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Sellers on Craigslist/Kijiji not answering messages

Old 09-26-19, 09:50 AM
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bedtime
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Sellers on Craigslist/Kijiji not answering messages

I've messaged about 20 bike sellers and only about 5 have gotten back to me.

I usually make my message extremely short, consisting of one small sentence with a simple question such as:

What is the standover height of the bike (measured from the ground to the top of the top bar)? Thanx.

Almost always there is no reply.

I'm just wondering if it is just me this happens to? I'm starting to doubt myself here. To be sure, a 1/4 response ratio is quite low, considering that there is money in it for the seller.
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Old 09-26-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
I've messaged about 20 bike sellers and only about 5 have gotten back to me.

I usually make my message extremely short, consisting of one small sentence with a simple question such as:

What is the standover height of the bike (measured from the ground to the top of the top bar)? Thanx.

Almost always there is no reply.

I'm just wondering if it is just me this happens to? I'm starting to doubt myself here. To be sure, a 1/4 response ratio is quite low, considering that there is money in it for the seller.
Don't mean to sound condescending, but you must be new to Craigslist. Par for the course...
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Old 09-26-19, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
Don't mean to sound condescending, but you must be new to Craigslist. Par for the course...
I use Kijiji, which is essentially a Canadian version of Craigslist. I can say that my issue must be common a problem as Kijiji even has a 'response time' category for every seller, likely to push sellers to respond more quickly.
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Old 09-26-19, 01:34 PM
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Out here everyone is afraid to post their phone number, so it's email only. But they don't check their email so it goes no where.

I've been trying to buy some eggbeaters for weeks, can't get in touch with anyone.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:04 PM
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If I had already given relevant size info in the ad, I might not respond if I had other prospects. Lot's of sellers ignore weird inquiries, not unusual IMO. Persevere
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Old 09-26-19, 02:24 PM
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If you've ever listed anything on Craigslist, you know the hazards of the automated responders.

Also, really good chance they can't answer your question, and don't want to take the time to try.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:26 PM
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I have posted and sold several bikes on CL.
I list all basic measurements and make it a point to ignore anyone that appears to be a fit/size weenie.
Never worth it and I list my bikes low enough to ensure a relatively quick sale.
If your sellers are not listing any measurements though that is a whole different story.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Maslin View Post
Out here everyone is afraid to post their phone number, so it's email only. But they don't check their email so it goes no where.

I've been trying to buy some eggbeaters for weeks, can't get in touch with anyone.
You'd think it would be the seller who would be the one pushing the sale, but it seems they are running away as fast as they can.

If I had already given relevant size info in the ad, I might not respond if I had other prospects. Lot's of sellers ignore weird inquiries, not unusual IMO. Persevere.
Most ads have a 'frame size' category consisting of a simplistic 'S/M/L", but the Kijiji site has no explanation of what these mean.

Also, frames differ greatly in geometry, even if the frame size was specified. I don't think asking for the stand-over height is an unreasonable question. Nonetheless, I've had sellers who live 45 minutes away say, "Better come down to check." So they want me to spend $30 on transit and 2-3 hours of my time travelling to find out something that would take them 30 seconds to do?
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Old 09-26-19, 02:43 PM
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I regularly buy and sell on CL, recent true story

Email as sent from interested buyer:

Fri, Sep 20, 11:12 AM (6 days ago)"Can you tell me what size the frame is?

For the frame size, what I'm looking for the measurement of the length of the frame tube that holds the seat. Sometimes it's printed somewhere on the bike, but sometimes you just have to measure. I'm looking for something in the 17"-18" range (43-47 cm).

Here's a picture of how to measure:

https://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-to...d-bike/classic

Thanks,

Dave"

My Response:

"By chance, did you read the title of the Craigslist ad?

Cannondale M500 16" (medium)

Close but not quite what you’re looking for."It's amazing how many people don't even read the ads. It is my experience when selling, that if a buyer asks more than one question, there's a higher probability that a sale won't occur. It may be rude, but I generally let them know that the item offered is available and if they're seriously interested they should make arrangements to take a look and see if it meets their needs. I probably give up sales but time is a precious thing and I'm not about to have others waste my time and I try not to waste other people's time.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
You'd think it would be the seller who would be the one pushing the sale, but it seems they are running away as fast as they can.

Most ads have a 'frame size' category consisting of a simplistic 'S/M/L", but the Kijiji site has no explanation of what these mean.

Also, frames differ greatly in geometry, even if the frame size was specified. I don't think asking for the stand-over height is an unreasonable question. Nonetheless, I've had sellers who live 45 minutes away say, "Better come down to check." So they want me to spend $30 on transit and 2-3 hours of my time travelling to find out something that would take them 30 seconds to do?
Sellers can be rude and inconsiderate but so are many buyers. Too many buyers don't know what the heck they're looking for or expect sellers to give things away. I get it that time and distance need to figure into a buyer's calculus for determining if an item is worth buying, but that's the buyer's problem and not the sellers.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:52 PM
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Nope, not unreasonable but maybe not necessary. If you are considering moving from your BMX/ trick bike to an adult road or mtb, "stand over" isn't something you hear much about anymore. Also, most name brand bikes will have complete measurements somewhere online. Good luck!

Last edited by shelbyfv; 09-26-19 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 09-26-19, 03:01 PM
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As a fairly frequent Craigslister I probably wouldn’t reply either. In my experience, questions like yours are almost always a waste of time. It will typically result in a slew of hair-splitting, I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I-want, back and forth emails ending in silence or a ridiculous low-ball offer (sight unseen).

There is plenty of info available on pretty much any bike you could ever want to buy, so (sorry if this offends) figure it out yourself. Basically, if you wanna buy, buy. If you wanna shop around and kick tires, I’m not a showroom.

One thing I ALWAYS DO is require a phone number in any email response to my Craigslist ad. You MUST include your phone number in your email response to my ad. I will call you and we will work out a meeting/deal in about 5 minutes and NOT get involved in a week long email extravaganza. No phone number, no reply. Period. In fairness, if I’m a buyer I’ll simply email my phone number with a “I’m interested, call me, if I don’t hear from you I’ll assume the item is sold” response. Either buying or selling, it’s a no BS approach and weeds out 99% of the flakes.

Oh yeah, one more thing; if the deal seems too good to be true it’s probably a scam and they’re just harvesting emails and/or phone numbers. Beware.


-Kedosto
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Old 09-26-19, 03:06 PM
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I think that in many cases thew seller is simply trying to get some money for a bicycle that they know very little about and are not interested in learning more. If the bike sells, all to the good, if people ask questions, too much trouble to find out. Going back to the OP's question asking about standover height, that somewhat goes the other way. Standover height is a very crude bike frame measurement that often doesn't work out. My 54 cm Look 481 sl has an unusually long top tube, closer to the top tube length found on most 56 cm bikes. For this bike, standover is a useless measure. To be clear, the Look 481 SL has a traditional level top tube
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Old 09-26-19, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
I have posted and sold several bikes on CL.
I list all basic measurements and make it a point to ignore anyone that appears to be a fit/size weenie.
It's one question and one measurement, so I really don't see myself as being a size weenie.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If you've ever listed anything on Craigslist, you know the hazards of the automated responders.

Also, really good chance they can't answer your question, and don't want to take the time to try.
I sold an item on Kijiji which took at least a month to sell. Not one automated responder.

Originally Posted by honcho View Post
I regularly buy and sell on CL, recent true story...
Close but not quite what you’re looking for."It's amazing how many people don't even read the ads. It is my experience when selling, that if a buyer asks more than one question, there's a higher probability that a sale won't occur. It may be rude, but I generally let them know that the item offered is available and if they're seriously interested they should make arrangements to take a look and see if it meets their needs. I probably give up sales but time is a precious thing and I'm not about to have others waste my time and I try not to waste other people's time.
I can understand that. I replied to an ad for babysitting on Kijiji. I gave a spiel about my qualifications, then left off with my number and when I could be reached. The seller responded asking for my phone number when it was RIGHT there, three lines above. Then she left another message saying she found the number, asking when I could be reached. Again, it was three lines above. She was considering me as an applicant to watch her 2 and 6 year old children, and she's this unattentive?

Originally Posted by honcho View Post
Sellers can be rude and inconsiderate but so are many buyers. Too many buyers don't know what the heck they're looking for or expect sellers to give things away. I get it that time and distance need to figure into a buyer's calculus for determining if an item is worth buying, but that's the buyer's problem and not the sellers.
I view it as a two way street.

Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Nope, not unreasonable but maybe not necessary. If you are considering moving from your BMX/ trick bike to and adult road or mtb, "stand over" isn't something you hear much about anymore. Also, most name brand bikes will have complete measurements somewhere online. Good luck!
Most of the ads give no indication of the bike's make, nor do they have any visible logo's in the pics to draw from. I've spent hours going this route.

Last edited by bedtime; 09-26-19 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-26-19, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
I replied to an add for babysitting on Kijiji.
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Old 09-26-19, 03:22 PM
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Unless we’re talking about a one-off handmade frame or curiosity art piece, off the shelf frame info can be acquired with very little effort these days.

Stack and reach info is a relatively new data point and those values are not typically available on only slightly older frames. Even so, there are online stack/reach calculators for a DIY solution.

Here’s what I know for sure — if a buyer is genuinely interested they’ll be quick and clear about it. I have never had a problem selling to genuinely interested parties. Ever.


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Old 09-26-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Unless we’re talking about a one-off handmade frame or curiosity art piece, off the shelf frame info can be acquired with very little effort these days.

Stack and reach info is a relatively new data point and those values are not typically available on only slightly older frames. Even so, there are online stack/reach calculators for a DIY solution.
Unless you have the brand name of the bike and the model as well, it can be extremely difficult to find of information. Big brands can be dozens of different models that differ by geometry, size, class...

I think that in many cases thew seller is simply trying to get some money for a bicycle that they know very little about and are not interested in learning more. If the bike sells, all to the good, if people ask questions, too much trouble to find out. Going back to the OP's question asking about standover height, that somewhat goes the other way. Standover height is a very crude bike frame measurement that often doesn't work out. My 54 cm Look 481 sl has an unusually long top tube, closer to the top tube length found on most 56 cm bikes. For this bike, standover is a useless measure. To be clear, the Look 481 SL has a traditional level top tube
Most bikes on Kijiji are the exception; they are bikes that are 5-30+ years old that nobody wants anymore.

As a fairly frequent Craigslister I probably wouldn’t reply either. In my experience, questions like yours are almost always a waste of time. It will typically result in a slew of hair-splitting, I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I-want, back and forth emails ending in silence or a ridiculous low-ball offer (sight unseen).
That's an assumption on your part. And I'm not sure how you find answering one important question a waste of time when it could save the buyer a trip and you the time of waiting for the buyer, meeting the buyer, and talking to the buyer.

You talk about ending in silence, but you start is silence; you don't even give the buyer a chance.

Not everyone is naive enough to just give someone time and money without a few questions. Not everything is just handed to you as if you were master of the world. I can say that if you go about ignoring people, you will likely lose good customers.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
Most of the ads give no indication of the bike's make, nor do they have any visible logo's in the pics to draw from. I've spent hours going this route.
A seller who can't even give basic information like the brand of bike in an advertisement generally isn't worth wasting your time on unless you're trying to find something unusual or hoping to stumble into an incredibly good buy. I've wasted a fair amount of time chasing after good deals but found next to none on Craigslist. I've had more success going to yard sales but I wasted a lot of time in that pursuit as well.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
It's one question and one measurement, so I really don't see myself as being a size weenie.


I sold an item on Kijiji which took at least a month to sell. Not one automated responder.


I can understand that. I replied to an ad for babysitting on Kijiji. I gave a spiel about my qualifications, then left off with my number and when I could be reached. The seller responded asking for my phone number when it was RIGHT there, three lines above. Then she left another message saying she found the number, asking when I could be reached. Again, it was three lines above. She was considering me as an applicant to watch her 2 and 6 year old children, and she's this unattentive?


I view it as a two way street.


Most of the ads give no indication of the bike's make, nor do they have any visible logo's in the pics to draw from. I've spent hours going this route.
Uhh, almost all CL ads I have ever seen list model and manufacturer name
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Old 09-26-19, 07:33 PM
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Two cents:

I've made numerous inquiries about bikes recently, and I've had great luck. When a seller hasn't responded, it's because I misread the ad and didn't contact them at their preferred medium. I click that reply button on top and ignore the phonetically mangled phone number in the body of the ad. Once i realize my mistake and text the seller, they respond in 24 hours.

They'll also answer my questions about their poorly documented bike.
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Old 09-26-19, 09:00 PM
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I have more luck getting responses on facebook. Many sellers are just idiots. You can tell by lack of information in the ad or picture quality. It's like they don't even want to sell.

Sometimes they don't delete the ad after they sold the item.

When I sell I describe the item well. If I get a reasonable question I even edit the ad to include that information assuming other prospective buyers wonder the same.
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Old 09-26-19, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bedtime View Post
Unless you have the brand name of the bike and the model as well, it can be extremely difficult to find of information. Big brands can be dozens of different models that differ by geometry, size, class...
Why would you be interested in a bike that you dont know the brand model of?

As for big brands having many different models- they are usually the same frame geometry and just differently spec'd.
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Old 09-28-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by honcho View Post
A seller who can't even give basic information like the brand of bike in an advertisement generally isn't worth wasting your time on unless you're trying to find something unusual or hoping to stumble into an incredibly good buy. I've wasted a fair amount of time chasing after good deals but found next to none on Craigslist. I've had more success going to yard sales but I wasted a lot of time in that pursuit as well.
I'd say about 1/3 to 1/2 of the bikes don't have any brand associated with them. And yep, I've wasted a lot of time doing fruitless searches in an attempt to find the name of the bikes.

Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I have more luck getting responses on facebook. Many sellers are just idiots. You can tell by lack of information in the ad or picture quality. It's like they don't even want to sell.

Sometimes they don't delete the ad after they sold the item.

When I sell I describe the item well. If I get a reasonable question I even edit the ad to include that information assuming other prospective buyers wonder the same.
Sometimes? Try about a minimum of 25% of the time. Quite aggravating. I question if some of the sellers just leave the ad up there to see what type of response they'd have gotten.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Why would you be interested in a bike that you dont know the brand model of?

As for big brands having many different models- they are usually the same frame geometry and just differently spec'd.
I'm 5'5", so there's not much of a selection out there for a person of my height.
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Old 09-28-19, 05:34 PM
  #24  
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Pedal guy got back to me. And I got some clean eggbeater 2’s for $20


Turns out he doesn’t live in the town he advertises in. Loads up the truck with bikes and parts every couple weekends are runs a little used bike shop in the pizza shop parking lot by the university. Move in weekend, I’m sure he sold everything in short order.
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Old 09-28-19, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Maslin View Post
Pedal guy got back to me. And I got some clean eggbeater 2’s for $20


Turns out he doesn’t live in the town he advertises in. Loads up the truck with bikes and parts every couple weekends are runs a little used bike shop in the pizza shop parking lot by the university. Move in weekend, I’m sure he sold everything in short order.
Good to hear; it's nice when you can actually buy something from a seller.

I messaged the seller a couple of hours ago saying I have the money agreed upon and can come over right away to buy the bike. I'm betting the bike was sold already or he has me blocked.

It would almost be a miracle if he responded saying the bike wasn't sold yet. That's the level of faith I have in Kijiji sellers; it really is a gamble buying from there.

* EDIT *

Just messaged 7 people. So far only one got back to me saying that they could indeed meet to sell the bike but that they'd be away for three days. Chances are that someone has offered to buy the bike for the original price and wants to pick it up in three days, and the seller wants to keep me as a backup.

I'll buy any of the seven bikes if someone wants to sell them.

Last edited by bedtime; 09-28-19 at 08:26 PM.
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