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Selling Stuff On CL

Old 01-26-16, 09:43 AM
  #1  
bikecrate
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Selling Stuff On CL

I have a couple of older bikes (not classics) that I want to sell. Even though I loathe dealing with the public they are still too valuable to give away. The last time I sold a bike I just listed my landline phone as the contact, met buyers at my house and rode with them on test rides. It went pretty well. Sold bike without too many complications. That several years ago, but you hear many creepy CL stories.

Anyone have safer or easier options that have worked for them? Do you like to be contacted by calls to home phone, cell phones, text messages, emails? Do you like to meet in public places or at your home?
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Old 01-26-16, 09:47 AM
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I won't have people come to my house, but I've bought stuff and people have invited me over.

I meet at a nearby Starbucks or library and have never had issues.

For CL, I will let the email anonymizer handle replies and then send my cell number to legit buyers.
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Old 01-26-16, 09:51 AM
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Needed to sell five bikes and accessories at the same time.

No Problem at my home / garage.
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Old 01-26-16, 10:21 AM
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I use the anon email reply to avoid the spammers that so often rake the site for info to use. Typically unless I specify to reply by email, the interest tends to be low. I send an email or two back and forth with them to get a feel for how "legit" they are, and then will send phone number.
Unless it is an item I cannot take to meet them, I will set up the meeting at a local shopping center, or most often inside the Chick-Fil-A or the like. I also give them a description of my vehicle and ask them to park along another side of the lot/row/couple spots away.
For a bike "test ride" (motorcycles too) I always ask to "test hold" the cash.
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Old 01-26-16, 10:31 AM
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I was wonderiung aborkt selling a car on CL. Seems like too much work and/or I have been too lazy to figure out how to do it safely, so the car remains. Would love to hear about successful techniques.
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Old 01-26-16, 12:31 PM
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I put the following in my CL ads. It seems to have weeded out the tirekickers and lowballers.

If you're interested, please reply through CL with a phone number where I can contact you, preferably by text. I will then get in contact with you to discuss details.

Like others, I meet potential customers at a well-trafficked public location like the big convenience store near my house. I haven't had any sketchy situations yet.
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Old 01-26-16, 02:04 PM
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I have not sold any bikes or bike components, but I have sold many things on CL including two cars where I had the buyer come to my home and never had an issue other than the occasional no show. Having said that if you are uncomfortable or uncertain as others have suggested, which has merit, meet at a public location.
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Old 01-26-16, 03:28 PM
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I sold my last car via craigslist and have sold plenty of other stuff... I like asking them to Email me with their first name and phone number, and give them enough information about me/the item so they know it's not just a fake ad. Always specify CASH ONLY. I haven't had any major qualms about having people to my house, but I keep it outside, and I really don't have much worth stealing, lol. If I lived in a worse area that definitely wouldn't be the case. No shame in asking someone to meet you at the police department, local store, etc.
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Old 01-26-16, 04:06 PM
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I sold one bike on CL. Frequently checking email and waiting for phone calls is less convenient now, so I may take one to a bike shop to sell on consignment, donate it, or give it to a cousin.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for the insights. I think I'm leaning towards using the CL email and having them leave their contact info for me to reply to. I have a big barking dog and alarm system so I'm also probably going to do meet at house unless I get a weird feeling. I don't let anyone inside anyways. The other advantage is I can go with them on test rides and I know my own neighborhood better than they would in case they try something funny.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:51 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
Thanks for the insights. I think I'm leaning towards using the CL email and having them leave their contact info for me to reply to. ....
I both buy and sell on CL. It is rare anyone has ever replied to an email... in either direction. I think text is the current preferred communication for CL. Millions and millions of people use CL... an occasional "creepy CL story" is to be expected.

Post several very good pictures and detailed information to attract serious buyers. Arrange to meet in public if your concerned.

The only problem I've ever had.... was when I set a bike in the yard with a for sale sign. A guy walking by tried to steal it from me.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:52 AM
  #12  
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If you want to talk and not disclose your phone#, get a Google Voice account and forward the calls to your regular cell.
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Old 01-27-16, 09:00 AM
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sold 5 bikes and 3 sets of tires this winter on CL

I don't provide my cell #. some ppl will ask for your address right off the bat - don't give it out because then they will have your cell# and home address. I do meet them at my home and on two occasions this winter I delivered bikes to kids who didn't have cars.

I don't go on test rides with anyone. if your bike is valuable you can ask for their car keys I guess.

I also bought tires and met ppl who were selling tires and bikes. several have met me in parking lots of public places like Dunkin Donuts or Walmart.

I've read where police Dept.s are allowing ppl to meet in their office or parking lot to make exchanges, so you might call yours
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Old 01-27-16, 09:25 AM
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I use an anonymous email reply. After I get a reply, I can generally tell if the person is serious. I reply back to them. I suggest we meet somewhere that's convenient for both of us such as a school parking lot, shopping center parking lot, etc.
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Old 01-27-16, 02:41 PM
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CL provides anonymized emails, I always only use that, although if they email to you and you reply to them, it just goes from your actual email I think. Maybe I'm missing a step.

I don't mind people coming to my house, it's not like I'd invite them in, but I would open the garage and they would see all the priceless crap I have (which bothers my wife).

Now that CL has maps, I don't put my actual address in there, just the midsize town (area of greater San Diego) that I live in.

I have met in neutral locations a few times for buying things, I don't mind. Sometimes because the seller is cautious, sometimes because I don't want to drive the whole way, and we can agree on a convenient meeting place.

I'm not a major CL buyer/seller, but I have not had any problems with anybody yet. Except a couple unavoidable buyer-flakes. (And I've been a buyer-flake a few times myself). It's just part of the 'price' of low-cost used goods from CL.

I did sell a car on CL once. It was an early 90s SAAB 900s. I had paid money to advertise it in AutoTrader for like 3 weeks, not a bite. I put it on CL and that's how my buyer found me. Young girl, recently out of college, probably her first car bought all by her grownup self, so she was a little overcautious, but totally understandable. We took it to a Saab/Volvo shop for a mechanic's assessment, maybe I fixed one little thing, but she bought the car and I never heard from her again, so I guess it worked out.
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Old 01-27-16, 04:40 PM
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I got a Bunch Of sheets of Drywall to shed . may try there ..
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Old 01-28-16, 04:54 AM
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i use the anon email until we decide to meet, then i ask for a text number. if selling a bike, i meet at the park near the house. if selling parts, i'm more free to meet anywhere in town. only if he's interested in two bikes will i ride along with him. i sometimes ask for keys or a phone, but only if i get a weird feeling. by that time, i know his name and have his phone number, so i feel confident about it. flakes worry me much more than theft.

when buying a bike, i always take along tools to ensure nothing's stuck.

i'm far less likely to follow up on someone's ad if he asks to reply by phone. i like to work out the details with email.
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Old 02-22-16, 09:14 AM
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Epilogue...in spite of what I said I might do I went ahead and listed my home land line and met people at my house. It seemed easier. I felt like I priced the bikes fairly, but on the low side to get them gone quickly so I wouldn't have to prolong the annoyance. The hybrid went immediate to the first guy who called. He didn't even test ride. The mountain bike went a few days later also to the first guy who came by. The only really weird call I got was from self professed homeless guy who said he weighed 300 pounds and wanted to ride from FL to Maine on the hybrid. I was also to deliver the bike to him in the next county over (1 hour round trip) and meet him at what sounded like a homeless tent city. No thanks.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:17 AM
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I use the CL anonymous email for the first response, after that I'll use my real email. If the buyer seems legit, then I'll give them my phone, address. If I'm selling something big and\or heavy or if it needs electricity to run, they come to my house.
If I'm buying, which is rare, they can set up the meet wherever.
Just this weekend I sold a power saw, since it weighted about 50-60 lbs. and needed electricity to prove it worked, the buyer came to my house.
I was working in my backyard when they showed up, three guys get out of the car. My wife, fearing the worst, come out of the house with my 130lb dog, to 'even the odds, just in case".
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Old 02-22-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I use the CL anonymous email for the first response, after that I'll use my real email. If the buyer seems legit, then I'll give them my phone, address. If I'm selling something big and\or heavy or if it needs electricity to run, they come to my house.
If I'm buying, which is rare, they can set up the meet wherever.
Just this weekend I sold a power saw, since it weighted about 50-60 lbs. and needed electricity to prove it worked, the buyer came to my house.
I was working in my backyard when they showed up, three guys get out of the car. My wife, fearing the worst, come out of the house with my 130lb dog, to 'even the odds, just in case".
Leonberger? And is that the source of your username?
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Old 02-23-16, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
Leonberger? And is that the source of your username?
Nope, cool dogs though.
Mine is a lab\coon hound, he's a gentle giant.
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Old 02-23-16, 11:16 AM
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Lately, I've seen some municipal police departments designate their parking lots as "safe zones" for exchanges or purchases. Allegedly, these sites are under surveillance by cameras.
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Old 02-24-16, 12:57 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Lately, I've seen some municipal police departments designate their parking lots as "safe zones" for exchanges or purchases. Allegedly, these sites are under surveillance by cameras.
One step further in my city, the police will allow both sides to meet in the police station lobby. But that might freak out some buyers when you mention meet me at the cops.
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Old 02-24-16, 04:58 AM
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wonder about a private gun sale
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Old 02-24-16, 06:50 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Lately, I've seen some municipal police departments designate their parking lots as "safe zones" for exchanges or purchases. Allegedly, these sites are under surveillance by cameras.
A good idea, especially if you're the buyer. More and more police and sheriff's dept's are allowing this practice
Triangle police departments create safe spaces to complete Internet sales | News & Observer
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