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Old 10-13-10, 04:09 PM   #1
himespau 
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getting rid of things on craigslist

Hi. I have a question about selling/giving stuff away on craigslist, and I figured since there are a lot of people on these boards that use it to buy/flip bikes, your experience might help me out.

I have a dinner table and chairs I'd like to get rid of. Still in perfectly good shape, but it's big, and I'm in a tiny Boston apartment (my last apartment in Michigan had closets bigger than our current kitchen) and I've got a baby on the way, so I need to make room. So in comes an Ikea collapsible thing and the huge old one has to go.

My wife just wants the thing gone quick and said she'd be happy to give it away. I said that's fine for our friends (none of whom want it), but was thinking that putting it up for free on craigslist would not be the best of ideas. I figured if I put it up for a nominal fee, (say $40 but if they show up with a truck to haul it away be happy to bargain down to say $20 or whatever they've got handy) I'd be more likely to get people that actually want it (and would respond to e-mails and actually show up) rather than flaky people who want something for free and may or may not show up or try to get us to give them other stuff (that's happened before when I've tried to sell cars on CL cheaply).

Does that sound like a valid strategy or should I just put it up for free?

Also, in the past when I've sold things (2 cars, a bed, a bike) the cars and bike I sold at a public place so I wouldn't have to have people come to my house. The bike I obviously had to have people come over to get (but only after we'd e-mailed a couple of times so I knew they probably weren't serial killers). Is that still a valid idea here? I don't like giving out my phone number (or address) to potential freaks, but at least now I live in a building with security.
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Old 10-13-10, 04:14 PM   #2
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put it on the curb. it will be gone in short order.
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Old 10-13-10, 04:17 PM   #3
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Yeah, I live in an area where things don't just get put on a curb. I'd thought about that though. Back where I'm from, on the curb with a free sign and it'd be gone, right quick.
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Old 10-13-10, 04:28 PM   #4
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Unless it's a nice table, I don't think people will want to pay unless it's really cheap.

I would suggest giving it away for free by registering for free freecycle.org account for the Boston area. At least those people took the time to register.
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Old 10-13-10, 05:23 PM   #5
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How about to the needy? Like a homeless shelter or a women's crisis center? Plus you get a tax write off!
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Old 10-13-10, 05:34 PM   #6
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Habitat for Humanity ReStore takes furniture, will give a receipt for a tax deduction too:

http://www.habitat.org/cd/env/restor....aspx?place=66
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Old 10-13-10, 06:19 PM   #7
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After FIL's death tried to get rid of a buch of stuff at Goodwill. They refused. It was kind of ratty, but still useable. Made a late night drop at their collection point. The irony is, that as I drove by the next AM, most of the stuff was gone, compliments of the lat night scavengers.

On your other point, I do quite a bit on Craigslist, trying to attract buyers for realestate. Ran into some scammers doing an endaround to the Craigslist "No OK to Contact for This Poster with Services or other commercial interest". They typically have a yahoo email and ask an open question like - how much are you asking - which was clearly stated in the ad. Reply to it, and they come back with an income opportunity. Apparently robots send the initial, as it comes through the internal Craigslist contact system, where if they clicked anywhere on my ad (not just the "Click Here" for more info button) it would take them to my website which has it's own contact system.

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Old 10-13-10, 06:40 PM   #8
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you could always do the reverse, browse for "want to buy" ads and give them a nice deal.
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Old 10-13-10, 07:17 PM   #9
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The problem with curbing it is that it is strictly forbidden by zoning (and I live in an area where it might not be taken anyway). Donations are tricky as I'm car free and can't just go dropping something like this off somewhere. I can try going through the looking to buy section. It is a really nice dining room table and chairs set, just way too big for my space. I can try going through the looking to buy section. That way I can get people who really do want something. Thanks.
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Old 10-13-10, 08:26 PM   #10
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My personal experience with Craigslist:

...delete the original ad the next day and create a new one.

This keeps your ad at the top and helps with persons browsing the site instead of using the search field.

I do this everyday until it's sold or I give up.

Last edited by JayButros; 10-13-10 at 08:28 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 10-13-10, 08:29 PM   #11
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you could always do the reverse, browse for "want to buy" ads and give them a nice deal.
...good idea, never thought of this.
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Old 10-13-10, 08:35 PM   #12
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unfortunately, no one has tables as wanted. Made my post and looked at other postings. The cheapest set of similar quality was $150, but I don't know how how long that's been up there. I put mine up for $75 figuring it's half the next cheapest option. If it doesn't get any interest, I'll drop the price. I hadn't expected to get much for it, so I won't be hurt if there's not response at that price. Good point about deleting/reposting daily. I hadn't considered that, but I know I don't usually go past the first 100 posts in any thing I'm searching for on CL.
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Old 10-14-10, 09:20 AM   #13
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I've had two experiences with Craigslist and trying to get rid of stuff.

1. Listed a metal frame futon to give a way for free. I got lots of interest, and the first person to respond said he'd come get it. It took a week for him to finally show up to get it. I kept contacting him to make sure he'd come get it, and he assured me he was coming.

2. The wife listed a 15-gallon fish tank setup, with fish. After our first experience, we decided to charge for it, to avoid the lazy people who just want something for free. She chose to charge $50. She got a response almost immediately, and arranged for the couple to come get it the next day. Everything went smoothly until it came time for them to pay, when they pulled out a check for $50. My wife had neglected to put "cash only" on the listing. For whatever reason, we trusted them, and accepted it. The check bounced. We were charged a fee by our bank. The couple wouldn't answer their phone when I called, nor would they call back when I left a message. Since I had their email address, I sent them a Paypal invoice for the check amount plus the bank fees. Within 3 days I had an email from Paypal stating that the invoice had been paid.

So my advice is this: List it for a nominal fee, and only accept cash.
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Old 10-14-10, 10:30 AM   #14
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Donations are tricky as I'm car free and can't just go dropping something like this off somewhere.
The second hand place that benefits hospice near me does pick ups for large items. Why don't you call around?
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Old 10-14-10, 01:28 PM   #15
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See I go by first to respond first served (assuming they can meet me in a reasonable time frame). That tends to work well for me for the most part. A day of no responses, I wonder if I put what I thought was a nominal fee too high. I figured half the next cheapest dining set was a good estimate, but maybe I should have gone lower. Made a new post this morning. If there are still no responses by Saturday, I'll drop int from $75 to $50 or $40. I hate it when people are no shows or just e-mail back and forth to waste time. So far no luck trolling the want to buy section.
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Old 10-14-10, 01:54 PM   #16
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I use Freecycle to get rid of usable household stuff fast. Works great, they come to you, stuff gets re-used, I get it out of the house.
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Old 10-14-10, 09:20 PM   #17
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Cheap on craigslist works better than free. With free, I get 20-30 emails or calls about stuff and I usually go with 1st-come/1st-serve basis. But 4-5 people always flake. I had 11 chics call and never show up for a free Ab-Roller one time. No wonder they've got a flabby belly, no follow-through.

So I always make it $10-20 for basic items and people actually show up!

Say no to Goodwill. They're a crappy outfit; management steals all the money and treat the employees like ****.

Last edited by x136; 10-14-10 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Naughty, naughty typo!
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Old 10-15-10, 12:18 AM   #18
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since you dont really want any cash for the item, try to avoid craigslist. It can be a pain. All kinds of people will waste your time with emails, promises to come and get it, no shows. I use craigslist to sell stuff, but I am starting to dread it.
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Old 10-16-10, 07:40 PM   #19
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Well, I dropped the price a little to $50, and the low price combined with posting it first thing this morning so it was top of the list when a lot of people were looking to do errands and within 5 minutes of posting I got an e-mail. Within half an hour of my calling them back, it was gone, so it looks like proper timing combined with a nominal fee did the job. Thanks all for the suggestions. A charity would have been nice, but I was just too lazy to spend the time looking into the options. Plus an extra $50 makes a nice dinner out with the wife.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:06 AM   #20
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A charity would have been nice, but I was just too lazy to spend the time looking into the options. Plus an extra $50 makes a nice dinner out with the wife.
You could always donate the $50 to charity.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:13 AM   #21
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Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Goodwill, Salvation Army - there have GOT to be donation centers near you who will pickup and give you a receipt for the donation! Also, check with local churches, relocation centers for people who have been burned out, etc. Failing all that, call around to used furniture stores.
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