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#$%&@?! CL Rant, and a favor to ask...

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#$%&@?! CL Rant, and a favor to ask...

Old 01-10-13, 09:54 PM
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#$%&@?! CL Rant, and a favor to ask...

Argh... I cruise CL pretty frequently looking for some bike I can't live without, not that I really need another bike, but...

I've replied to a few bike ads and gotten no response. Annoying, but I really wouldn't mind so much if the bike was sold and the seller just didn't respond. Crappy thing to do IMHO, but whatever.

The thing that really sticks in my craw is when I see the same bike re-listed a few days later still for sale. WTF?! Either these sellers know how uncool I am, and don't want to sell me their bike, or I have a problem using the CL email "reply" feature. It'll really make me mad if that is the case, as I tried, and failed apparently, to grab an early 80s Trek 7xx for $120 today. Not sure, as the listing is still up and I obviously haven't gotten a response.

For the record, my standard email goes some thing like, "I'm interested in looking at the bike you have listed on CL. If it's still available please call me at xxx-xxxx. I live in Xyz, and could come some evening when it's convenient. Thanks, and have a good day."

So do people not check their email? Or is my technological ineptness rearing its ugly head? Or is my lack of coolness that well known?

I've tried using the "reply" button, and copy and pasting the email link into my email server, on two different machines (my tablet and the computer at work). I double checked the "how-to" FAQ on CL, and apparently I'm doing it right, but still no joy. This is trying to use the CL supplied re-mailer when the seller has no other contact info listed.

Makes me want to swear off CL, instead of just swearing.

So now the favor I'd like to ask... is there a friendly member that has an active CL ad that they could send me a link to, and that would let me use their listing as a test run to see if the problem is on my end, or if these sellers just don't like me?

Thanks folks.
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Old 01-10-13, 09:59 PM
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Or the ad is a scam designed to collect email addresses

It's very common.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
Or the ad is a scam designed to collect email addresses

It's very common.
^^ this.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:13 PM
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Funny, I sent a bunch of emails out to different listings and didn't hear back from a single one. I thought something was wrong on my end too....hrmmmm
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Old 01-10-13, 10:13 PM
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Just reading this I already don't like you and would never sell you anything..........

Seriously, as a guy who has had a fair share of adventures and misadventures on CL,
my current mental approach is to treat every foray like a trip to Vegas.

Nothing, and no one is dependable based on what you know initially, and the people
you will end up dealing with run the gamut from stand up guys, who will hold a bike
that you have been the first to call on until you look at it, to guys who will flake and
sell it before you arrive, even if they know you are on the road toward them.

I have a great story about driving 2hours one way to Merced, only to have a beautiful
paramount listed (and remeasured at my request) as 23" suddenly transformed
into a 21" frame..............it was still very pretty and unusual, just useless to me.



It's all a great adventure, and you have to take it in the proper spirit, or you ought
to abstain from it. If you can roll with it, certainly I've bought some fantastic bikes
from which I derive a great deal of pleasure.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:31 PM
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Lots of dopey sellers out there.

I got a reply once TWO weeks after the ad was posted. Guy said he was busy. I bought it.

I just ignore all sizing info from sellers, I don't remember the last time a seller got the size right, its been years. Typically, its the tire size.

Only thing I would change is from "Some evening" to "today" or "this evening". Since I am retired, my usual response is: "Your Paramount (or whatever model it is) looks great! I would like to buy it. I am available now if that is convenient, or can come by later if that works better for you. I can be reached at xxx-yyy-zzzz. Thanks! bill"
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Old 01-10-13, 10:37 PM
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I've had the same thing happen.

From the other side, when I've listed things on CL some replies I get seem legit but set off my email's "danger!" warning so I don't touch them (unless there's a phone number, then I'd call). I've thought that maybe the same thing is happening to emails I send, so they're getting ignored.

I don't know, but if that's the case I would think the fact that you include your number would set people at ease, but apparently not.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:50 PM
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Craigslist is not the domain of Emily Post. It is common for sellers not to check their email often or not at all. You may receive a reply eventually - though sellers don't NECESSARILY answer in the order received.
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Old 01-10-13, 11:31 PM
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yeah ok sure
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Old 01-10-13, 11:39 PM
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If there's a phone number listed, you should call rather than email because you should assume the seller isn't going to rely on checking his/her email. Other than that, I have no advice or suggestion.
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Old 01-10-13, 11:51 PM
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they probably think that phone number xxx-xxxx and address Xyz are fake.

seriously (almost), i suspect half the ads on there are forced on them by their spouses and/or they are drunk at the time they made them. and if not, will soon be.
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Old 01-11-13, 12:28 AM
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i've been trying for days LOL

https://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-...AdIdZ445170697
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Old 01-11-13, 12:42 AM
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are you including an area code in your emails?

is it the right number?
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Old 01-11-13, 12:43 AM
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Try dealing with musicians on CL - that's a whole 'nuther level of frustrating.

I've never had to work so hard to give someone money for something in my life, as I do when I see a guitar listed that I want. It's like they're from a different planet.......
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Old 01-11-13, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Try dealing with musicians on CL - that's a whole 'nuther level of frustrating.

I've never had to work so hard to give someone money for something in my life, as I do when I see a guitar listed that I want. It's like they're from a different planet.......
probably don't want to sell it but have to for the money
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Old 01-11-13, 04:44 AM
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With all of the idiots on CL, I wait at least 24 hours before I respond to any emails. And, I go through them and respond to the ones that are intelligent enough. If it seems like a high maintenance buyer asking stupid questions that are clearly answered in the ad, they don't get a response. Consistently bad grammar and misspellings? No reply. Ect, ect...

Is it being a prick? Maybe. But, I'm not going to chase anyone down for money or have my chain jerked around. My time is valuable to me. Worse case scenario is I have an extra bike kicking around, which is far from a worse case scenario. They always find a home, eventually
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Old 01-11-13, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by YoKev
With all of the idiots on CL, I wait at least 24 hours before I respond to any emails. And, I go through them and respond to the ones that are intelligent enough. If it seems like a high maintenance buyer asking stupid questions that are clearly answered in the ad, they don't get a response. Consistently bad grammar and misspellings? No reply. Ect, ect...
When selling, I don't wait 24hrs to reply but I will definitely respond to the people who seem like they will be the easiest to deal with first, regardless of order the emails came in

That's why I try to avoid asking questions or anything when initially contacting sellers. I just tell them I'm interested and ask them to let me know when is the best time for them. I always put my name (which matches my name in my email) and phone number with area code. If I have any questions, I wait to ask until they call back. If they email instead of calling, I will ask fewer questions and just try to set up the deal.


I've been selling a frame on CL for a while and sometimes I forget to check my CL email.. just replied to a potential buyer who emailed almost two days ago. Oops. And I'm online a lot.. some people may take quite a while to respond.

Last edited by frantik; 01-11-13 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:25 AM
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Spam. Lots of responses get caught in commercial webmail spam filters. If the person on the other end doesn't know how to check their spam folder, they'll miss a significant percentage of the responses to their ad.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:32 AM
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Also use your correct reply to email. If I use an my email tied to outlook it will not get delivered, but if I use a yahoo email and choose yahoo it at least gets sent. But I know yahoo,gmail and aol emails are more likely to get sent to spam.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:51 AM
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Old 01-11-13, 07:21 AM
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More possibilities:
The seller thought he'd found a buyer so he didn't bother to respond to anyone else. Then the first buyer saw the bike and backed out.
The seller is too lazy and wants you to take the initiative, do all the contacting, make the call, etc. if you want it badly enough.
The seller only dz txtmsg, ddznt hv time U2 cn B like me us kul ppl ignore email.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:31 AM
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If I list a bike or parts on CL, I respond to the queries by email.
I'm not sure why a seller on CL wouldn't. I never list my phone number.

I respond to all queries. That's the only way I have to communicate.
I never call a prospective buyer. I have the product, they know where it is and how to reach me.
We can get into phone conversation after a couple of emails, but not off the bat.
I'm not going to chase down a buyer, who will then use that situation to lowball me, anyway.

Generally, after a couple of emails, if we've reached a time/date/location, I give a cell number, generally as I leave the house.
Both as a buyer and seller, I've found that looking for a way to be convenient and safe for both is the best bet.

I rarely have a sale go sour in this way.
As a seller, I want to know the buyer is interested, and I don't push for a committment or price.

As a buyer, I often ask, while en route or in the last email, where the nearest ATM is.
This helps to avoid the possible ripoff and lets the seller know he hasn't got a sure thing.
I've never had a problem.

Being 50 miles from the largest market to me, I often lose sales due to distance.
I have made PayPal offers via email for CL items, and most of the time they say no, and I understand.
I've had a few that said yes, and mailed the items, just like eBay.

Perhaps instead of asking them to call you, you can ask if you can call them?
My emails generally go like this:
I'm interested in your bike, and live in xxxxxx, about XX miles from you.
I don't get there often, but would make the trip if we can arrange it.
I may ask a few questions about size, components, etc, but mainly I'm "opening."
Then I leave my name and town. I get a nice reply 99.9% of the time.

If we communicate, and it's not sold, and I'm still interested, I tell them when I can be there.
I never ask a seller to meet halfway, but some folks offer, and I appreciate that.
Once we've got a meeting tentatively set, I'll offer my cell number, and generally get one back.
I always offer to meet in a public place if they are comfortable with that. They always are.

Try to think of it as calling a seller from a classified ad, and act accordingly.

You'd be surprised how many cyclling folks will put off meeting you because it may cut into their ride time.
At least you know they're serious, their stuff is probably good, and they know what they're talking about.
They're much harder to arrange a meet, but when you get there, they almost always have the items plus a parts box to look through.
I end up staying there longer than planned, but it's always worth it.

I sold a frame on CL, and the guy showed up from an hour away with his wrenching buddy and a box of parts.
Yep, we built the bike in my garage, took about 2 hours, and I sprang for a sixpack.
I'll probably never see either of them again, but I've got his number in case I'm over that way and have a problem.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 01-11-13 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:34 AM
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I haven't bought anything off of CL in years, but I do try and sell stuff all the time, I only list my phone number ( spelled out) as I get to many wasted Emails ( 99.9% scammers fishing ), if you really want my item then you will call and talk to me, but I still get a lot of flakes calling. I also won't give my address until you are ready to come & look at said item. I very rarely get a reply when I see something of interest & Email about it so I try to look for stuff that has a phone number. From where I live most bikes that are for sale on CL are 2 to 3hrs away, I don't think many people in our county know about CL ,& most that do are selling antiques not bicycles.

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Old 01-11-13, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
Or the ad is a scam designed to collect email addresses

It's very common.
Which is why I use a dedicated, disposable, email address when replying. I may not be uber tech savvy, but I know enough to do that. When it gets littered with spam, I delete it and start another.

The main reasons I was curious, is that my tablet (my only personal computer since my laptop died) has a history of not sending or receiving emails, and a listing I responded to was relisted a couple days later, then taken down, then the bike showed up listed the next week by a local flipper. Made me wonder if my replies just weren't getting through.

If it's as common as all that for folks to just not reply, guess I'll just soldier on and hope for the best.

Thanks folks.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by k_randomfactor
The main reasons I was curious, is that my tablet (my only personal computer since my laptop died) has a history of not sending or receiving emails,
are you using web based email?
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