back up on those hooks.  I snapped a picture, put up a Craigslist ad, and within 2 hours had a deal lined up.  The next day, the bike was gone.

How We Stay Craigslist Safe

Some of the things we do to minimize risk are:

  • Accept cash only 
  • Deal only during daylight hours
  • Have anything we’re selling outside or in the garage.  Nobody from Craigslist comes in.
  • Get names of the buyers and look them up.  I ask “Where are you coming from?” and match that up with any details I can find online, and look them up on social media.
  • Transact when I’m not home alone.  We lock the door and I’ll be outside.  My wife knows when things are happening and she’ll keep an eye out to make sure everything is going well.

We have a couple other things we’d like to sell soon:

  • Double stroller. Our stroller is in great shape but we don’t have a need for one that sits two kids any more.  They hold great value so we should get a good price here.
  • Exercise bike. I love working out at the gym and prefer the treadmill over the bike that’s downstairs.  The biggest obstacle I have here is that I need help hauling upstairs.  I want to have this done before listing it.

Readers, do you use Craigslist for buying and selling?  What are your methods to make sure you stay safe as either the buyer or seller?

7 thoughts on “How We’ve Dipped Our Toe Into Using Craigslist”

  1. I normally like to meet buyers at a public location. Sometimes the item doesn’t allow for that though. I’ve never felt uncomfortable with any of the people that have had to come to my home….although I admit that’s pretty lucky. The one uncomfortable sale I had was the entertainment center I was actually giving away. The “buyer” but didn’t have a vehicle big enough to transport it even after I disassembled it – along with a massive picture tube TV. I delivered it to them… a not so great area of town. The people themselves kind of made me uncomfortable too. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough….

    • I always make it very clear in my ad that they must take it with them. If they showed up and would be unable to take it, I’d move on to the next potential buyer.

  2. It’s really great information on How We’ve Dipped Our Toe Into Using Craigslist. It’s very inspiring to read this kind of blog. Thanks for sharing. God Bless.

  3. I used CL a lot in college to buy and sell furniture and other large items as I needed. But I was always careful about it since I lived alone. I’d make sure that the person coming to get stuff came during the day and I’d have someone else there with me too.

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