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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Friday, May 13, 2011

Craigslist for beginners : Not just for murderous thieves!

In my Dave Ramsey financial peace class last night the topic came up about craigslist. There were tales of how afraid people are of it, how people get murdered all the time. I am here to dispel that myth. Yes, there have been deaths associated with it and you have to be careful when using it, but you should also be careful walking out your door in the morning. You are entering into a possible financial transaction with people you don’t know. If you are selling an item worth hundreds of dollars that you want cash for? Good lord be careful. The most we sold something for was a car for $12500 to a firefighter and his wife and we met at my bank. Most things I sell for $100 or less. One of the deaths was for a diamond ring worth $1000. If you are selling luxury items like that – gold, jewels,coin collections, grandma's furs, designer goods – don’t bring buyers in your home. If they are legit, meet at a jewelers to have the jewel assessed, the gold weighed. Those easily pawnable or resellable items you want to handle carefully, since they can attract a different buyer. Another sad death was a video game set. Once the buyer kid was ripped off of his money… he went after the kids who robbed him in his car, and got shot. The other murders were prostitutes who were advertising their services. Don’t go to someone’s house at night. Don’t sell or buy things that you can’t buy legally at the store. Talk to the buyer/seller on the phone. If you get a weird vibe? Don’t meet them, or meet them outside the police station.
This first section will be a description of some of the people I have met. Yes, at my house. Main safety tip? (besides not having people to your house…) when people email their response always use the craigslist anonymous email sorter rather than putting your phone or email directly in the ad -- this is your first method of screening. I generally don’t respond to people who have funky emails (hot4u@yahoo, cutepartygrrrrl@msn or sexxxymutha@gmail) figuring they are dingbats. The ones I always respond to? Ones that sound sincere, that give information, a telephone number, and their real name. Oh, and they get a response if they use complete sentences. Send me an email from a phone saying “i can pik up where r u” with no name is a guaranteed delete by me.
Have met some great folks: the young couple who were homesteading and hardworking and took down my fence to reuse on their sheep. The gal and her friend who lived on a hillside and dismantled other parts of the fence. The fellow who dropped off his tractor for two days at my place while he loaded his truck with my manure. He did large scale pepper growing so took every square inch. He also redesigned my manure storage, and brought me salsa from last years crop – he was a bonus! The gal who was so excited to get our vintage 60’s sofa for her 60’s house or the other gal who took our old dining room table to start her apartment. The woman and her daughter who loved the chandelier I bought BEFORE I actually had ownership of this old farmhouse--a chandelier in this house would be ridiculous so it hung in my garage over my minivan. The retired merchant marine interested in some lights that told me the whole history of our neighborhood community meeting hall and the couple who searched all of western Washington CL for just the right table and drove two hours from Olympia to pick it up a $45 table at our house. I have hired six fellows off of CL for general labor stuff I couldn’t do…. all honest, hardworking, got the job done quickly and with no fuss. Well, for full disclosure, the fellow who tilled my garden did a great job, but was a little sour alcohol-y smelling.
Sometimes I meet buyers or sellers in public places but usually I just leave the item on my porch with the instructions to put the money under the mat if they want the item. Never been ripped off. Craigslist is used TONS by all sorts of people. I have been involved in dozens of transactions and never felt unsafe, uneasy or threatened.
Coming up next: some craigslist scores I found.
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