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Old 11-19-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
Huge Guy
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Craig's List buying experiences

We had the thread last week about ebay buying experiences so I figured I'd start one about Craig's List.

I've gotten some great deals on gear on CL but occaisionally I've run into some duds and this one takes the cake!

It was listed as a Schechter Omen with hardcase, the seller did not know how much it was worth and asking $100. He said it was "kinda beat up" and I imagined some cosmetic damage like scratches, chips, stuff like that. Talked him down to $70. There were no pics; he said he did not know how to upload pics.

Jumped in the care and plugged his address into the GPS. I ended up on a wooded dead-end street and could not locate the actual address. At that point I saw this kid (must've been around 16 or so) walking out of the woods carrying a flimsy, dilapidated acoustic case. So I start wondering if there's even a guitar in there!

The kid says his parents don't like him giving out their address which was why he brought me to such a place. He puts the case in the middle of the street and opens it up. Yes, it's a Schechter Omen but I have never seen a guitar in such horrible shape. The bridge was missing and all the hardware was rusted. Two strings were left. The body had numerous large chips and the body and neck had white paint splashed on it. I'm not sure if it had been dropped or smacked against a wall or what. It looked like something he'd pulled out of a dumpster. He claimed his friend had left it in his basement a few years back.

This thing was in such poor condition that I didn't think it would be worth the effort (or cash!) to get it back in working order so of couse I told the kid I'd have to pass.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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I've gotten 3 basses over CL. I make sure I get all their phone numbers and/or addresses so if something's wrong I can just contact them. They've all been.... well, solid in condition. Sure, 2 of them just weren't my thing (just got the third one today, pretty psyched. Seems mostly okay), but mostly pleasant experiences.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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I've actually never bought anything on CL, but I've sold many things, like musical equipment, furniture, appliances, and even a Toyota 4Runner.

Overall, I like selling on it, but it can be scary to invite strangers to your home, and a pain to meet them somewhere. I once drove 30 minutes across town to meet a guy at Guitar Center so he could try out my Les Paul. He tried it for a good 30 minutes and then told me that he's decided that Les Pauls aren't his thing. I wanted to kill him.

I actually sold a mini fridge on CL the other day, and I'm selling a dresser in a few hours, and possibly my Vypyr 15 tomorrow. Usually the people I meet are not trying to scam or mug me, but sometimes they can be annoying, especially when I've made it clear that the price is firm and they still try to haggle.

Also, I only operate through email these days, and I ignore emails from people that are clearly stupid or are obviously not going to pay what I'm asking.

And I should add that the best deals I've found on used musical equipment have been either at GC or at a pawn shop.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 11-19-2012 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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had less than great luck with cars on CL. as for guitars and other gear i really haven't bought anything but i have done a couple of trades. this proved to be a rather big challenge as the number of morons seems to grow when you try to trade. had a US made early 90s Hamer Diablo with a very rare special order only maple neck and fretboard. put it up for trade preferably for a US made Strat. can't even tell you how many bottom of the barrel squier strats i was offered. anothe guy said he had an early 80s japanese squier strat whch i did take a look at. the guitar had been stripped of ti's finish and just about anything that would indicate it was what he said. passed. after a few tries i did finally get the 89 strat Plus deluxe i now play. the guy was very cool and drove almost 60 miles to meet me. he plays in a judas priest tribute band and my hamer was close enough to the glen tipton hamer ( hamer doesn't make a production version of it).

traded some pedals with another guy that while very nice seemed rather clueless. i could have screwed him royally but chose to be a nice guy (still came out ahead on that deal.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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I love CL.

Got a Mesa Tremoverb for 600 bucks because the idiot thought it was broken when it was really the input jack on his crappy guitar.

Recently got a LTD Viper 401FM in brand new condition for 300.

Just picked up an Ibanez Prestige RGR1570 in near mint condition for 400.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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I've bought, traded and sold alot of gear on cl. My best deal was a trade in which I got rid of a $300 beginners guitar for an older rg1570. My worst was a trade for a gibson lp studio. I didn't look at it super well and a couple frets had pitting so I sold it to my luthier at a loss.
I creep cl almost everyday still.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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the trick to criagslist is talking to people on the phone to make sure they aren't complete idiots.

one call tells a lot about a person.

if they come across as a total flake, i opt out politely.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs1020
the trick to criagslist is talking to people on the phone to make sure they aren't complete idiots.

one call tells a lot about a person.

if they come across as a total flake, i opt out politely.


But sometimes the dopes are the ones who don't understand the value of what they have!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #9
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I've upgraded my entire rig through craigslist over the past 2.5 years. If you give it time (and have enough patience for the dumbasses you'll encounter), you can find some amazing things off of it. I've gone up from a Crate Blue Voodoo to an Orange RV50 in two years while spending minimal cash thanks to craigslist.

With that being said, the sketchiest thing I've had to do is walk down to a potential seller's basement to try out his 5150. He had his own little electronic repair business out of the corner of his basement, complete with business cards, but the entire time I felt like I was in a Deliverance setting (cue banjo intro).
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:26 AM   #10
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As the person that made the ebay thread, I'd like to say I've had great experiences with craigslist. I've bought probably half of the gear I've ever owned on there (not an exaggeration) and I've sold everything there as well (except for my recent ebay experience, which you know about). I've got some awesome stuff for great prices and I couldn't recommend it more. However, you have to be careful. Aside from the obvious scams, (which, honestly, if you fall for one, you probably deserve it) there are occasionally some ****ed up people out there. My dad had a crazy experience like this. He called someone about a car that was way undervalued. After talking to the person, he decided something wasn't right and forgot about it. Eventually, a local news story came out about someone trying to buy a car on craigslist and getting set up and robbed. My dad put two and two together and figured out it was the same ad that he had called about. It could have been him if he wasn't careful. Here's the story:

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agenc...0408banach.html

The moral of the story is: craigslist is a great option (maybe the best) for buying used gear, but you have to be careful!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:43 AM   #11
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90% of my trades/buys/sells are via craigslist. 95% of the time it's been a very positive experience. I do tend to share the same taste in gear as many 40 year old men, though, so that could be a lot of it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattrusso
The moral of the story is: craigslist is a great option (maybe the best) for buying used gear, but you have to be careful!

This is very true. I find it's best to meet someone during the day in a nice area outside of a busy store. Once I even met a guy across the street from a police station.

And when I meet people at my apartment, I usually don't tell them what number it is so I can meet them in the parking lot, and if they look shady of show it up with a group of people, I'll just go inside. Fortunately I've never had to do that.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:09 AM   #13
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i buy and sell a lot, usually i set up a meeting in a very public place. i am selling a Teisco guitar locally - meeting a guy wednesday AM at a local Panera restaurant. Generally i have had good experiences, have met some loons but i am really layed back about the transactions. If it is a bad deal for either party i walk. But there are some scams so you gotta do your homework.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:20 AM   #14
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i am sure i have done 50+ deals on craigslist in the last two years, probably a lot more. i have only had one real problem, but it was rectified. made a lot of money off of people that they didn't know they had. got tons of stuff. if its something you have to plug in to use, i guess they may have to go in your house, or you could even run an extension cord to the outside. i have an outside outlet by my front door. if somebody seems questionable i will do that. i also have a vacant house near mine that i will direct some people to.

i know that people will flame for this, but i have a weapons permit and carry a 9mm it goes everywhere it can. i also always have a boot knife. and i don't think you would find me dead in any shoe until the day i die. Florida has good protection laws and god forbid i was threatened i would be able to use what force to what was required.

but seriously i have only had a few people that were assholes, but most of the people i deal with in the area are very pleasant and respectful.

may not be true for everybody or everybody's area, but i have always been fine.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by trashedlostfdup
but seriously i have only had a few people that were assholes, but most of the people i deal with in the area are very pleasant and respectful.

I'm guessing that you sell on CL often? Do you get many hagglers and low-ballers?

How do you deal with that? I know some sellers ask a high price on purpose to haggle down, so some buyers expect that. But I personally hate to haggle, so I usually ask a fair price and say it's firm.

The low-ballers piss me off though. I've had people just be downright insulting with it too. When I sold my 4Runner, the guy tried to get me to drop the price $1000 for a broken motor mount and a leaky steering box, all the while telling me it's junk and more trouble than it's worth.

Maybe I just don't have the patience to sell stuff
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:52 AM   #16
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When you get lowballers you just politely decline. I actually don't get haggled much.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:10 AM   #17
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Craigslist is almost a second income to me as a college student. I've made over $2500 in trades since this time last year. Most people I meet are really nice, and i've never had a problem. Although, some people are definitely "characters". I always meet people out front of a busy public place like a store and I try to bring someone with. I once sold a Spider III to a neo-nazi. Still was a nice respectful guy though.

One time I was going to look at an abandoned sports car that was on this guys property. I literally went 10 miles on a one lane dirt road into the hills with no cell reception at all. I show up and the guy is wearing a suit and an eye patch. That was the day I thought my clist dealings had caught up with me. Again, he turned out to be a super nice guy

Last edited by BlackIce87 : 11-20-2012 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
I'm guessing that you sell on CL often? Do you get many hagglers and low-ballers?

How do you deal with that? I know some sellers ask a high price on purpose to haggle down, so some buyers expect that. But I personally hate to haggle, so I usually ask a fair price and say it's firm.

The low-ballers piss me off though. I've had people just be downright insulting with it too. When I sold my 4Runner, the guy tried to get me to drop the price $1000 for a broken motor mount and a leaky steering box, all the while telling me it's junk and more trouble than it's worth.

Maybe I just don't have the patience to sell stuff


i really don't get any lowballers. i just ignore or say a respectful no and maybe (maybe) make a counter offer (maybe 10% less than you have it listed at). some of them want the gear and just think you are stupid. i have had somebody offer me half then i talked him up and we agreed at 80% and we were both happy. that was just once though. and selling car parts, those bring in a different game than the musicians.

i avoid the lowballers by saying something like "i am open to offers but they must be reasonable, however i do not need to sell this at the time, so i may not go lower than the listed price.

however if you need money that doesn't work.

always sell 10-20% more than your minimum. you want $420 and list it at that and somebody gets you down to $400 or $390 or something and think they have the good end of the deal and you are both happy.

the most trouble i have ever had happened twice. both were multi-item trades, and one had cash involved. one was selling tools for a $2000 ludwig shell set. we moved tools back and fourth and some i didn't really have a number on and we just eventually got it to what we both thought was fair.

the other one was i traded a JCA50head and a shitty 2x12" (paid $300 for both) plus a cheaper guitar (maybe valued at $400. i got a $2000 custom shop hand hammered copper snare, a 5000 series two leg hihat stand, A zildjian 13" hi-hats a 16" and 18" a custom crashes a 10" sabian splash, and a DW5000 double bass pedal and a snare case. i got the good end there but things were constantly going back and fourth. he sure got shafted, but it was his ignorance to not know what you are selling and buying.

for a while i was doing multiple a day but in the last 6 months or so maybe two a month. i made IIRC ~$12000 profit and increased asset (gear) in 2011 over probably 30 trades. for example, another was a MIM tele for a tama starclassic maple set and an extra pearl steel shell snare. $250 guitar probably $1200 drumset.

i have had in my posession to date 60+ guitars. own probably 22, and i have at least a dozen amps, most quite decent.

you just gotta do it. and take your time and be patient. i will let an item sit for months sometimes, but somebody always buys it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:05 AM   #19
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I can't bring myself to do Craigslist: I live in a major metropolitan area, and we have had a rash of sexual assaults and muggings over the past 2 years by guys using the site to select their prey.

Yeah, it's probably a statistical aberration, but I have no interest in being a statistic.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:06 AM   #20
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Every time I've purchased electronics (video game systems, etc) through craigslist, I've been swindled to some extent. You just don't have time to properly test something like that long enough to find problems. In some cases, the seller may not even be aware of problems. >_> Lots of people don't understand what such-and-such game system failure indicates in terms of problems down the road.

One guy, though... Long story short, he sold me a system that seemed to work just fine, except he was in kind of a creepy neighborhood. I get it home and, surprise surprise, the only reason the system worked was because the games had already been loaded on the system. Disc drive was shot, had to buy a replacement and learn how to pull the part myself through youtube videos. :| Everything worked out, but I don't use craigslist for anything with software these days. I was young and dumb in those days. :p

When it comes to guitars, Craigslist pisses me off. About half of the listings at any given time are First Act-style starter guitars. The rest are way, way overpriced. I know sellers overprice so they can go down a bit during discussions, but to see a random MIK schecter in used mediocre condition for $650 is crazy stupid, especially when the buyer says the price is firm. I rarely see any deals on guitars at CL, seems like everything posted on there is cheaper at guitar center or ebay, and in both cases I can have them ship it to my house. Maybe the CL in my area just blows.
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