Craigslist: Great Way to Sell your Crap or Total Pain in the Ass?

Craigslist - picture of antique couch

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we did the unthinkable and bought new furniture from the store.  You see, my furniture was completely uncomfortable.  Since we were trying to avoid moving, we decided that buying new furniture might keep us in our current house long enough for us to pay off the mortgage in 35-months.  Don’t get me wrong – my old furniture was really nice.  It was just way too oversized, deep, and completely impractical for those who are not at least 7-feet tall.  Since my furniture was obviously made for giants, we decided to look for new furniture for us little folk.

We found average looking but comfortable furniture at the store and bought it.  Since we don’t need two sets of great room furniture, we decided to sell our old set on Craigslist to offset the cost of our new digs.

I honestly haven’t sold that much on Craigslist before.  I mostly have just bought things….baby clothes, kid clothes, my beautiful office furniture, tables, chairs, and almost anything else that you can think of.  I put together my Craigslist ad asking $400 for my couch, love seat, and two end tables with high hopes I instantly starting getting texts.

“Do you still have the furniture?”


“Do you still have the couch and love seat?”


“Do you still have the couch and love seat?”


After each of these inquiries, nothing but silence followed.  Were they just being nosy?  Since they took the time to text and ask if I still had it, does that mean that they were interested?  Did my reply of “Yes” somehow make them change their mind?  After getting several more repeats of the same question, I started wondering what the hell was going on with people.

That’s when I received my first email inquiry from an interested customer.  What follows is the actual email that I received after confirming that I did indeed still have the furniture:

“Hello, Thanks for the swift response,as the item is still available, I will send a check to cover the cost of my purchase as am completely satisfied with the “ad”.I will need the details of whom & where to mail the Check..It will be delivered by Courier Service…
1.Name to be on the check 2.Home address ( No P.O Box ) 3.Mobile #
Kindly delete the advert on Craig’s List as am totally committed to buying from you and My mover will be coming over for the pick up after you must have received and cashed the check, Also I would have love to call but I’m a deaf, So please send me an email only.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


So, no.  Obviously I wasn’t going to get involved in whatever he was trying to do here.  I moved on and got another email within a few hours.  Again, I swear I am not making this up.

“Would you trade 13 unopened 700 count boxes of baseball cards for couch set. The cards inside each box worth around $300 that’s ($3900) roughly. Great to save to pass on to children or sell. Or great to give as Christmas gifts…thanks…”Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone


BASEBALL CARDS?!?!??!?!  For realz?  Did anything I said in my Craigslist ad imply that I might be interested in baseball cards?  I guess it was worth a shot, right?  I guess all I could say was no….and I did.

Then, I began receiving a series of very detailed emails from a seemingly serious Craigslist shopper.  He asked for various measurements, additional pictures, and even what my favorite and least favorite things about the couch and love seat were.  We negotiated the price down to $350 and made arrangements for him to come pick it up the next day.  The next day rolled around and he emailed a few more times to confirm my address and a time for pickup.


Then nothing.  He didn’t show.  I disappointed because I thought that this anonymous person was really going to show up.  Luckily, someone else soon became interested and actually followed through.  I sold my furniture for $340, and – since my new stuff won’t come for a few weeks – we are sans couch right now.  We moved this little futon in from our kid’s play room and it looks pretty ridiculous in our giant great room.  Luckily, it’s only for a few more weeks.


Have you ever sold anything on Craigslist before?  Have you ever bought anything off Craigslist?  What was your experience?  Share your story by commenting below.



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  1. I don’t use Craigslist and your experience doesn’t make me want to haha. I know some people who have gotten TONS of stuff for very cheap on Craigslist, as well as a couple others who have found a roommate by posting an ad as well as selling their car. Personally I don’t have much motivation to go on it.

  2. That doesn’t sound like an experience I’d want to have. I have bought and sold tons of stuff on the Australian version – Gumtree, and similarly on eBay. I have had nothing but positive experiences. For instance, I’m typing this from a computer sitting in an awesome computer desk I got for $20. It would sell in a shop for more than $100.

    1. That sounds awesome! I bought my office furniture off of craigslist for a steal.

  3. We’ve sold quite a bit on Craigslist actually. I can’t put a dollar figure on it off the top of my head, but it has been a nice little chunk of money over time. The only thing we’ve bought was a recliner a few years ago that my wife wanted. It was basically new and a fraction of the cost of one at the store. We’ve had only a few small issues with it, certainly no one trying to trade us baseball cards for the item we’re selling. 🙂 We’ve had a couple of money laundering emails like you got, but after the first one we knew to expect crap like that.

    All that said, we’ve met some really “interesting” people
    selling the things we’ve had. My Mom always gets nervous that we’re going to fall prey to some Craigslist killer. Lol.

    1. I always make sure that I am not alone and I dont want any weirdos to see my kids! We have sold a few other things and just moved them into the garage for people to look and buy.

  4. Mandy @MoneyMasterMom says:

    I had a friend who was selling a huge aquarium on Craigslist and got a bunch of ridiculous offers as well. Another friend found this so amusing that he kept setting up fake e-mail addresses to offer increasingly more bizarre offers. He finally came clean after two weeks of ranting and raving by selling friend.

    I personally have only sold a few baby items and never had a problem. I price them to move quick, and they did.

    1. Baby things are THE BEST to buy and sell on craigslist! I bought a ton of nice items on there, mostly clothes.

  5. Yeah, Craigslist is a PITA. We use it as little as possible, and always make sure to put what town we are in, and that they have to come there for pick-up. It saves some of the hassle of people who live an hour away contacting us about it (that is, if they read…)

  6. justin@thefrugalpath says:

    I have never done Craigslist, I’ve always been too afraid to let random strangers come to my house. Although you can get some great stuff for free. A few weeks ago a local radio station went through some stuff that was being given away for free: A hot tub, kayak, and some other great stuff. Still it wasn’t enough to persuade me. And your post has just confirmed my feelings. Thank you.

    1. lol, you’re welcome. Craigslist is awesome if you want to give something away for free just to get rid of it!

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this type of experience… Selling crap on Craiglist can bring out some interesting contacts. I usually end up selling everything for about what I want, but sometimes it takes a little more work than desired.

    I guess I could have a garage sale, but then I have to set everything up.. I’ll still stick with Craigslist.

    1. I am not having garage sales anymore. Sitting in my garage all day on a beautiful weekend day is not for me.

  8. I have sold a lot of stuff and generally had a good experience, except when people don’t show on time, or at all. I have received a lot of those scammy emails too, especially when selling vehicles. My “buyers” were expats living in Africa so they would send a mover too… I wonder if some people fall for them!

    1. I wonder that too. Who gets those emails and doesn’t suspect anything?!?!?!

  9. I have sold a bunch of my old things on craigslist and I have bought several things on craigslist. It’s a little bit of a hassle because of some of the nonsense. I don’t do email on Craigslist because of what you got as an email. I have also bought my fair share of things, everything from a car to a kindle.

    1. There are definitely some good deals to be had if you are willing to make the extra effort! (and deal with strange people)

  10. I’ve had good and bad experiences with CL – more good but you just need to know what to look out for. I have surprisingly had really good luck at buying concert tickets on CL, although I do know people who have been scammed this way. I also sold my car using CL and that worked out well.

    However, I would never buy furniture, clothing or anything fabric off of CL or used in general because of the whole bed bug scare.

    1. We bought concert tickets off of CL once at the last minute for a steal! It worked out fine and wepaid about half price.

  11. I have been fortunate because I have bought and sold on Craigslist before and dealt with pleasant and sane people during both transactions, painless and quick. My mother, however, tried to sell her dirtbike last year and got jerked around quite a bit with ridiculous responses if I recall.

    1. Ugh, it certainly happens! I just hate the no-shows more than anything.

  12. haha that’s kind of funny, Craigslist isn’t that popular here (we have kijiji which is equivalent) but I’ve only ever had positive experience both buying and selling, hope you nail down a buyer soon!

  13. I adore craigslist.

    Craigslist has been the source of my best (and okay, worst) roommates, almost every apartment I’ve lived in, it has been the offloading point for furniture and appliances, my yard-sale pre-screening tool, repository of wacky holiday decorations and useful moving supplies (and labour!), as well as how I found every job I’ve ever had. I’ve bartered for services and items (If you translate my resume, I’ll make you a quiche) and adopted two beautiful felines from people who, for various reasons, could not keep them. And once, when my bike was stolen, I put up an ad lamenting my state and asking if someone had one to sell cheaply. Not one, but TWO people emailed offering bicycles for free. I freaking love Craigslist.

    Sure, you get the occasional nut-job or sketchy money-laundering schemes (especially when looking for roommates!) but, hey – it’s a free service! The value far outweighs the cost in my experience. I have found, though, as some commenters have mentioned, that it varies hugely by location.

    My town is, I think, fairly divided on language lines. Craiglist is used by mostly anglophones, and Kijiji is mostly populated with francophones. Both communities are pretty hopping.

  14. We’ve had no problems with selling on craigslist. We sold a train table for $75, guitar for $200, amp for $250, little tykes kitchen set (before I knew I was having a girl…doh!) for $40, firetruck for $65, a tv for $900, and more! Jeff is hilarious…he actually keeps a pocket knife in his pocket when meeting CL people…”just in case” and we never let anyone see our kids. Thankfully, we’ve never had any issues, but we are super cautious and don’t even respond if the email sounds shady in any way. Too many weirdos out there!

    1. Yeah, I totally agree. I don’t want to be on the evening news =(

  15. I haven’t done anything with Craig’s list other than listing our rental on there. I probably would if we had some furniture to sale. It isn’t as popular in the rural area where we live. I like ebay for the anonymous aspect of it, even though packaging things for shipping is sort of a pain. Sadly, my husband would have probably taken the baseball cards. He is always convinced that those and comic books are going to be worth a mint someday.

    1. We have listed our rentals on CL before and it worked great. Plus, it’s free! Can’t beat that!

  16. Wow! I wonder how some of these scams work….they must be scams, but I don’t get their end game. I haven’t sold on Craigslist, but one friend recently sold a car(!) and another a dryer.

    Those are bizarre stories.

    1. I dont get the end game either, honestly. And I dont want to =)

  17. Haha I’m sorry. I’m trying so hard not to laugh but those emails are so bad!

  18. We’ve never purchased anything from Craigslist, but we did sell a ton of baby items once our little boy outgrew them. I had a lot of those strange emails as well, but its pretty easy to just press the “delete” button on them.

  19. LOL, those emails are funny 🙂 Baseball cards? Ha, ha, ha….

    We’ve had some weirdos contact us when we have posted items on Craigslist. Unfortunately, I think it comes with the territory.

    1. Yeah it does….and since it’s free anyone can post stupid comments or questions just for fun

  20. Tackling Our Debt says:

    From what I’ve seen your experience is quite typical, at least in our city as well. So many people send stupid messages to ads on both craigslist and kijiji just for the heck of it. I wish they had to pay a fee to send replies so that maybe they wouldn’t send crappy messages.

    Last year at this time I used kijiji to advertise an electronic keyboard for sale and a huge home gym. The replies were so stupid. I eventually deleted the keyboard and sold it on eBay. For the gym I finally had a nice reply but was so paranoid by then. The buyer left her phone number so I asked my husband to call her back. She turned out to be the nicest lady. When her and her husband came to pick up the gym she asked me if I was scared to sell it online and I said yes, were you scared to come here and she said yes. Weird, eh? Fortunately it worked out quite well.

    1. Yeah, it is a little awkward buying and selling. You never know what you are going to walk into or who is going to show up at your house!

  21. Those are great emails – what the heck are people thinking? I just donate things when I want to get rid of them. I’ve never used Craigslist at all.

    1. Donating is way easier. People love stuff that’s free!

  22. After having the whole range of wacky experiences, I now just give things away on CL or the recycling sites. Enjoyed providing a family who really needed it a complete double bed set; did not enjoy having to drive 35 miles round-trip to take an item to a person who would never pick it up or even answer the door. Upon retirement, sold my 4-wheel drive SUV on e-Bay and it went to St. Petersburg, Russia! That makes a good story.

    1. That’s crazy! How did you ship your SUV to Russia? Wouldn’t the shipping costs outweigh any savings that they got by buying on ebay?

  23. You have to include a line in your add saying: “If you are reading this, all of the furniture is STILL AVAILABLE, otherwise I will take down the ad or modify it”

    I do this every time and don’t get any of those annoying questions…

    1. I see people do that sometimes and I think it’s a great idea!

  24. We have bought a lot of our furniture off craigslist and sold some things for the first time for our recent move. Yeah, you get some spam but it’s easy to spot. Sometimes people are flaky. But overall I think it’s a great deal for both the buyer and seller.

    The only hiccup I ever had buying was that one furniture seller wouldn’t negotiate to our desired (market-researched) price so we left without buying – that was hard. I hate negotiating so I put “price is firm” in my ads when we sold our appliances.

    1. I have put price is firm in the ad a few times too. It doesn’t stop people from asking if I will take less though. Haha!

  25. HAHAHAHAHA!!! That is hilarious… I can’t believe you were offered baseball cards!! Glad you finally shifted it, but I stay away from all of that. I charity shop things and don’t waste the time

    1. Really, I expect to be low-balled but I don’t expect offers for trade….especially for baseball cards! WTF?!?!?

  26. I’ve never used Craigslist but have searched it before. I have used Kijji in Canada both buying and selling and would do it again and again. I’ve never really had any problems but the one that stands out is people that say yes and never show up. We’ve saved lots of money and made money so yes I’d keep on doing it . Better to make money on crap you won’t use and to save money on someone else’s crap you will use. Mr.CBB

  27. I have never sold anything on Craigslist but I am not against it all. My biggest issue is some stranger knowing my home address! Such a girl, I know. I would much rather meet in a Target parking lot for the exchange, however I am sure that might sound a little off to the other party.

  28. I have never used craigslist as I have heard so many horror stories about it. I find that E-Bay is more than adequate for what I want to do.

  29. Both, I’d say. But if there were a paid service, would you use that instead? It’s hard to complain when you’re using a free service that’s easy and convenient.

    1. Do you come here specifically to be crabby…or is it just an accident? Seriously, think of the last few comments you have left here…all negative. It’s just a story don’t take it so seriously.

  30. I’ve been trying to sell a lot of stuff on CL lately. I’ve received that first email you got about 4 times….like word for word. Lately I’ve started listing my stuff on ebay/Amazon since it’s less scammy.

    1. I have never sold on ebay before….but I have bought several things and it has gone pretty smooth!

  31. It took me a full three weeks to sell my couch on Craigslist. It definitely requires patience. Like you, I receive many… many… many… emails asking if the couch was still available. Only one person emailed with a phone number and he ended up buying it!

  32. The lower the priced item, the more PITA!

    I sold 7 cars on CL before, and bought 8. Thank goodness for its free service!

  33. Audrey Booth says:

    I have tried all day yesterday and again today to place ads
    in CraigsList to no avail! I type the ad and they say they will send me a confirmation email and I never get one.
    Where else can I try and sell my furniture?

    1. That stinks! I have sold a coffee table and some baby stuff by posting it on Facebook before. It might be worth a try!

  34. I’ve had pretty awesome experiences with Craigslist so far. I recently sold 2 items that I was never going to use again. $130 later and I’m looking to do it again soon!

  35. Sofa Kink says:

    This is why I don’t use Craigslist:

    U should take down ur post because ur shit is gone so people don’t waste gas I should have flattened ur tires an egged ur house ass hole
    Sent from my wireless communication device
    Sent from my wireless communication device

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  37. Lynda Taylor says:

    Is this craigs list fucked up or what??????? Tried to put a friend’s bike for sale for 2 day’s now!!!!!!!!!! hOW DO U GET IT ON THERE? What a JOKE, like they care…..duh

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  41. Would you (or anyone else posting here) find it helpful if everything you’ve ever bought online could be listed for you automatically (including photos and description from the original site it was purchased)?

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    Curious if anyone else thinks this would be as cool/useful as I do. Or if something like this exists already!

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