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  1. #1
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    Sick of Craigslist!

    I've been trying to sell some things on CL lately with little luck.I'm not a new seller having sold a few bikes and things in the past.Not only am I not having any luck but most of the replies are obvious scammers.I clearly state that I will not reply without phone #.Anyone know if they just want me to reply just to get my e-mail and use it to send spam?Is my e-mail listed if I reply to their inquiries?Is the market really bad now for vintage bikes?I listed a beautiful Pinarello frrame on Ebay and didn't get an offer above $230!Anyone have similar experiences?

  2. #2
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    i post a lot of bikes on craigslist. i get tons of spam email. usually it just say "is the item still available?" then if you reply it will reply back saying they are going out of town but they can send a money order and pay for shipping. i never went past that. the bad thing now is that if you leave your phone number on your post you will sometimes get spam texts.
    Semper fi

  3. #3
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    If you respond to an e-mail that comes through CL then they do get your e-mail address at that point.

    I do pretty well selling bikes on CL but I sell them cheaper than most people in my area, besides that I pretty much just use it to give stuff away for free and for that I just say the item is sittign at the corner of this and that and I'll remove the post when it's gone.

    Although we did recently buy a nice dining room table and chairs off CL so it most certainly does work.

    As for E-bay I think it's just a matter of the right person seeing the auction, I just sold an old Bianchi frame on there and it went for $205.00.
    My name is Steve and I don't have a bent fork anymore :)

    1979 Raleigh Competition G.S.- mine
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Mercian Rider's Avatar
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    State in you ad that you report scammers/spammers and follow through. Report them to CL, and also identify their mail as spam. That's cut down on the spam I get.

    And yes, "Is the tem still available?" is classic scam intro.
    No Fun. No ride.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek330 View Post
    I've been trying to sell some things on CL lately with little luck.... most of the replies are obvious scammers. I clearly state that I will not reply without phone #. Anyone know if they just want me to reply just to get my e-mail and use it to send spam? Is my e-mail listed if I reply to their inquiries?Is the market really bad now for vintage bikes?I listed a beautiful Pinarello frrame on Ebay and didn't get an offer above $230!
    I think email through craigslist unless you provide it your email address can be cloaked. Plenty of potential scammers, yes.

    Was your 1989 Pinarello frame red/black the recent one you are complaining about?

  6. #6
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    All the time! I have not had a decent Ebay sale since June 2011.

    I think I understand what is going on. Vintage bicycle prices are so high that newbies are probably scared off. Let's face it, for a real nice vintage something or other, the price will likely exceed $1000.00 plus shipping, if applicable. You can get a new bicycle that will work just as well for that kind of cabbage.

    Five years ago, the vintage bicycle was a bargain. Today, it goes head to head for its market share with new bikes, and not every newbie cares if his bike is vintage or just looks vintage.

    That last statement is not a slur to people new to the vintage bicycle interest. Welcome, all, but be aware that the playing field is not the same as it used to be.

    Of course, much (perhaps all) of that is happy hour driven opinion.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  7. #7
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    If you respond it is through your email address. That is why I use a "disposable" email address when responding to inquiries (or inquiring about) items on CL. If it starts getting a lot of spam, I close it and get another. Not usually a big problem but worth the effort. Easy to set up an free email address and some will allow you to set an auto-forward so the email is forwarded to your regular account. That way, you don't have to keep checking the disposable account.

  8. #8
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Just use your head, basically. A lot of spam / scam emails are sent by bots--they don't read your post, so they don't know to include a phone number. Note that you won't respond to emails asking "Do you still have it?" and you won't respond to emails that don't note the specific item for sale--Then ignore emails in these categories. Better yet, report them as spam. You have now eliminated almost all spam and scam emails.

    Another note, saying you won't respond to someone who doesn't give you their phone number is probably losing you sales. I don't know you, I don't want you to have my phone number until I'm sure we're going to have a deal. When selling or buying on Craigslist, I don't share my phone number until we have set a time and place for the transaction. At that point I share my cell number in case the person is going to be late or can't find me. I recommend removing your requirement for phone numbers. It doesn't reduce spam but does reduce actual sales contacts.

    I additionally note, for the same reasons as above, that I won't respond to emails that ask me to call or text them to talk about the deal. Sorry, we can talk about it over email.

    Beyond that, really good, big pictures are key.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    I think email through craigslist unless you provide it your email address can be cloaked. Plenty of potential scammers, yes.

    Was your 1989 Pinarello frame red/black the recent one you are complaining about?
    That was the one.

  10. #10
    Restore, ride, repeat... elguicho's Avatar
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    I've had very good luck with ebay lately. I sold most items for double what I asked for them here in the for sale forum. I had a TA crankset and bottom bracket posted here for $110 shipped with no takers. I posted it on the bay and it sold for $200. I don't think I'm doing anything special, 10-day auction and I'm open to international bidders (although all the items sold in the US).

  11. #11
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    1. I still have good luck on C/L, sold two bikes this week.

    +1 I delete any email that says: "Is it still available?" And I put that in my ad. "Sorry, but due to all the scammers out there, I can no longer reply to "is it still available?"

    +1 Disposable email is nice.

    +1 Not everyone wants or appreciates vintage bikes. So we are really selling to a niche, particularly locally.

    +1 I will respond to legitimate looking email. Some people (me included) don't like calling, so email works for them as well. On the last step of the process, I tell them to call me when they leave, so I make sure I am there waiting and that the bike is still available. Most of the time, I meet at a public place, somewhere with a decent parking lot for test rides. Most of the scammer email is pretty obvious thank goodness.


    Craigs List is free, as such, I set a lower expectation. And in the end, I get a lot of good buyers on C/L. Just ignore the scammers, that' comes with the "free" part of C/L.

    No bids or lousy bids on ebay (or no sales on C/L)? Take a critical step back at how you market items. I see a lot of mediocre marketing, that costs the sellers quite a bit of money. While I love lousy marketing as a buyer, as a seller, it will cost you money. My rough rule of thumb on value is that half the value is due to the presentation and marketing of the item. Nothing is automatic.

    Also on ebay, I start items at a price that is acceptable to me. So even if I only get one bid, I am good with the outcome. Ebay gives 50 "free" listings a month, so unless you are selling close to that amount, reposting an item a couple of times is no big deal. I sold a piece of computer software recently (garage sale find), starting price was $9.99. Week one, no bids. Week two, no bids, week three, ten bids, $45.
    Last edited by wrk101; 05-02-12 at 05:35 PM.

  12. #12
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    i get a "for junk only" email from one of a dozen places and use it for one time and potential spamming applications. i just let it sit. if it is ever deleted i just get another one.

  13. #13
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    I can only speak as a buyer.

    Right now I'm shopping for a decent used bike for my wife. Craigslist is full of people who want $250 for an old rusty Schwinn or people who are trying to sell their relatively recent/decent bike for what they paid new eight years ago. At least that is the way it is in Houston.

    I've been looking for two weeks now and I've bookmarked five ads, two of which I think are a bit overpriced.

    Oh well.

    I'm hoping to buy a bike for her on Saturday.

  14. #14
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 I delete any email that says: "Is it still available?" And I put that in my ad. "Sorry, but due to all the scammers out there, I can no longer reply to "is it still available?"
    Really? Is this a flag for a scam? I generally start my email with that line and I am sincere. I have frequently not gotten a response, but I chucked it up to what one should expect for CL.

    So why should I ask that question? Well, because I have had experience with a seller who has already arranged a sale but figured that I was on my way if the 1st buyer didn't show. Guess what was not available when I got there.

    My daughter made an appointment to see a car (which would have required a 70 mile round trip). I was supposed to go with her and as I was waiting for her to pick me up, I checked CL and saw that the ad had been deleted. She tried to call the seller but got no answer so we headed down the road (I don't like to be late for any appointment). We were 10 miles down the road when she finally got hold of him. He said "oh, the car is sold".

    Do people know what unacceptable behaviour is anymore?

    -G

  15. #15
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    Maybe the vintage bike price bubble is deflating...
    Last edited by Mos6502; 05-02-12 at 08:15 PM.

  16. #16
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    9 bikes sold in 5 days, all for my asking price, all to the first buyer who showed up, all for cash. Third year in a row. And my stuff is 'spensive, relatively speaking, $600-$1100+ (although I did have one nice rehab that went for $450).

    Like Bill said, it's all in the marketing.
    Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...

  17. #17
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    If the reply calls my bike an "item" I ask "which item were you inquiring about?"
    They usually answer this question with,"I'm out of the country at the moment but I'll send you a check for a million bucks and you send me a check for a million bucks minus the cost of you item and shipping."
    To which I reply,"Cool! Now which item was it that you wanted?"
    You've heard the rest before. The point being, I've only had one honest buyer use the word "item".
    I have spoken.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chrome Molly's Avatar
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    I try to never be in a hurry to sell, and sell decent stuff to good homes. They must reply with something relevant and a phone number. You can usually tell the garbage responses, as they ask questions that are already answered in the post.

    The obvious "dealers" on CL really pitch some complete crap, so I like my posts to point out the differences between my rebuilds and what they are likely to see from someone with 200 listings. Trying really hard to not acquire stuff that I will eventually resell, getting buyers (no matter how good they are) requires work. Each of my recent buys is better than the average bike in my stable. I usually find people want the complete bikes I would part with, without having to list them. Parts and frames always take longer to sell than complete bikes.

  19. #19
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    Maybe the vintage bike price bubble is deflating...
    Its been slowly deflating for some years now, I remember mentioning it here in the C and V some years ago and having more than a few members practically laughing at me. Has anyone else noticed all the classic and vintage rides poppin' up on clist and the bay? Most of those are "collectors" trying to dump their collections before the bubble burst! anyways, although I use clist most times I kinda hate it due to all the BS scammers and scammer-bots out there making it a hassle and sometimes not even worth the effort to try and sell an item/bike on clist. I'd much rather set up my bikes on a busy corner in a nice part of town on a nice spring or summer day and just sell them there, at least I'll get to spend the time out of doors on a pertiful day!
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  20. #20
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
    Really? Is this a flag for a scam? I generally start my email with that line and I am sincere. I have frequently not gotten a response, but I chucked it up to what one should expect for CL.

    So why should I ask that question? Well, because I have had experience with a seller who has already arranged a sale but figured that I was on my way if the 1st buyer didn't show. Guess what was not available when I got there.
    Asking that question is not terrible--but ask other questions, mention the specific item you're looking at, etc, etc. ONLY asking that question is a flag for a scam, or a sign of a dope who didn't read the ad.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
    I can only speak as a buyer.

    Right now I'm shopping for a decent used bike for my wife. Craigslist is full of people who want $250 for an old rusty Schwinn or people who are trying to sell their relatively recent/decent bike for what they paid new eight years ago. At least that is the way it is in Houston.

    I've been looking for two weeks now and I've bookmarked five ads, two of which I think are a bit overpriced.

    Oh well.

    I'm hoping to buy a bike for her on Saturday.
    AMEN. I'm in Houston too, and the market lately has gone to hell, especially compared to Austin and Dallas. Dallas is ridiculous with the cheap, nice bikes that I see there with regularity. That said, there are still deals to be had in Houston, but the market is overcrowded with DKO flippers.

    EDIT: if you buy anything from that "Mike" character, let me know how that goes. He has tons of old steel, most of it entry level, and he's overpriced by about 25%, but he does have a few interesting bikes.

  22. #22
    自転車整備士 oldskoolwrench's Avatar
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    Here in our local CL market there are a fair number of what I would consider 'Classic and Vintage' bikes that show up,
    but they're usually cannibalized into Fixies or SS bikes. The other bikes that are called 'vintage' are usually older DS
    branded bikes.

    Personally, I think there's a misconception of what one person considers 'C & V' as opposed to what another thinks.

    I just see a dearth of smaller frame vintage road bikes in the general marketplace; that's what attracts me because
    I'm vertically challenged and am always on the lookout for a 50cm frame or smaller, if it was made.

    Spam and garbage replies are part of CL; the key is to be judicious, and use your common sense. If you're suspicious
    about an ad, then delete it!

    Alan

  23. #23
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    I have been selling bikes and parts on CL for 5 years plus now. It is easy to tell the spammers from the actual people that are interested. The fact for me is most of my stuff I end up shipping (parts not the bikes) on CL or here or other forums. I haven't been doing bikes much because I haven't been finding them or the time to work on them. The last bike I sold last week. On Thursday I bought a few year old Diamondback BMX bike at a garage sale for $40. A quick tune up and cleaning and listed on craigslist Friday night for $120. I would have taken $80 for a quick double of my money, but ended up getting $100 for it on Sunday. Not bad for a quick $60 in a few days sold to the first (and only) responder.

  24. #24
    Senior Member tiger1964's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercian Rider View Post
    State in you ad that you report scammers/spammers and follow through.
    That has to be better than all the ads I read as a potential buyer that go to greater lengths (almost always in full caps) stating how exasperated they are with scammers/deadbeats/etc and what they won't do or put up with... than they do actually describing the product for sale! This doesn't really encourage me to reach out to a seller -- and possibly enter into a transaction with someone who appears to already have a chip on his shoulder.
    Larry..........................................Susan
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  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
    That has to be better than all the ads I read as a potential buyer that go to greater lengths (almost always in full caps) stating how exasperated they are with scammers/deadbeats/etc and what they won't do or put up with... than they do actually describing the product for sale! This doesn't really encourage me to reach out to a seller -- and possibly enter into a transaction with someone who appears to already have a chip on his shoulder.
    I agree. So I keep my scammer verbage short: "Unfortunately, due to all the scammers on C/L, I cannot answer emails asking "is it still available?"

    I am turned off by the " scammers die", even the line "serious buyers only". I mean, WTF is that? As if the flaky buyers are going to not respond?

    Some other turn off lines: "I know this bike is worth xxx, so low ballers, do not waste my time." Again, as if low ballers are going to obey this "order"?? Its just email, as a seller, use the delete key. Make your buyers pass some test just means fewer buyers.

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