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Craigslist Flakes

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Why? Why did you email me to ask if if my table is still available? If it wasn't available I would not of put "If posting is still here Item is still available". Are you really that stupid? Are those your friends that emailed me the same stupid question of "do you still have the table". Of course I have the f'n table if not I would delete the post. Also why did you waste my time and yours to send such a stupid question when I specifically said "I will not respond to emails asking if item is still available". I understand that you are natures flaw, also I do donate to your cause in every tax return. But I must ask, how did you sneak into the computer room so late so you could send me that.....

I could ramble on for hours about the "is it still available" idiots. But instead I would like to get to the point of the topic of my favorite craigslist patrons. The craigslist Flakes.

I refuse to post on cl without requesting a phone number to be included in the response. That seems to weed out about 3/4ths of the idiots, but still, majority overrules. I can post a add for a guitar. A guitar that I have posted as we speak. I receive about twelve responses a day for this guitar. At least five are spam, three are idiots asking if it is still available and four have included a phone number. Out of the four that I call back at least two of them will not answer their phones. My guess is that they are screening for collection agency's. Out of the last two both will tell you that they want, no need, to buy this guitar for their sister, friend, cousin, whatever, they will be there first thing in the morning. Neither of the two show up. Repost again. Same stories but a different group of numbers and emails.

I like it when you get the same person emailing again. After two emails, I feel it gives you the right to mess with them. Tell them you found their cat or whatever sob story they were giving you in the first email. Or ask about the pathetic story they told you before so they could buy your item at a discount. Even If you give them a discount they will not show up.

So I ask why? Is this the way of most americans now? A petty joy to waste each others time? I have gone through at least fifty people that have promised to buy a keyboard or guitar that I have listed now. Not to mention all the other flakes for other Items that have not shown up. E'll if ebay wasn't such a rip off I would go back to that.

This is a little update. I went through a bout 14 more emails and someone actually showed up to buy the guitar!

So tell me your CL stories in the comments, or if you think it's better to pay ebays bs fee's compared to dealing with CraigsList Flakes.


Writen4u (author) on September 27, 2014:

Hi wholetthedogsout,

Actually it takes about ten or so flags from different ip addresses to remove a post. So one individual can not delete it by flagging it. It is probably a combo of the nuts wanting stuff for basically free and others selling the same item as yours in worse condition for more money. I just had a posting deleted in about one day that just had a bunch of my old watches. When I posted the watches individually I noticed all but one was left alone. The only on that was continually flagged was for a Fake Rolex, I'm guessing people selling real ones in the thousands didn't like the fact someone could buy an identical fake one for $100, needless to say anyone looking for a replica rolex is not about to spend $5000 on a real one, so I don't really see how my add was competition in anyway.

As the flakes and time-wasters have almost completely overrun craigslist at this point I'm slowly moving back towards Ebay to get rid of small stuff as opposed to having six different people waste my time for a ten dollar item. Most people now don't answer the phone after they email and the majority never call back when you leave a message. Consideration for others has gone down the drain, which I guess should be expected when you are dealing with the low-class bottom of the barrel people that C.L. seems to attract. Good luck "minimizing", I've been doing the same for years now but I can't seem to get sh*t out of here faster than my wife can buy more!

wholetthedogsout on September 16, 2014:

I've been "minimizing" for a couple of years now and primarily selling on C/L. I'm conscientious and have to remind myself frequently to just "let it go" when I run into flakes on C/L. I've experienced being flagged for deletion by someone who was selling the same item as I was (worse condition) multiple times until I sent them an email threatening legal action (and they stopped deleting my ads). Now I find that you have to be so careful how you might respond to someone as they may be a wackadoodle who goes in and deletes your post because you've pissed them off! When you're selling multiple items this is really time consuming and I can only hope KARMA pays them a visit. This is a new one for me and it's costly as time is limited and we are moving long distance. FYI: it's unfortunate that good people are forced to be at the hands of such wack jobs because ANYONE can delete your post for any reason! Watch how you respond despite how rude or offensive someone is as it's a roll of the dice how they may respond!

Writen4u (author) on January 25, 2014:

Hey Jerry,

I think if you have a niche of certain items that you sell, especially vintage hi-fi equipment you round up more serious buyers. I had a Sansui AU11000 on there years ago and anyone that replied had a phone number and was ready to meet up as they where serious collectors. Right now along with a collection of other random sh*t I have on CL is a few pieces of pro audio gear. One piece, a nice compressor, I'm getting every loser either offering behringer prices, or repeatedly no showing then then trying to schedule another meeting time. It all has to do with what your selling. Yes, when people have a passion and are serious collectors for what your selling you're good to go, but once it comes down to random things your trying to clear out, these people are flakes.

jerry on January 21, 2014:

I make about $500 -$ 1,200 on CL a month , I shop at thrift stores for my goods - looking for very niche items like Vintage Speakers and Mid Century Modern things. To weed out the flakes I make sure the person wants my item by saying "Google Search local Charleston, SC area code" then my phone number - Never had a no show ever, the people looking for the items I am selling are/have a passion for them.

Scroll to Continue

Spud on October 31, 2013:

Flakes abound, so it's not always scammers asking if it's "still available." I've contacted several sellers of cars and each time, they told me the car was sold. As I was in the market for a specific kind of car, when I checked CL days later, their ads were still there. Apparently, they were too lazy to remove their listings. So, it's a legitimate question. It goes both ways...

wholetthedogsout on June 17, 2013:

I found the HubPages as a result of the search What's up with Craigslist flakes?" I couldn't understand, as a conscientious seller on Craigslist, what the heck I was doing wrong to be plagued by all of the flakes that I was encountering!

I feel so much better now! Hands experience with buyers has been disappointing at best. I always return emails, calls or show up on time...I remove my listings immediately after selling items...I research and price things fairly and even after negotiating less for things, people still don't show! No more texting for me! What's the point when the fool never shows and doesn't respond? I don't have time to waste on these rude people! I'm preparing for a move and have little time for disrespectful morons that have no concern for anyone. I'll be contacting a consignment place for my furniture as this is simply ridiculous.

It's unfortunate that the users, the parasite scammers and individuals with no integrity or manners ruin a venue that creates opportunities that help people. Someone unwilling to provide their phone number, have a brief conversation to inquire or make arrangement when they are the ones to simply a poser. As a responsible seller I will no longer deal with these fools.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the clarity and eye opening conversations...I too would rather gift items than put up with the disrespectful nonsense. This info. will help shape how I move forward on the C/L roller-coaster...

David Murree from USA on February 03, 2013:

enjoyed this postings, nice writing about craigslist

Jack on January 24, 2013:

I forgot to add that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Josh's shellacking of Bardo111. That was fantastic.... "I'm sorry, Bardo111, I need to berate you some more"... that should be turned into one of those internet meme things.

Jack on January 24, 2013:

I always ask if the item is available as well. Of course I only make offers on decent items that have a good price so usually these items go fairly quick. Asking about availability just makes sense. Plus it opens up the lines of communication and gets the ball rolling. I usually just phrase it as.. "If the item is still available I'd like to come and see it". It kills two birds with one stone. Let's them know I am serious about the item and gives them a chance to reply telling me if it's sold or not. There has been a few times where an item is only hours old and it's been sold already. Asking if something is still available in not a dumb question at all. Like so many others here have mentioned, many sellers tend to get lazy once they have the money in their hand and leave the damn ad up for days.

D on December 05, 2012:

People ask "Is this item still available?" because of lazy idiots that don't delete their posting... sometimes for even a week after it item has been sold. They are the same lazy idiots that never show up when a time and place is arranged.

Writen4u (author) on October 21, 2012:

"The two most important things to eliminate a large percentage of "No Shows" is don't accept emails and text messages. Allowing a Flake to text or email will allow a Flake with a conscious to feel better about not showing up because ...."Hey it wasn't anything personal, heck I never spoke with them or seen them before" "Ha Ha!...I'll just stay in mommy's basement instead"".

People are now leaving their phone number but requesting that I text them. I'm to the point now that those emails get deleted as well. Either you answer your phone like a big boy or I don't waste my time anymore. We are in the middle of cleaning out our house and I'm with you, I have dealt with so many flakes in the last two weeks and I'm selling this stuff at cr**khead prices.

Good luck.

hookerschnitzel on October 20, 2012:

I have been a seller on Craiglslist for over five years now. I must say that with the growing popularity the "Flakes" have ruined it for me officially this week. I am going to start throwing things away or give it away to friends or family from now on. Luckily I have a scrap yard near by for the decent engines and transmissions I come across. A decent used car part that used to bring hundreds will no be sold for scrap. I value my time and my family much higher than that. I have lost over eight hours of my time this week on no shows.

The two most important things to eliminate a large percentage of "No Shows" is don't accept emails and text messages. Allowing a Flake to text or email will allow a Flake with a conscious to feel better about not showing up because ...."Hey it wasn't anything personal, heck I never spoke with them or seen them before" "Ha Ha!...I'll just stay in mommy's basement instead"

I beleive that upbringing is a huge part of a Flake's poor character. I also think that as Craiglslist has evolved the bottom feeders have taken over more and more. It is a shame that our country is full of creatures with such bad social skills!

Don't allow any texts or emails. Give them a 30 minute window to show up or they will be ignored permanetly. Look! up here between 11:00 A.M. and noon. At 12:01 P.M. I will leave and ignore future phone calls...period!

Scott Forster on September 20, 2012:

I get this all the time. Either absolutely NO interest or someone says they are interested and say they will be there at X time on X day, but X time on X day arrives without even a text saying I got held up or something...What really pissed me off though was the day I went to pick up some really good motor mounts for my car...Guy said 5pm gave the address etc... Was not there, and I could not get a hold of him and still has not apologized for pulling a no-show...

dan on August 24, 2012:

I had posted on cl because I had a room available. I had about 50 flakes and no shows before finally renting the room. Now I'm attempting to sell sports cards. I put the price at 5 cents a card and yet no one responds or the flakes that do want them for cheaper. I can't take it

Mickey on July 30, 2012:

I guess if buyers are uncomfortable about leaving their personal info(phone #) I'd just ask if they left a simple word (like "summer") somewhere in the email or your response will be ignored, just to make sure they read everything in your post (like if the item is still available) and just follow simple directions.

Writen4u (author) on July 05, 2012:

"I'm sorry, Bardo111, I need to berate you some more"

Best comment yet! Well put Josh.

Josh on July 05, 2012:

I'm sorry, Bardo111, I need to berate you some more. It's just got to get out or I'll explode!

"I don't have time to call people and sit around waiting for them to hopefully, just maybe, call me back."

Well, wouldn't you have to sit around, waiting for them to hopefully, just maybe, email you back as well?

And have you ever heard of those new-fangled portable phones? The kids wear 'em on their hips. "Cellular" telephone, I think it's called. Right there, at arms length.

"At least with email you have a text record."

Yes, and when you call someone, either on a landline or cellphone, there are NO records of that, at all! You know what would be convenient? If those cellphones could have an option to view "missed calls," "dialed calls" and "received calls" so that I could have a RECORD of who I'm speaking with!

And WHEN is the phone company going to send me a list of all the numbers I call, and receive calls from, in my monthly bill? WHEN WILL THAT HAPPEN, BARDO111?!

Josh on July 05, 2012:

" I would NEVER respond to a buyer who leaves a phone number and wants me to call them as primary means of communication... I don't have time to call people and sit around waiting for them to hopefully, just maybe, call me back...No need to yap to each other over the telephone for that."

Really? No...REALLY? Haven't you ever heard about, oh, you know, every "Classified Section" of every newspaper in the WORLD? Hold on, I've got yesterday's paper - I'm going to share a few random ads:

Never been used GE electric dryer , able to be side by side or stacked paid 499.00 call 860-xxx-xx43 for more info.

DINING SET table w/6 chairs, 12' leaf, hutch, buffet, Very gd cond. $525 203-xxx-xx16.

33 TY BEANIE BABIES $50 for all. 860-xxx-xx20.

Starting to notice a trend, Bardo111? And those are just the first three ads I found. Nothing special about them, right?

What gets me so "utterly miffed" is what the hell your problem could possibly be with talking to someone on the phone? I mean, you're trying to buy/sell an item to a private party - you don't think the telephone is more appropriately personal than an email?

And Bardo111, whatever did we do before email? Or when email (and the internet) was in its infancy, or not so widely used? Did people never barter or trade with other people, because using a telephone to do so was just SO STUPID?

Seriously! This is driving me nuts! Your post here is so completely ridiculous! But it's not that. It's the fact that you're so outspoken and cocky about how INCREDIBLY STUPID you think it is to speak to someone on a telephone. The most irrational thing you've ever heard! REALLY?

Oh, and this is priceless: "I'm not going to call someone and ask them if they want to buy my stuff." Well, Bardo111, it's not like you're making cold calls. They would have indicated some interest in your item somehow, whereupon you'd simply call them (on the DREADED telephone) and say, "Hi, I'm Bardo111, from Craigslist. You inquired about my [insert merchandise for sale, here]?"

Are people really this stupid? Holy Jumping Jesus...

Writen4u (author) on July 03, 2012:

What would I need a text record for? Learn something about their voice? Yes, if they talk all ghetto then obviously that's not the person I want to meet at night with my $300 playstation.

If you want the item you leave your phone number, I call you back and tell them a time I can meet them and to call me when they are at my meeting spot. If they don't show show up then I move on to the next person that left a phone number. As I've said many times, people that only email and text show no accountability. Barbo111 more than likely you are one of those people.

bardo111 on July 02, 2012:

Wow I am utterly miffed. I would NEVER respond to a buyer who leaves a phone number and wants me to call them as primary means of communication. Are you people out of your minds? First, what is the point of talking on a damn phone? At least with email you have a text record. Do you think you're going to somehow learn something about someone because you hear their voice? It's the most irrational thing I've ever heard.

Second, I'm not going to call someone and ask them if they want to buy my stuff. You immediately set yourself up as desperate to sell. I don't have time to call people and sit around waiting for them to hopefully, just maybe, call me back. You want the item? ask me when you can come look at it and I'll tell you. No need to yap to each other over the telephone for that. Then knowing the mouthbreathers on craigslist probably continue to prank call me left and right.

So if you ever see an ad that says EMAIL ONLY do not leave your goddamn phone number. I will never respond to anyone who anwers an ad and says "interested, call me xxx-xxx-xxxx"

CRAZYQBAN on June 21, 2012:

leave your fucking number!!!! its so annoying when they ask do you still have it. you respond and then you never hear from them. Im positive its spamming. Because when you respond to their inquiry you reveal your email address and that's what they wanted to begin with. Im sure they get paid on each email address they obtain. my two cents!!!

Erinmama on June 06, 2012:

I agree with Daria. I'm new to CL and am very serious about finding a new couch, but have only come across flaky sellers. Could you perhaps offer some advice on how not to appear as a flaky buyer? I am a bit shy on the phone and that's why I prefer to text or email. Is it not ok to ask questions like "When is a good time to call you?" or "Will I be able to fit the couch set in the back of only one pickup truck?" (i actually rented a uhaul for a couch i thought i was getting and had to cancel it) I ask if the item is still available because it had been up for several hours. They reply "Yes it is", then I ask for a good time to meet, and they ignore me. How do I get results? I just want a damn couch.

Writen4u (author) on May 11, 2012:

Amen, ps3 games are the worst. Any video games actually. I have about five I keep putting on, "please hold it for me" No show. "I'll pick it up tonight" No show. People have no class anymore. If you don't intend to buy or at least look then don't reply.

I like that I'm going to start putting in on my post "If you don't intend to buy, then please don't reply".

Thanks for the comment.

Deelecaster on May 11, 2012:

What's up with craigslist flakes? They are scum. Why do they do what they do? This week I've dealt with two people flaking on me acting like they really wanted to buy my PS3 games. After a long text session with the "buyer" we agree to meet at my address, the "buyer" says "i'm on my way", never shows up, does not inform me with any information why they left me hanging and they don't answer my texts or calls. Why do they do that? Do they accomplish a shady goal that I don't know about by having my address and my first name?

Daria on April 30, 2012:

Writen4u - thanks for the rude comment. Clearly you aren't one to see both sides.

Writen4u (author) on April 29, 2012:


I feel like I just wasted more time reading your comment than I have waiting for a flake buyer. Ha!

Thanks for the comment, keep em coming!

Writen4u (author) on April 29, 2012:


I agree with some of what you're saying. I have responded to hundreds of adds trying to buy a car and have received no response. In my opinion if the basic details of miles and what not is not in the post why even bother emailing in the first place? More than likely it is just a fake listing.

I did just buy a car on CL, 2000 jetta for $800 so the deals are there and when they are there I don't send a email that for the most part implies that I'm going to waste the sellers time. I say "Hey I'm interested in your _______ call me at _________ so we can meet up and I can check it out". I don't make a guarantee I'm going to buy the item but I do let them know I'm serious about it and I also don't just don't shoot off an email because at the spur of the moment I like something but never intend on actually buying it.

As for phone tag I call once, they respond, then they respond, I give people one opportunity to pick something up they don't show up then call me again F them. And you know what my item still sells to the next person in line that emailed me with what? with a F*cking Phone Number. Nobody responds to you because they know you are a waste of time.

Daria on April 28, 2012:

At the moment, I'd have to say that I'm feeling like the sellers are the flakier of the bunch. My last few Craigslist transactions have been real disappointments.

I am right now waiting for a seller to me to let me know if 1. the item is still available and 2. if I can come see it tomorrow. I'm sorry, but I always ask - in my experience the item is 90% of the time no longer available. I'm in L.A. - maybe it's an L.A. thing to leave your post up and ignore all the correspondence it generates. I only ever trust that the item is available when the ad says specifically "if this ad is up, the item is available". That's code, for me, that the seller is probably not going to leave me wondering if my email went to their spam folder and pining away for whatever it is they are selling that I have already, mentally, incorporated into my décor.

But my worst Craigslist heartbreak of all was when I made an offer on a stunning MCM table, which was accepted, and an hour before I was scheduled to pick it up with the furniture mover, I got an apologetic email explaining that his dad had offered to store it for him and that he had therefore changed his mind and the table was no longer for sale. Nice. Time for a gin & tonic.

So, just to reiterate - I always ask if the item is still available, because it usually isn't and, frankly, because I don't want to bother you with my questions regarding your item and spend time detailing my availability. When you let me know that you've still got what you've got - then we can get down to brass tacks. Also, for the record, I have never flaked on a meeting and I arrive with cash.

CraigsBuyer on April 26, 2012:

All right here is an example. I'm looking for a car, the seller has neglected to put in the ad how many miles are on it. So I send an email asking how many miles are on it? But you will never get a reply, because people who email are "scammers" or "time wasters". See? You are stereotyping, and excluding a potential buyer, and really just being lazy. Playing phone tag just really sucks, no one ever answers, machine messages back and forth, just to get a piece of information that could be easily emailed. My last car I bought was entirely through email. He sent the photos when I asked for them too (most sellers are way too lazy to do this, even though it only takes a few minutes). He made his sale, even though I never talked to him on the phone. Is this shocking? Sellers: Be friendly, answer questions, answer emails, have good photos of your item ready to email to customers. Don't be so demanding about personal information, next you'll want a social security number for the privilege to buy your item. The scammers are very easy to spot, anyone with half a brain can do it. And yes, my phone number is personal information and unlisted, I don't like giving it out to strangers. All I'm saying is sellers is don't be such jerks and your sales will go up. And for the record, no I never ask if its still available.

Writen4u (author) on April 25, 2012:

Craigs buyer, how is a phone number very personal? Almost everybodies phone number is public in one way or another.

For how much I have sold on craigslist I've learned that people who only text or email will more than likely waste my time. I'd rather deal with people that are really interested in what I have to sell, not fools that just email cause they have nothing better to do. I don't see how I'm shooting myself in the foot when all my items sell without me having to waste time on time wasters such as yourself.

Steve on April 24, 2012:

I have sold close to a hundred items on craigslist by now. But I have had to deal with hundreds of flakes along the way. Beside the bogus checks for 10 times the amount (which we turned over to the district attorneys office). There are the people who need your item so bad they will pay you extra to not sell it to anyone else, they will be there right after work. Then they never show up, nor will they answer their f*n phone. And on top of that you have the yahoo's that want your item but just don't have the cash on them and beg you to take a check. Oh yes you can hold the title, until you verify the check is good. And of course the check is no good. And you will go through hell trying to resolve the matter. I am not sure where the morals in America went so bad. I really want to trust the people who call off an add, but past history will show you most of them will not show up, and if they do they will write you a bad check and steal your items. So take it from someone who has been there and done that. Only take cash, don't waste your time waiting all day Saturday for them to show up, set a time and tell them if you are not here at that time I will be gone. I wish the people using craigslist were honest and trust worthy but they are simply not. Good Luck!

Craigs buyer on April 22, 2012:

Sellers are too afraid of the scammers and letting it interfere with legitimate commerce. Its easy to spot scammers. But demanding a phone number or you won't respond is rude. A phone number is a very personal item, and some people don't want to give out personal information like that until they know they want the item for sure. As a buyer, I find that most sellers are flakes. They don't post necessary info in their ads. They won't respond to questions for the missing info. Most won't respond at all. If you call their phone number they won't answer. I am real and have money to buy but most sellers won't even bother to answer. You are all so afraid of scammers you are shooting yourself in the foot. on April 09, 2012:

What is up with people replying to my ad with my own sentence from the original ad followed by a question mark as if they do not undertand what I am posting. What is the point of that?

wen89 on March 30, 2012:

I sell quite a bit on craigslist and I have gotten all the same emails the "still available" and the scammers willing to pay more and for me to receive their check. Lately, I have gotten what seems to be an okay email with questions even and then a day or two later I receive an email saying their nephew or cousin hit their van and they can't get the item now and a link to a site.

The thing I kind of hate the most is when people just email you and knock off at least 50-75 percent off of what you are asking. I always check prices and condition of what I have and I believe it to be fair and then they automatically knock off major money. I could never and have never done that but I am finding more and more cheap people out there. I totally understand someone politely asking if I can go any lower or what is my final price but just expecting 50-70% off immediately is just rude!!!!

I have sold a lot and there are many good people out there but enough flakes and people wanting things for free to drive you nuts.

Writen4u (author) on March 16, 2012:

Okay Ya'll

I just remembered why I loved CL in the first place. (before I ever wrote this).

I just bought a $4,000 kbb value car for $800.

That's why we put up with the shiv, you never know when your going to hit the CL lottery.

But on that note buyers are still flakes!

Thanks for all your stories and comments, keep them coming!

Ray on March 13, 2012:

I'm sorry that happened to you Peter Piper. At least the guy emailed you to try to let you know. That was the fault of fate. I have waited dosens of times for so called buyers who didn't show, and didn't bother to explain. I have held things for people for a few days, and they never show. I have reduced my price on items had someone show and try to pay me the higher price because they hadn't seen that I had reduced the price. I gave them back the difference and let them know why. It's all just a matter of being courtious and honest, and doing what you say you are going to do...something I wish all Americans would learn. It not about religion, it about honesty, there's a big difference. Just treat others, the why you want to be treated..that's all.

Ray on March 12, 2012:

There are a lot more flakes sending stupid emails to sellers than there are sellers. Most sellers are sane, honest folks..just trying to get a fair price for their items. Most of the responders are are rude, inconsiderate and stupid. But, thank God...there are some nice buyers out there...too bad we have to put up with the jerks to find them.

Andy on February 17, 2012:

Flakes and scammers have ruined Craigslist,

One think i have noticed, if a realistic e-mail comes in, ie asking good questions Look at the e-mail address it was sent from when you click "reply" (atleast with yahoo mail) the address to reply to is different.


i have been trying to sell me jeep for 3 months, so far

15 Scammers / spammers

5 Flakes.

1 Tire kicker

if you want my item get it do not waste my time

mark on February 14, 2012:

How about the sellers let me make a online shopping cart you can list your items on, and when people buy them - you can remove them? So they know everything you have to sell?

I'd do it for say $100 bucks, you pay the 5 bucks it cost to host it somewhere - easy to use, bla bla.

Davers on February 12, 2012:

There should be a rating/feedback system

like ebay uses, to weed out the trolls.

or another system, where these people get stuffed

into a wood chipper.

Peter Piper on December 01, 2011:

Speaking of wild goose chases.... Some guy on Craigslist wasted half an evening of my time and cost me $8 in gas and I didn't get the item I was trying to buy.

About six months ago I was trying to buy a Kindle on Craigslist. I live in a semi rural area about 30 miles outside thm DC metro area. I agreed to meet him at a metro (subway) stop at a certain time. I left for the appointment. When I got there: nobody. I waited like half an hour for him. Nothing. Tried to call him. No anwswer. When I got back home, three hours later (!) there was an email sent five minutes after I left the house saying, "Sorry I found someone who lives closer and it was a better deal for me." So, yeah, like a complete idiot I wasted half an evening and cost me 8 bucks in gas, all for nothing.

Greg on November 15, 2011:

Nice piece of writing I and the "minority" can relate to.

In today's America most people don't seem to respect any one else's time except their own and even then I wonder...

People are lazy and make as little effort as possible to break an already social system we have.

I have to agree complete about CL sellers and their inability to communicate and the same goes to the flake buyers whom rarely keep their word.

CL used to be a decent place to sell, meet and rant on...not anymore. Shut it down and start anew!

Dan on November 10, 2011:

The ones questioning whether item is available are Einsteins compared to what I had to endure.

The questions I got:

1) Will these tire chains (I posted manufacturer, model number and other info) fit my xxxx year Minivan toyota?!!!!

2) Will you accept wine as a payment for your lens?

3) Does your lens (obviously already discounted and even with a lesser offer) have a filter on it?! Yeah, a filter and tripod included sure.

4) For 15 minutes explaining to an idiot lady with absolutely no idea about bike rack or ski rack works, on the phone the difference between crossbars and factory rails on which crossbars mount, only to have her say "I don't think they will fit".

Mr. Reality on October 13, 2011:

I accept that it's just like fishing. I don't expect anything but if I catch a fish great.

1) I always post that "we only respond to email that includes a phone number". As the blogger mentioned it does help.

2) I never reply back using my regular email - I always use a disposable address like if I really feel the party contacting me is worth pursuing though they didn't leave a phone #er (like if someone is actually stupid enough to want this piece of junk I have for sale).

3) I always block my phone number i.d. if they did leave a phone number until the conversation went well.

4) The conversation should be very, very short or very concise with questions pertaining to things not already sated in the ad. People who change the subject or are wordy don't really want it and will make up an excuse later. They either want it or the don't - there is nothing you can say to 'sell them'. Trust your gut. If they say they want it but can't come over to look at it right now 'because their schedule is really busy' that's code for 'I will make a fake appointment to save phone-face but not show. Someone who says 'I really want it but can't make it until this afternoon or weekend' is a better candidate. ANYONE who says they want to stop by and TAKE A LOOK has about a 20% chance of buying - avoid them - you posted a picture and a description - if they don't already know what it is they don't really want it. People like the poster 'Keith' above have all these wonderful rationalizations but they are in reality FLAKES and if you listen carefully they quickly expose themselves as such. It's great & fine to be curious, to want to shop, to ask questions - BUT YOU ARE NOT A STORE, you are losing money on the item you originally purchased, you are not even closely being correctly compensated for you time to post, respond, rearrange your schedule to meet them, clean the p.o.s. item etc. etc. Again - they either want it or they don't - there is NO in between - there is no sales technique. You are just waiting for that ONE dedicated buyer - that's it. If they don't materialize - they nobody wanted at this time - repost again - and always raise the price a little to ward of the vultures lurking in the background to see if you came down in price. It make your item and all the other more attractive. You can bargain once they are on the hook.

5) NEVER have them over to your home or apartment. Always strike first in your first conversation and ask "where are you coming from?". Where ever they say explain to them that either you or the item is an equal distance in the opposite direction. Read that again. Then offer to meet them half way (half way is a mall or gas station 30 seconds away from your home. If they ask you first where the item is located and you told them the major cross streets that are 'close' to your home just turn it around on them and say that the item is with you in the car or in storage and that you will be coming from that direction. By telling them that you are willing to meet them halfway that seems very fair & greases the wheels - when the p.o.s. flake does not show you are only 30 seconds away from home. I take it a step further and ask that they call me on my cell phone (never give out home #er) when they about 5 minutes away (you can say something like you will be stopping for a cup of coffee nearby first and want to be sure when to leave).

6) If someone is asking a lot of obvious questions about what you have for sale chances are they have never seen one before - a huge red flag. Explain to them that you have other email inquiries to respond to but since theirs was 'first' you gave them the first shot ... then ask "so are you telling me you just want to look at it but are unsure if you really want to buy it?". No matter what their response just say "Well, let me try some of the other emails (even if there are none) and if no one comes through I can get back in touch with you via email". Trust me - you do not have a fish on the line, you have a time waster on top of the fact that no one else wants your p.o.s. item either. Let it go and either jack up the price for next week, or lower it for next week. Patience saves time in the long run.

7) Always print out your actual Craigslist AD and take it with you to the meeting place. This way there are no arguments.

8) Anyone who starts saying "you know I saw this item for less on 'blah, blah, blah'" is not serious and only playing 'shopper'. It's a game where they entertain themselves to see how good a deal they can get on something. Tell them in the very next breath, interrupting if necessary - "Well if you decide to pass on that other deal you have the 'respond to' email listed in my ad and you can always contact me back when you are very sure you want it, bye".

9) If you don't like 'hagglers' then sate in your ad that the price is 'very firm'. (don't be rude just leave it at that).

Anyone taking any issue with anything I have stated above is not a serious buyer - they are only a time waster. Often people like 'Keith' above are completely unaware of it - they think the world revolves around them.

Ryker Rome on October 12, 2011:

Dont get me started on CL flakes! I have bought and sold items on CL for years as a way to get extra money. I have had lots of satisfied customers. It seems when I sell anything related to video games I get the flakiest people in the world! I get so many "is it still available" emails. Then I reply and they never get back. Then I even speak to people on the phone who wanna pick up the game but never call back to set a time up. Do these morons have lives? Are these idiots who sit at home surfing CL just to piss buyers off? Do they hate the fact that we make money and they don't? These people seriously need to get a job and a life. Dont get mad at me cause I wont sell a brand new game for 80 percent less than it's worth. CL is seriously getting much worse because of these clowns who hoard it and use it for their amusement while they sit at home eating dorioto's and getting high and waiting for there welfare check to come in. We need a website that verify's buyers and sellers info. That would let us give a thumbs up or down to buyers and sellers like ebay but local.

Writen4u (author) on September 30, 2011:

Yes it is. Now Please include a F'n Phone Number!!!

flakes galore on September 28, 2011:

so is it still available???


Dazis in da zun on September 18, 2011:

About all that i had two pocket bikes and i said ''will let test ride...'' and then two guys we let come over asked for a test ride we said ok they took up all the gas and said ''We dont like em bye thanks...'' what??? i was pissed off

Heather on January 30, 2011:

Lately I've seen a rash of buyers wanting me to ship stuff COD to them. While I've initially refused, they persisted. When I asked for their address so I could get a quote, they responded that they didn't feel comfortable sending it to a stranger, or they ignored me altogether. Well, fair enough, but how the hell do you expect someone to ship something without an addy? Why drag out a lengthy conversation, only to flake out at the end?

This person wrote to me again a few weeks later, perhaps forgetting the whole previous convo, and I reminded her of that and told her "we're done."

Writen4u (author) on December 22, 2010:


I know there are flakey sellers as well, I'm still waiting to hear back from a lady selling a game controller that I called two days ago. And on that note I've had four buyers so far this week that haven't shown up. As I said above I Buy & Sell a lot of stuff on CL and I rarely have a problem with the seller flaking out, where as lately I would say 90% of the buyers that contact me do not show up after planning a time to meet. The worst are the people in the free section. I have to waste my time for 6 different people not to show up for something I'm giving away for free?

"So dont come here telling the world its the buyers that are flakes" Sorry Lee but I will tell the world! I will shout it from the roof tops! The Buyers Are Flakes! The Buyers Are Flakes!

Lee on December 22, 2010:

Buyers are the flakes ?? What about Sellers ?? This clown has been posting this ad on and off since Oct and he never answers his email ? His first ad included a phone number so I called it and low and behold, no answer, just some stupid music playing and then his voice mail. He texts me days later and we he's not in the country but tells me his buddy will show me the item. Never sends his buddies contact info, nothing. So here he is again posting an ad for the same item on craigslist and shocker, does not reply to his ad. That is a true flake. So dont come here telling the world its the buyers that are flakes. Its the sellers as well.

Heather on December 01, 2010:

I've also had to resort to putting disclaimers on my classified ads - "please don't ask me if the item is still available - I won't respond." What kind of idiot emails you to ask if the item is available 10 minutes after it shows up online? Yeah dude, I just teleported it to some buyer and it's lose.

Craiglist and Kijiji must attract buyers of the lowest common denominator, although I have found a small minority to be credible people who already know the value of my items and don't haggle over reasonable prices.

One thing I remain perplexed about are the people who ask if the item is still available, but still don't do anything after that - they don't try to negotiate or don't even ask to see it. I suspect that they want you to respond with the suggestion that they "make an offer." When you don't, they lose interest, no matter what the price.

I refuse to have subsequent convo with people who make an appointment and don't show up or call.

Classified ads are a waiting game. You should eventually connect with people who know the value and aren't looking for cheap crap.

Writen4u (author) on November 01, 2010:

Keith I understand some people are too lazy to delete their posts, but when I specifically say "If posting is still here Item is still available" and "emails without a phone number will be deleted" I personally think that what I want from the potential buyer is clear. Also like Mike said these people send their "Is the item available" response an hour after the posting went up and also fail to leave a phone number.

And to answer your question of how I will sell my items, I will sell them to competent people that can follow my simple directions of including a phone number.

I buy and sell a lot of stuff for extra income on CL and for the most part the system works great, I have even met a few good people that I continually do business with, whether it be buying selling or trading I know these people are great and easy to deal with. The majority of people I've dealt with have been in the second category of not showing up, being rude, or showing up with a fifth of the money you're asking for.

I had a guy last week come to buy a turntable. In my four line posting it said "Cartridge is not included" He shows up and starts acting like a complete a**hole because the cartridge is not included then turns around and leaves.

That's my rant, is that these people have either no accountability when they say they want an item or they lack the concentration level to read 4 lines and respond accordingly.

Mike on November 01, 2010:

Hey Keith. Do you ask if it's still available 10 minutes after it was posted??? IF you do then you're a spammer, sorry.....

Keith on October 13, 2010:

Some people are too lazy to delete their post, and that's why I ask. If they don't reply, that means the item isn't available, or they think I'm a scammer and don't respond. How are you going to sell the item, if you behave like that?

Jim on April 28, 2010:

I hadn't seen it this way. I always ask if it's still available as I know most will not bother deleting a post, or, it could have just sold...

I've never flaked on anyone, but, I did just go to BUY something, and the god damn SELLER wasn't there. So, go figure...

If I make an appointment, I will be there.

Lexi on April 07, 2010:

I get tired of the flakes on Craigslist, too! However, when selling furniture I prefer it over E-bay. Besides, E-bays fees are outrageous! When you receive e-mails with questions such as, "Is that item still available", it is a scammer/spammer. ONE time I made the mistake of answering an e-mail like that & I immediately had a scam e-mail returned to me (trying to sell me something) from the same person who originally send me the "item still available" e-mail. So, just ignore those. Scams & spams are easy for me to spot - just pay attention to your subject line of the e-mail. I just delete those e-mails without even opening them up! It does take a long time to sell things on Craiglist...especially if you have nice items...because people EXPECT a whole lotta something for a whole lotta nothing! Meaning, they don't want to pay anything for it. It takes awhile to find the right person who understands that your stuff is worth something. For now, Craigslist is pretty much free & dealing with local people beats dealing with the hassle of mailing items to people on E-bay! People are flakes in general so using Craigslist is not a way to weed them's life, you're going to have to deal with it! :)

AreJay on April 04, 2010:

I accidentally clicked "Post" before I was done (sorry), so, as I was saying...

I've been using CraigsList a lot for about a year now. I've learned, or I should say "caught on", that the only time "someone" ;-) asks me if the item I'm selling is "still available?" (even though I now place a statement saying I will remove the ad upon sale), is when it's a scammer. The next reply I receive from him/her is the usual "I'm buying this for someone else (they usually add something about a birthday or something similar, anniversary, etc.), I'm out of the country, but if you let me send you a cashiers check, AFTER you send me or let someone pick up the item, that would be great.

What's the saying "I was born at night, but not last night"? Yeah, I think not. After receiving a few of these and Goggling "craigslist scams" and reading up on advice given to CraigsList sellers, I quickly caught on.

So, sellers beware.



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