Monday, February 18, 2013

Safe Selling

 Desk: available

When you sell something on Craigslist (CL), there are things you can do to make your experience safer. Do realize, that most people are just like you. They too want it to be a safe experience. We do these as precautions. We have never felt unsafe while selling, but we also make sure to be smart about it.

Here is our Top Ten List:

1. Do not take identifying pictures. Our pictures do not show our house number or our cars. We take our pictures outside because the light shows the items off better. If you take pictures inside, try to make sure other things (like you nice tv, stereo, etc) are not in the picture.

2. Put something in your post that will protect you from phishers or scammers. Put "cash only" as your terms and ask them to leave a phone number or a key word in the email they send you. (If they do not include these things, or offer to wire you money in exchange for you item, you can just delete it.)

3. If you set up an appointment for someone to meet you about an item, let someone else know. If it is at your house, try to have another person there. If you talk to the person on the phone, use language like "My husband and I will be home to meet you at..." or "My son, whose a marine, and I..." Even if you are going to be alone when you meet them, don't tell them that.

Table: available

4. If its a small item, like the small table above, meet them in a store parking lot close to your house or at a good location for you that is heavily populated.

5. If you are meeting at your house, do not give them the address over email. Ask them to call when they are on their way or shortly before they leave. Blame it on your wife being funny about giving your address out or whatever you want. We have had too many people not show up after we gave out our address. Nothing ever happened, but it still creeped me out.

6. If you are able to, take the item outside. Whether it be your porch, your garage or out in your driveway, try to meet them with the item outside. This ensures that they never enter your house. If they are a bad person, they wont get to see what other lovely things you have, or how your house is set up.

7. Insist on cash, even if they seem like nice people. You told them in your ad ahead of time, so they should have made arrangements. Its would stink to accept a check and then to have it bounce.

8. Have some small bills of change in your pocket. If they pay you with a $20 for a $10 item, think ahead of the scenarios. Then you wont have to go back in the house and leave them outside, or pull out your entire wallet to give them change.

9. If you set it up to deliver an item to them (we do with some larger pieces), ask for payment before you or they drive away. Sometimes we do a half now/half later, but most of the time we ask for it first and leave it at our house.

10. Delete the item once the person has purchased it. You wont have to worry about getting anymore emails about it, but you also will erase the link for that person to find you again through that item.

Victorian Gentleman's Chest of Drawers: Available

Monday, February 11, 2013


Dresser: $325. Sold.

I try to think to myself, how do I follow the post I just wrote? It was full of my heart, while most of my posts attempt to hide my heart at all costs. It is the great wide internet after all. I am an introvert, so I do my best to hide in a crowd as it is. However, there was no hiding what we went through and are still going through. We so often lay in bed at night, clinging to one another as if the other is our last link to life and talk about our daughter. I doubt a full hour goes by throughout the day that we do not think about her.

Do I follow the last post with another soul bearing post?I could write forever, probably.

Or do I write a post that sheds light on just one little chapter in our hilarious book of sales?  :-) Sometimes it is good to have a change.

It is amazing the people you meet through this part of our business. You never know who will show up at your door or meet you in a parking lot somewhere. (Maybe next time I will write you a post on how to be a safe seller on CL {craigslist}. We have plans in place that make us feel very safe and secure.)

Truly, we end up with stories that could win awards. We have stories ranging from old people that I think just buy things off of CL so they have someone to talk to (it turned into a 2 hr transaction) to people trying to make us dinner and convert us to Universalism (um, you can keep your steak, thanks) to people telling us to go up in their attic and bring down whatever we wanted (read here).

This piece took me a few weeks to finish. I had to fill in holes and gashes along the top, prime and paint, and then I glazed it. After posting it, we got a call within 24 hrs. They were interested in seeing it that afternoon. Apparently, it was their CL shopping day, and they were traveling all over the area to pick things up. They came to our home after visiting a coffee shop near their previous stop (about 45-60 min away.)

- Side note. We have been renovating our bathroom (we only have one) for years. You can read a bit here. We just got the floor done last week (YEAH!!) and had to shave the door a bit for it to fit back in. Our project that day was to shave the door.

In they came to see this glorious piece, both well manicured blonds, wearing rather tall heels and nice clothes. They looked over the dresser, asked a few questions and decided to purchase. As we were finalizing things, they asked if they could use our restroom after their long drive? Personally, if I was in that state and going to a strange house where I was planning on moving a piece of furniture if purchased, I would stop at a gas station or somewhere before arriving.

But like any good hostess, I wracked my brain to think about if there was anything hanging in there that shouldn't be, trying to remember the state of the mirror (where there toothpaste splashes or not?), and if the toilet paper roll had enough on it. Then I remembered those things were not important. "Certainly" I said. And as they started to go in the direction I indicated... "but I there is no door."

This would stop a lot of people. And I admit, it gave them pause. But nature's call was louder, and so they looked at each other, looked at me, looked at my husband, looked back at me and said, "If its ok with you, its ok with us." So I pointed them toward the hall.

And that folks, is just another day on the job.